SGA Special: Miguel Gutierrez and Andrew Pagliara

Kelsey Ruane

While Miguel “Miggy” Gutierrez and Andrew Pagliara do not compare themselves to any particular American politicians, they may well be Villanova’s first populist SGA presidential ticket.

Gutierrez and Pagliara describe themselves as true spokespeople for the student body who strive to break down the barriers between organizations and individuals. A Gutierrez-Pagliara administration will be based on rule by the many.

“It’s not GSA – it’s SGA – it’s students first,” Pagliara said. “We feel that the students are missing from the government, and we want to put the focus back on them.”

The current SGA administration has not followed through with all of its campaign promises, according to Gutierrez, who had vocalized some student concerns last year, including the lack of a printer on West campus.

“I talked to a lot of people on campus and they feel like nothing is done about the issues they care about,” Gutierrez said.

But he promises to change that.

“I realized that there was no personal and effective way to tell SGA if there is a problem, which is why our town hall meetings will be important,” he said, explaining that his administration will make the meetings more accessible to students.

Running on a platform of “transparency,” Gutierrez and Pagliara hope to give the average student a clearer view of SGA’s goals and progress.

Their platform is a fluid workingdraft – shaped by the students and continually open to suggestions – indicated by the list of specific ideas posted on the candidates’ Facebook page. Gutierrez insisted that his administration could successfully accomplish every item on that list.

“Don’t be concerned with what our platform actually is,” Gutierrez said. “You’re the people who need to decide what you want.”

“We are Dougherty outsiders looking to make a difference,” he said.

Though they might call themselves outsiders because they have never been members of SGA, they could hardly be called outsiders of the Villanova community. Both are heavily involved and hold leadership positions in a multitude of extracurricular activities.

Gutierrez is currently the fundraising chair of of Villanova Singers and was elected treasurer for next year. For the past two years, he has been a leader for the Multicultural Students League’s weekend retreat, where he and Pagliara first met in 2007. He also hosts his own show on VTV, “Sportstime: Miggy Flavored Sports Show.”

Pagliara is social chair of the rugby team, which remains a large organization despite its lack of university funding.

Although Pagliara applied and was rejected from SGA last year, he has remained passionate about improving campus, taking the initiative to meet with Dining Services and eliciting suggestions from his peers.

In a first step to familiarize himself with SGA protocol, Gutierrez admitted that he carries around a copy of the SGA election rule book – a testament to his candid demeanor and straightforward approach to the campaign.

“I just want to make sure everybody plays by the rules – including us,” Gutierrez said.

He asked Pagliara to be his vice president after his orignal running mate withdrew due to time constraints.

“I did not think to run for president until two weeks before spring break when I realized enough people had vocalized their support for me,” Gutierrez said.

In fact, much of their campaign exudes that same raw, spontaneous energy. At the debate, they openly declared their desire for nonconformity and informality, standing up from their seats and loosening their ties.

“We’re definitely not your typical, scripted candidates,” Gutierrez said.

“There are some things – a lot of things – that are wonderful here, but there are things that need to change,” Pagliara said. “Win or lose, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing to make those changes.”