SGA Induction Ceremony Held, New Position Created

October 5, 2022


Photo By Enrico Trujillo
The 2022-2023 SGA senators were sworn in and selected for positions on Oct. 4. L-R: SGA Staff Advisor Cami Hartman; Sen. Marissa Tafoya; Sen. Adrian Rodriguez; Sen. Juan Carlos Rodriguez; Vice President Kyle Knyazev-Julinski; SGA liaison to the chancellor Kenyon Olsen; Sen. Manuel Baca-Villalobos; Treasurer Maximillian Knyazev-Julinski; Secretary Sydnie Pino; President Madelynn Gonzales-Mascarenas; and SGA Staff Advisor Chenoa Velarde.


This Student Government Association (SGA) election year had a unique, but exciting opportunity come to the UNM-Taos table — instead of the up to nine senator candidates, there were 10. Not all years have even had nine candidates.

Not wanting to leave one person out of serving the 2022-2023 term, once all the candidates were voted in, the 10th candidate would serve in a suggested role created by Chancellor Mary Gutierrez. That new role includes being an SGA liaison to the chancellor, responsible for meeting with her once a month to fill her in on what SGA is working on. They will also be an alternate in case a senator resigns, and will serve as an SGA representative on the College Council.

Kenyon Olsen will be taking on the new role with a title and detailed duties to be created by Olsen, and SGA Staff Advisors Chenoa Velarde and Cami Hartman. 

“This is nice. It’s never been done before. I’m excited about it,” Olsen said.

Further, the senators will be taking on a revision of the SGA Bylaws and Constitution to update processes and make the 10th position a potential role for student government in future years. 

Last year, Olsen’s younger brother, Kayl Rainer, served as SGA president. Olsen mentioned to his brother that a student lounge is needed at Klauer campus. The wheels began to roll on that project and it’s a priority for the new senators to complete it.

Another top priority going into their year term is to transform the Klauer Loop Trail into a fitness trail, with help from Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. 

After the induction ceremony the morning of Oct. 4 in Padre Martinez Hall, the new senators gathered for their first meeting and to appoint positions. They named Madelynn Gonzales-Mascarenas, president; Kyle Knyazev-Julinski, vice president; Sydnie Pino, secretary; and Maximillian Knyazev-Julinski, treasurer. The remaining senators are Manuel Baca-Villalobos, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Logan Martinez, Adrian Rodriguez, and Marissa Tafoya. 

The high number of student interest reflects that young people want to be involved. They want to volunteer. They want to learn about and experience leadership roles. 

“This is a special day,” Gutierrez said at the ceremony. “We have a record number of students serving our community and our school.”

Given the size of the group, Gutierrez focused her advice on practicing good communication with each other. 

Randi Archuleta, dean of instruction, commented that this year’s SGA group is the largest she’s seen in 20 years. “We’ve always wanted to see students lead on campus. They’ll not only be serving campus, but the community and will learn more about how democracy works in the process.”