Meet the candidates: Incumbent SGA President Joshua Martin reflects on 59th administration, looks ahead
With Student Government Association elections approaching, President Joshua Martin gives an overview of the 59th administration’s accomplishments and goals that he wishes to achieve if re-elected.
Although SGA has faced several debates during meetings that target campus issues and various changes to election rules, Martin remains optimistic about the upcoming election and raising student engagement.
“I would say the overall goal of our platform was changing SGA for the better,” Martin said. “Because SGA really had a negative persona around it, and it was really kind of our goal to kind of fix that and put us back on a positive track.”
Martin shared some of SGA’s accomplishments with their initiatives, including passing its sexual assault policy changes that raise awareness and combat misconduct. He also highlighted his main goal if reelected to push the Cougar Job Connection initiative to work with every college and department to get students adequate corporate job opportunities and expose students to better-paying careers.
“ I think that connecting our students to job opportunities, is something that would really be a great service to them,” Martin said. “And by meeting with the deans of every single college by working with the Mayor’s Office of Education in the higher Houston Youth Program, I think that we can really kind of bridge the gap between the students who don’t know what they want to do after college.”
Another initiative Martin stated that his cabinet wishes to work on is a textbook affordability program that centers around Cougar Textbook Access Program to educate students on resources that they have available to them. Alongside that, Martin stressed focusing on safety and mental health.
“More recently with some of the unfortunate events that have happened this week, we really want to focus on mental health and safety first agenda,” Martin said. “Whether that’s when that’s going to have to deal with going into the caps office working with them. Setting up trainings with different university organizations so that we can get them involved with that.”
When asked if there is anything that his administration would do differently, Martin expressed that his cabinet has stayed productive throughout.
“Honestly we were kind of a go-with-the-flow organization,” Martin said. “So I think there could have been a little more structure with how some of the things ran, and I think that also gives me an advantage going into potentially a second term because I’ve seen what works, I’ve seen what doesn’t work and I think that we can put that together to ultimately move forward.”
Martin said that his advantage in this election comes from being experienced with the workings of the University. He shared that this has allowed him to point his senators in the right direction to make their initiatives happen, and accommodate them in the best way he knows how.
Heading into the 60th administration election, Martin stated that he is proud of what SGA has been able to do with its projects. He brought to light registering “over 2,000 students to vote” and accomplishments members of his administration have made such as Speaker of the Senate Aryana Azizi partnering with Favor to expand students’ access to contraceptives.
“We’ve done a lot of great things and a lot of great individual accomplishments, that by bringing them back for another year, until ultimately going to put us on the path to success and continue to move our university forward,” Martin said.