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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Activities & Organizations

Candidate profile: Mascorro advocates for stronger, more involved student body


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SGA presidential candidate Edwin Mascorro said as a Greek life member, veteran and first generation student he can connect to a large demographic his counterparts cannot relate to. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

Chemistry sophomore and Student Government Association presidential candidate Edwin Mascorro’s campaign is focusing on increasing engagement among the student body.

He decided to name his party the Hype Party because of it.

“The intention of the name was to grab your attention so that we can start talking business,” Mascorro said. “My vice president and I believe SGA has a crucial role of engaging the students. That’s what the goal is.”

More literally, the Hype Party is symbolic of Mascorro and his running partner, Omar Coronado.

“We are excited about doing all of the events that the university provides,” Mascorro said. “We love this school, and we are excited about having the opportunity to serve the student body.”

Mascorro said as president he would work to make sure student organizations on campus receive the funds and support they need to recruit students and increase their involvement on campus.

He was disappointed by the Student Fees and Advisory Committee’s decision to cut funding for three large organizations, the Student Program Board, Homecoming and Frontier Fiesta and force them to share a concert pool of $100,000. Mascorro said campus traditions were being swept under the rug.

“You don’t budget cut the three largest organizations on campus…these (events) are traditions. It doesn’t sit right with me,” Mascorro said. “I know what (these organizations) go through to put on these events. I need to defend them because if no one else does, who will?”

Mascorro said many student organizations on campus feel restricted, and he wants to help loosen the red tape that keeps them from increasing in size and reach.

“(If) you support the student organizations, you will see a stronger student body,” Mascorro said. “I know some of these student organizations (feel) discouraged. There are too many restrictions, and we need to make sure that’s not happening.”

Mascorro said when he decided to run for president, he knew the only thing he really wanted was to be the voice of the students.

“I want somebody who actually engages with the students (and) goes to activities with the students to be that number one person,” Mascorro said. “As the only Greek life candidate, the only veteran (and) the only minority, I embody everything that the University of Houston represents.”

A member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and a Navy veteran, Mascorro said he would work to increase Greek life on campus and continue to support and provide benefits for veterans if elected. And even though he does identify as Mexican-American, Mascorro said he prefers to focus on the fact that he is a first-generation student and can relate to a larger demographic on campus than his counterparts.

“I know how it feels to come from families like that. The pressure is on you to succeed,” Mascorro said. “Most of our students are first generation (and) they are working students. I know where they are coming from… (and) I think that’s exactly what we need in a SGA president.”

While other candidates may focus on specific issues, like parking, Mascorro is more focused on fulfilling his platform goal of solidifying a strong and engaged student body. While Mascorro is hopeful he will win, he said he is optimistic that UH will continue to grow and that the student body becomes more engaged as a result no matter the result.

“It’s one thing to say ‘I’m a Houston Cougar, and I am proud of our football team,’” he said. “It’s another thing to say ‘I’m proud to be a student at the University of Houston.’ I hope whoever is the next SGA president can engage the student body in different ways and make them proud to wear red. The day I don’t see a Longhorn shirt on a Cougar Red Friday — if we can get to that level, I will be happy.”

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