student gov

Officers of the 2021-22 Cochise College Student Government Association stand on the Douglas Campus last week. The members are, front row, from left, Adriana Raber, Lynz Baxter, Stephanie Amaya and Samantha Amaya. Back row, from left, Nelida Amaro Ruiz, Leslie Mercado, Student Government Advisor and Activities Manager Andy Espinoza, Victor Marrujo, Lauren Fullen and Nicole Castil.

COCHISE COUNTY — For the 2021-22 school year, Cochise College welcomes back a new crew of Student Government Association officers at both the Douglas and Sierra Vista campuses.

The academic organization aims to act as an intermediary between students, other academic organizations and the college administration. It has been active at Cochise College for more than 52 years.

SGA is composed of four to five student officers per campus, each serving various leadership roles from administrative to event coordinating. There is real family involved; Samantha and Stephanie Amaya are twins.

The Herald/Review sat down with the student officers from both campuses to dive into their roles, how they want to help their communities, academic pursuits and plans after graduation.

Adriana Raber, president

Age: 19

Major: Allied health

Graduation year: 2022

Herald/Review: Why did you decide to join the Student Government Association at Cochise College?

AR: “I decided to join the Student Government Association because I was in SGA last semester and I really wanted to continue with it.”

H/R: Now that we’re halfway through the fall semester, what have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

AR: “Some of the highlights of working as an SGA officer this semester were being able to work in a face-to-face setting and being able to collaborate with all of the officers district wide.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

AR: “A strength I bring to my position at SGA would be my previous experience in SGA. Although I would like to mention that my position wouldn’t be important without any of the other officers and I think that any other strengths I bring to my position have been inspired by all of them.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

AR: “After graduating from Cochise College I plan to either continue my studies or start working right away.”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

AR: “Some of my hobbies and interests include hiking, reading and working with my animals and plants.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

AR: “Cochise College students should consider joining SGA because it’s a great opportunity to gain leadership skills and connect with other students.”

Leslie Mecardo, vice president, Sierra Vista

Age: 22

Major: General studies

Graduation year: May 2022

H/R: Why did you decide to join SGA at Cochise College?

LM: “I wanted to be more involved in school and put myself out there.”

H/R: Now that we’re halfway through the fall semester, what have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

LM: “The highlights are being involved in all activities at the school. Whether it is setting up or volunteering.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

LM: “My outgoing and attention to detail are the strengths I bring to SGA.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College what are your plans?

LM: “I plan on continuing my education at GCU (Grand Canyon University).”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

LM: “My hobbies include decorating and doing DIY projects at my house.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

LM: “It is an amazing opportunity to get involved and feel a part of Cochise College. Attending college does not have to be solely going to class, homework and tests, it is about finding yourself through various clubs we offer at Cochise College.”

Lauren Fullen, vice president, Douglas

Age: 19

Major: General studies

Graduation Year: 2022

H/R: Why did you decide to join SGA at Cochise College?

LF: “I joined SGA because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. SGA allows me to work with others, meet new people and provide activities that engage the student body to partake in college events.”

H/R: What have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

LF: “One of the highlights of being an SGA officer is being able to work with students, officers and advisors at the college. It has been a great experience so far and I anticipate for the remainder of the academic year to be even better.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

LF: “Strengths that I bring to my position is being a team player, detail oriented and deadline driven.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

LF: “I plan to attend the University of Arizona and earn my bachelor’s degree in veterinary science with an emphasis in animal behavior, with the goal of attending a veterinary school and earning my doctor of veterinary medicine to become a mixed animal veterinarian.”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

LF: “I enjoy spending time with my five dogs, learning to play the ukulele, drawing and painting.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

LF: “SGA fosters an amazing atmosphere with very supportive advisors and officers. SGA provides a place for leadership development and fosters personal growth. Students should join SGA because of the great opportunities and great people at Cochise College.”

Lynz Baxter, vice president of public relations

Age: 33

Major: Social and behavioral science

Graduation year: 2022

H/R: Why did you decide to join SGA at Cochise College?

LB: “I thought it would be a great opportunity to be involved in the college.”

H/R: Now that we’re halfway through the fall semester, what have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

LB: “The biggest highlight so far would have to be seeing how much the students and the faculty enjoy the events we put on. It makes all the effort worthwhile.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

LB: “I enjoy getting to create the promotional fliers for the SGA.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

LB: “I plan on attending ASU (Arizona State University) online to finish my bachelor’s degree in political science.”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

LB: “I love reading and photography. I am also a civic influencer at Cochise College and I get to educate other students about voting and help register people to vote.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

LB: “It is a great way to experience different aspects of college life. It is lots of fun and a great way to network.”

Samantha Amaya, coordinator of outreach, DouglasAge: 18

Major: Social and behavioral sciences

Graduation year: 2024

H/R: Why did you decide to join SGA at Cochise College?

SA: ”I decided to join SGA because one of my advisors told me and to get practice since I want to attend law school when I finish my bachelors.”

H/R: Now that we’re halfway through the fall semester, what have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

SA: “Some highlights/challenges that I have worked in while being an SGA officer were presenting myself with the board members in our second meeting, trying to get more ideas to tell the group and attending all events since I am more based in Douglas.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

SA: “Some strengths that I bring to my group are the laughs, being outgoing and reaching out to students.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

SA: “My plans are attending Cochise College then transferring to the University of Arizona (and) finish my bachelors then trying to get into law school to do immigration law.”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

SA: “I work at the Gadsden, make jewelry on my own time, read and just hang out in my house.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

SA: “I believe students should consider joining SGA because it is a great opportunity to get involved with the college, it also helps you out in becoming more mature, it would look really good in your resume, and helps you get better life choices in the future.”

Victor Marrujo, coordinator of operations, Douglas

Age: 22

Major: Engineering

Graduation year: 2023

H/R: Why did you decide to join SGA at Cochise College?

VM: “I wanted to help foster a better community where everybody could contribute.”

H/R: What have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

VM: “I’ve gotten to see so many faces and meet with so many students, its been a truly wonderful experience. Knowing the events make at least one person happy is very fulfilling.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

VM: “I think my open and honest nature helps me connect with the other officers and my fellow students. Also my creative thinking comes in handy when it comes to planning for events.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

VM: “I plan to transfer to the University of Arizona in Tucson to obtain my bachelors.”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

VM: “ I play the guitar very on and off and have recently retaken drawing and painting.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

VM: “It’s a wonderful experience, you get to meet so many people, make (a) positive impact in their lives and the leadership experience obtained is invaluable.”

Nicole Castil, coordinator of records

Age: 19

Major: Social and behavioral sciences — psychology

Graduation year: 2023

H/R: Why did you decide to join SGA at Cochise College?

NC: “Simply because I want to know more people and create good memories in college. And I have always been active when it comes to school activities, especially when it comes to joining any organization or student government.”

H/R: What have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

NC: “One of the main highlights for me is when we had the Pitfire, because I was able to have fun and chill with my friend. But one of the challenges that I face is that sometimes the work gets too overwhelming, but even though it is stressful I still always get the chance to have fun while working.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

NC: “I am not confident to answer this, but I think me being positive always brings out the best of me as a coordinator of records for the SGA.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

NC: “I plan to go to the University of Arizona to take my BA in psychology and also get my master’s degree, and also look for multiple scholarships. Once I get my master’s I am planning to work first and save money for my Ph.D degree, so that I can go to graduate school. If given the chance, I would like to join their student government, too.”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

NC: “I do like driving. I always drive whenever I feel the need to reflect. Sometimes I will hang out with my friends, or walk around Target or Walmart whenever I am bored. But most of the time I just stay at home to rest.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

NC: “Not only because it gives the students scholarship and stipend, but also because it can really improve them as a student. Being involved in a lot of school activities can be exhausting for some, but if we look at the bigger picture it can really make our college life more memorable and mold us into a better version of us as a student. And lastly, we’ll have a lot of connection.”

Nelida Amaro Ruiz, treasurer

Age: 21

Major: Fine arts

Graduation year: 2022

H/R: Why did you decide to join the Student Government Association at Cochise College?

NAR: “Andy Espinoza (CC student government advisor and activities manager) talked about the association the first time I went to Cochise College and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get involved with the school. Also, I had the personal goal of trying to get out of my comfort zone more and SGA is a fun way to do it.”

H/R: What have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

NAR: “What always stands out for me is the fun we have creating and running the events. I love watching the students having a good time after their classes. The biggest challenge to me is speaking in public and, being an SGA officer, I have to do it sometimes. But even though I struggle with it, I have always found support in the other SGA officers.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

NAR: “I’m organized and I have experience with keeping track of different information.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

NAR: “ I plan on going to the University of Arizona. I’m interested in studying translation and interpretation.”

H/R: Outside of SGA and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

NAR: “I love everything related to arts and crafts, especially painting and drawing. I also love going hiking with my family and my six dogs.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

NAR: “SGA brings lots of opportunities for students to grow, develop, and have fun while their work in stuff that helps other students.”

Stephanie Amaya, secretary

Age: 18

Major: General studies, associates of arts

Graduation year: 2022

H/R: Why did you decide to join the Student Government Association at Cochise College?

Stephanie A.: “I decided to join the Student Government Association at Cochise College because it seemed like a great opportunity to get new experiences and learn more about leadership. I am still working on my leadership skills and I for sure am learning little by little. SGA is like a student council and since I was a freshman in high school I was always part of it and clubs as well.”

H/R: What have been some of the highlights/challenges of working as an SGA officer?

Stephanie A.: “I will say that some of the highlights would be meeting the other officers and getting along with each other. We are all different in our own ways and I feel that makes our association stronger and more diverse. Other highlights would be signature events like the PitFire or even the Governing Board meetings. Some challenges would be that we do not see each other as much.”

H/R: What strengths do you bring to your position at SGA?

Stephanie A.: “Some strengths I bring to my position as secretary for SGA are that I keep all records aligned and perfected in a way. I keep my position and work clear and professional. I try to help everyone with whatever they may need and I just like to help my fellow friends.”

H/R: After graduating from Cochise College, what are your plans?

Stephanie A.: “My plans after graduation at Cochise College are to get my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the UofA and from there go to a medical school to become a pediatrician. I also want to go on an exchange program or maybe do an internship.”

H/R: What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of the classroom?

Stephanie A.: “Some of my hobbies and interests are working out, just being active in general, and I also like to watch movies. Other things that interest me are being outside and just enjoying the day.”

H/R: Why should Cochise College students consider joining SGA?

Stephanie A.: “Cochise College students should consider joining SGA because it is a great experience and it gives you so many opportunities and memories.”