SGA Hostos members

Though the makeup of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Hostos changes every year, the group’s mission remains the same.
“The Student Government Association is intended to be the advocate for the student body,” explained SGA President Raziel BenReuben. “We’re very much involved in many aspects of the Hostos community.”
The group is composed of 16 members, seven of which serve as executive officers and nine as senators. Together they act as sounding boards and amplifiers for their peers’ voices, advocating on their behalf and organizing cultural, educational, and social activities for the student body throughout the school year.
The SGA’s approach to addressing students’ concerns is holistic, taking into account the role personal backgrounds, intersecting communities, and even the neighborhood surrounding the College play in academic success. The group is currently working on such issues as improving graduation rates and partnering with local and national organizations to create opportunities for students to get more hands-on work experience.
“We decided we wanted to create more internships,” explained Inés Alejandro, vice president for academic affairs and chair of senate. “Students like those in the Nursing Department get to have their clinical, so they get an idea of what is going to be expected of them once they graduate. But other students don’t really have that experience.”
The SGA also focuses on other matters such as trying to provide healthier food options for students by establishing a juice bar on campus, making the campus more accessible to students with disabilities, and improving awareness of and access to various scholarship programs. Additionally, the SGA collects and loans out textbooks to students who cannot afford to purchase them for the semester.
Jerry Rosa, director of student activities, has served as the SGA advisor for 13 years and has observed many changes within the organization. “It’s always a different dynamic because you always have new student leaders who have different ideas and different perspectives,” he said. “But no matter what, Rosa said the experience of participating in the SGA is “always a learning opportunity.”
Indeed, it is. Arafate Aremou Idohou, senator, said he joined the SGA because he didn’t want to leave Hostos without doing something that would have a positive impact on current and future students. Idohou finds that he’s gained as much as he’s given. “It’s amazing working in a group,” he said, adding it was his first time doing so. “We share ideas and solve problems faster. I never knew that working in a group could be that amazing.”
Similarly, first-time senator Leydi Bautista said planning and implementing initiatives with a group of like-minded students on behalf of her peers has been a “mind-blowing experience” that has encouraged her growth as an individual. “It’s about representation and information, and it’s also helping me to be more extroverted and say, ‘Hey, this is me. This is what I’m actually doing,’ and owning my position,’” she shared.
SGA elections are held every April and new members take office July through June of the following year. With this in mind, some of the current members encouraged other students to consider getting involved.
“If you want to achieve something, you’ve got to do something,” said Foulemata Camara, executive secretary. “And if you want to do something, you have to be part of the SGA.”
Learn more about the SGA and see a full list of its members here