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MEET YOUR CANDIDATES: Zach Hogan and Claudia Alarco

By Isabella Sanchez
On March 20, 2017

Zach Hogan ‘18 and Claudia Alarco ‘18 started their Saturday morning carrying a box of Munchkins and fatheads of themselves through Donahue Hall, reaching out to members of the community and attempting to understand student concerns. Together they are running for President and Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association.

Hogan and Alarco are running on a platform based on three R’s “Rooted, Restless and Representative.”

Alarco and Hogan feel they are rooted in common core principles. Hogan referenced his connection to Augustinian values as this is his 18th consecutive year of Catholic education as well as the emphasis on morality his mother placed on him growing up. Alarco mentioned her parents’ implementation of strong work ethic and integrity.

As newcomers to Villanova’s SGA, both candidates hope to pull from their outside experiences to extend what they believe student government can do. On campus, Hogan is involved in several organizations such as the Global Investment society, Orientation Counselor staff and Blue Key Society. Off campus he has held an internship with JP Morgan for two years. Alarco is involved in Ruibal and on the Dean’s Academic Reform committee. She is active off campus through previous internships in Congress and the White House.  

“These environments that we've been in are results driven environments and when it came to developing ourselves and building the skill sets we needed there, we were faced with just one main idea and that was change is not an option, it's the standard,” Hogan said.

The candidates mentioned their involvement with Student government in their high school careers as well.

The final R, representative, is one Hogan says is especially important due to the national political climate and its impact on the campus. Both Alarco and Hogan come from diverse backgrounds and are involved in multicultural programming throughout campus. Hogan would also be the first black Student Government president.

“We believe that student government hasn't accurately reflected the voices of all students in recent years which is why we would like to go forward with a platform that does represent all student voices.” Hogan said.

Alarco mentioned the importance of recognizing our strengths in similarity but also highlighting and embracing difference.

“We claim that our community is of Villanovans with everyone on the same page.” Alarco said. “But really it's not, there are so many aspects within our community that are ignored or not given the representation that they deserve.”

Hogan touched on the fact that Villanova has a higher percentage of women undergraduate students yet he feels SGA does not reflect that.

“How can we accurately address women’s issues if we don’t have a woman in power at the highest ranking positions?” Hogan said.  

A trend both candidates noted is the fact that in their experience many students across campus are unaware of what the Student Government Association is supposed to do. This is one of the main issues that prompted them to run.

“We need to make sure that we are igniting change, which is our buzz word here on campus,” Hogan added. “Not only as a Villanova community that serves the greater global world but we need to do that as Villanovans serving Villanovans.”

Their campaign is centered on starting new conversations even if they might be unpopular. They also both touched on their main goal of transparency in their possible administration.

“SGA would be a completely different thing if we were telling our peers what we are doing and what our goals are,” Alarco said. “Being able to clear up the modes of communication is our goal and it doesn't end once the campaign ends. It continues far beyond that. We want to be making sure we reach out to students, so we want to go to them directly.”

            

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