SGA Executive Branch Candidates Announce Initiatives at Wednesday Forum

Presidential candidate Cristhofer Lugo and Vice Presidential candidate Valentina Casanova / Via Future Is You Instagram

Elise Gregg / Editor-in-Chief

Campaign season has begun for the Student Government Association, with senate floor leader Cristhofer Lugo running for student body president and executive administrator Valentina Casanova running as vice president.

The two are running uncontested under the Future Is You party. The party has run unopposed for the past two years. 

On March 16th’s open forum in GC 243 Lugo and Casanova outlined their initiatives and answered students’ questions. 

Lugo, a senior computer science major from Turks and Caicos, has been a member of SGA for three years and served as SGA president at Turks and Caicos Islands Community College. 

Lugo established his initiatives under three main pillars: student life, campus life, and SGA transparency and accountability. 

School spirit was a key point to Lugo’s first two pillars. 

“Being able to build up institutional affinity for a wonderful university will have a ripple effect on everything,” Lugo said, adding that school spirit would attract donors, make current students more comfortable at FIU, and draw new students in. 

In regard to SGA, Lugo aims to increase accountability and transparency, particularly by creating a website to track future legislation. 

The Future Is You party also has similar initiatives, including breaking down, tracking and auditing expenditures from the Activity and Service Fee – which funds student organizations and is sourced from student fees – so students can see how their money is being spent. 

“Going back to my three pillars: pillar number three is SGA,” said Lugo. “Meaning that we make sure that we are transparent.” 

Lugo was also asked about his preferences and vision for the university’s new president. 

“All I want is that the trustees find us, a candidate is a person who loves FIU, who loves the spirit,” said Lugo.

Vice presidential candidate Valentina Casanova will be responsible for finding solutions to other SGA issues, such as senator absences. 

Casanova, the current executive administrator of SGA, began her political career with her election as CASE senator a year ago. Like Lugo, she aims to focus on student engagement and school spirit. 

Acting as a bridge between the legislative and executive branches, Casanova intends to work with the senate to ensure that members are present for each meeting. She plans to do this by attending senate meetings to provide senators with resources they may need, as well as to keep Lugo updated on senate activities and senator absences. 

Further, Casanova intends to increase student participation in SGA. 

“I think a big part of it is reaching out with the other on-campus organizations to make sure that they realize that they can be part of SGA whenever we have applications open,” said Casanova. 

Casanova plans to network with students and campus organizations, particularly online, to promote engagement with SGA.

“I look forward to being able to work alongside Chris…to make sure that we’re working together as a whole student body to make sure that our students are being heard,” said Casanova. 
Elections open on March 22 and 23 at, with elections announcements on the 25.