USGA|Loyola University Chicago



Senior Representative Candidates

These candidates have applied to be Senior Representatives to the USGA. Please see their Statements of Candidacy below. 

Blake Baiers

My name is Blake Baiers, and I am a rising senior running for the USGA senate as one of the seven representatives for the class of 2014. If elected, this will be my third term as a USGA senator. I have served on the Allocations Committee for two years, and have had the privilege of serving as the chair of the committee for the past year.

I would like to see a Loyola community that is more engaged in the operations of the university, and hope to facilitate this through further involvement with the organization. Silence is too prevalent on this campus, that is, until an issue becomes major news (which means it is usually too late to garner the support to enact change). While USGA has done a much better job of reaching out to students this year, I would like to see even more, and I would like to be on board to help make that happen.

Another thing I would like to see at Loyola is a Russian minor. This is a popular language that often gets less recognition than many of the more prominent languages, but is still in high demand.  

Thank you for you consideration, 
Blake Baiers


Dionne Addai

Hello all!  My name is Dionne Addai and I’m running to be Senior Senator next year.  I’m a History and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies majors with a Theatre minor. Currently I serve as a Junior Senator and have had the opportunity to be a part of developing and implementing polices that make Loyola a better school.  I’m interested in being a USGA senator again because I want to continue to make a difference at Loyola.  While USGA is not the only way to have an impact on campus, I’ve found it to be one of the most effective.  As a senator I’ve worked on creating a course syllabi posting policy, and on the extension of Lewis Library hours.  I would love the chance to finish old projects I’ve worked on as a Senator, and start new ones. I am currently Vice-President of Loyola’s Feminist Forum, and am passionate about a variety of social justice issues. If elected, I’ll focus on new issues that concern my fellow students, such as the new meal plan, and use my Gender Studies background to look into Loyola’s sexual assault policies.  However, my most important concern is the student voice. If elected, I will continue to use the student voice as my greatest inspiration for all my decisions.


Emily Taft

Hello! My name is Emily Taft. I am running for the position of Senior Representative. I have served as USGA Secretary for the past semester and have loved learning about all the hard work that the organization is doing. After hearing the heated discussions, seeing the legislation presented, and observing all that goes on during Senate meetings, I realized that I want to have a much more active role. Being a part of USGA has shown me the importance and power of the student voice at Loyola and now I would like to help project this voice and make an impact. I am particularly interested in issues such as sustainability initiatives, ethical leasing policies, and tuition increases. My other campus involvements have included two summers as an Orientation Leader, two years working as an Academic Coach with Target New Transitions, and one year volunteering with Loyola4Chicago.


Suzanne Hart

I am running for the position of USGA Senior Senator because I love Loyola and want to see it be the best university it can be. I’ve spent two years so far on the executive board of the Student Environmental Alliance: one year as the public relations chair, and one year as Vice President. SEA’s close relationship with USGA during the Uncap LUC campaign brought me into contact with our student leaders, and I realized that I wanted to serve the student body as a whole in the same way that they do.

I am majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Political Science and Spanish. In addition to being a part of the Student Environmental Alliance, I have also been involved in Advocate, Oxfam, Loyola Organized in Action, Grower’s Guild, and the Honors Students Association. My involvement at Loyola has largely been focused on social justice and environmental work, and I would like to bring that perspective to USGA. Recently USGA has undertaken commitments to sustainability and diversity, and I believe that my experience in and commitment to those fields would help to further those goals.

I hope to work for a Loyola that is sustainable, diverse, and committed to justice. We’ve done so much great work in the past few years, but there’s always more to do. If elected, I promise to commit myself fully to serving our students in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible.


Joseph R. Pellegrino

I am seeking to be elected to the position of Senior Senator in the upcoming Spring Elections and would be honored to receive your vote.  It is my desire to give back to the Loyola community, which has given and taught me so much already.

As a sophomore I was apart of Residence Hall Association as a Financial Coordinator.  As a Financial Coordinator not only did I have the experience of maintaining a budget, but also was given insight into the interests and concerns of the large portion of the student body in the residence halls.  I was also apart of the Unified Student Government Association (USGA) this year as a member of the Facilities and Transportation Committee and the Constitutional Review Board.  As a member of the Facilities and Transportation Committee I primarily helped increase the transparency between the Transportation Department and the students.  I also helped give feedback to the administration from the students aimed at improving transportation services such as the shuttle as well as 8-RIDE.  And as a member of the Constitutional Review Board I helped improve upon the USGA bylaws making them clearer and more consistent; it gave me a considerable knowledge of these bylaws in the process.  I put much effort into supporting the USGA and I am proud to say this effort was recognized, as I was awarded Senator of the Month last semester.

I love Loyola and I am extremely dedicated to everything I do here.  I am dedicated to my academics; I have earned Dean’s List honors the five semesters I have attended the university.  I am dedicated to the student body.  I guarantee this same dedication if I were elected as a Senior Senator.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully yours,
Joseph R. Pellegrino


Matthew Smith

Hello, my name is Matthew Smith, but nearly everybody calls me Smitty. I am a pre-medical student majoring in economics and minoring in Spanish and mathematics. Here at Loyola I am involved in several organizations, which include: ABI companion for Campus Ministry, student ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, member of the Loyola math club, and captain of the Loyola Sailing Team. As a soon to be fifth-year senior at LUC, these last four years have been more than amazing. The friendships and memories I have formed have been some of the greatest of my life. That is mainly why I have chosen to run for USGA Senior Representative. Loyola has given me so much more than I could have ever asked for. I owe the Loyola students, faculty, and alumni all the talents I can possibly afford. As a man for others, this desire to serve my community and peers is one of the main assets I can bring to the university. Helping others energizes me and gives me life. Primarily, I want to raise awareness amongst the students and faculty of the programs and aid that the Unified Student Government Association provides. Furthermore, I hope to strengthen the connection between the student body and its government. A direct link between the school and its students, I would assist in resolving any issues that may occur and work towards complete solidarity among all student groups. Along with the organizations that I belong to, I also possess years of experience in student government stemming back to grade school. Mainly, I was Vice President of my senior class in high school and a Creighton Hall freshman representative for Residence Hall Association. Overall, I love this university, I love being a Rambler, and I love the entire student body. As a man of the people, I would be honored to preside as a representative of the Rambler family. So please take the time to fill out the ballot online and thank you for reading this. Much love.


Rwaida Izar

When I came to Loyola my freshman year, I promised myself that I would get more involved on campus so that when I graduate in 2014, I can look back at my four years in university and say (as cliché as it may sound) that I made a difference. As a current junior, I can safely say that I have stayed true to the promise I made myself back then by playing an active role in campus organizations such as LUC Interfaith Advocates, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Muslim Student Association. Involvement in these organizations over the past couple of years has helped me grow in several ways: I’ve learned how to work well in groups, address important and controversial issues, create safe spaces for dialogue, and celebrate the diversity on our campus. Because of the work I’ve done in the past and the work I will continue to do in these organizations, I felt confident enough to take on even bigger role as a USGA senator.

I had learned of USGA’s mission my sophomore year, but was hesitant at first to apply because I was just starting to get involved in other organizations. I was not sure if I would be up to the task. I learned about all the great work that USGA does for our campus and how dedicated each and every member of USGA is as time went on. I decided that because of the previous work I have done that I was ready to take on a bigger role at this university in lending a voice to the students and being able to make a greater difference that would continue to impact present and future students at Loyola.

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