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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Conscious Coogs hopes to make SGA ‘friend of the student’


conscious coogs

Brett Bonnete (left) is running for UH SGA president, along with Alexis Boehmer (right) for vice president under the Conscious Coogs party. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

With the Student Government Association elections just around the corner, Conscious Coogs, a party whose platform is based on accessibility, safety and LGBTQ+ resources, hopes to spark change in SGA after an administration with tension

Conscious Coogs is headed by presidential candidate political science junior Brett Bonnete and vice-presidential candidate psychology freshman Alexis Boehmer. By running on three main ideas for the platform, Bonnette hopes for the student body’s view of SGA to change.

“In order to grow from SGA, I would want to create a completely changed view of SGA,” Bonnete said. “I think that it will humble the kind of view of the organization in general and I think it’ll bring us to be friends with a university, instead of a kind of prestigious concept of student government.”

Bonnete currently serves as the current association’s chief of staff and has been a part of SGA since their freshman year. Boehmer joined SGA after the recall election last year. 

Some members who actively pursued the recall against President Arsalan Darbin, like Eduardo Moeller and Rohit Shajan, are on the Conscious Coogs ticket. They were suspended after the recall election due to campaign violations. 

The party hopes to distance itself from the events of this past administration. 

“Whenever everything was going on with the recall election, I was still just a student attending SGA meetings at that point,” Boehmer said. “Being someone kind of on the outside, and getting to experience what most non-SGA students kind of saw from it, I just would have liked to see a lot more communication (with the students).” 

In terms of representation, Conscious Coogs is the only party that has a Graduate at Large senator on the ticket. At UH, a university with ample people from unique backgrounds, the two candidates are hoping to do their best to listen to the needs of the student body. 

“I think the biggest part of being an ally to other communities is understanding that you’re an assistant,” Boehmer said. “You are asking whatever community you’re trying to support what they need, what they want to see on campus, how they want to change. It means going to meetings for other groups on campus talking to their representation, and what they want to see collaborating with SGA.”

Overall, Conscious Coogs hopes to shift the view of the SGA in the eyes of the student body. Bonnete specifically, after their incumbency at the organization, sees the potential SGA has.

“I really want SGA to be the friend of the student, I would really like to because I feel like all of our administration is very friendly, right,” Bonnete said. “All of our students running are incredibly nice people, and they’re warm, and they’re generous, and they’re kind. That’s the kind of personality I want to foster in our average SGA students, someone that’s serious, ambitious, but also a very kind person that actually cares.”

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