New Student Government Officers Are Sworn In


Courtesy of Caroline Levine

Caroline Levine was sworn in as Student Body President, Ivanica Skalko as Vice President, and Kristian Olvera as VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Katie Reed, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 31, the new leaders of the University’s Student Government Association, SGA, were sworn into their positions.  Caroline Levine was sworn in as Student Body President, Ivanica Skalko was sworn in as Vice President and Kristian Olvera was sworn in as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is the first time anyone has held that position in SGA. The ceremony took place over Zoom, but Levine, Skalko and Olvera’s friends and family were able to attend the event, which, as they all expressed, made the moment even more special for them.

“We have a couple central goals that we want SGA to focus on in the next year,” Skalko said. “The first is in regards to mental health advocacy and awareness, as we know this has been an incredibly trying year for students and that more support and resources are needed in this area. Specifically, we want to work on expanding the limit of counseling sessions in the Counseling Center, working to increase the number of counselors from diverse backgrounds and identities and also expanding the University’s counseling services to offer long-term care for students off-campus.

In addition to this goal, SGA wants to make sure they prioritize transparency with the school’s administration and hold it accountable for these changes. They want to make sure when students return for the fall, they can enjoy a greater sense of community that was disturbed by the pandemic.

The main changes that students can expect to see in the structure of SGA is that it will be better equipped to centralize diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and the University.

“We have elevated the position of Director of DE&I to Vice President of DE&I, and additionally, we have created a Caucus on Underrepresented Student Affairs (CUSA) that will provide student organizations that represent underrepresented students on our campus with a direct line of communication with SGA,” Levine said. “I want to thank Kashae Garland, Austin Lin and Derek Lattmann for working throughout the past year to implement these changes.”

As the new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Olvera will be instrumental in helping everyone on campus feel like they belong here and that their voices are heard. He was nominated for his position by Levine and Skalko because of the remarkable work he did serving on the Executive Boards of Get Woke Nova and the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) on campus.

“I want to help marginalized students have a space on campus where they could be themselves and be comfortable doing so, not excluding anyone at all,” Olvera said. “Also, trying to make SGA more inclusive of underrepresented students, such as its members, and that does not mean only race and ethnicity. I want to ensure that all students have a voice and can have a role in acting upon different needs of underrepresented students, such as those who have disabilities, those who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), international students, etc.”

Olvera is excited to begin his position in SGA and continue the impactful work he has accomplished on campus.

“In the past, DE&I has been put on the backburner in SGA and the school as a whole, but now I really want to make sure that this does not happen ever again, especially since I have an amazing team with Caroline and Iva and the DE&I Department,” Olvera said. “I am really excited to help establish the groundwork of various DE&I initiatives on campus for future students and help set a precedent that they could follow.”

Skalko echoed similar sentiments about looking forward to the new academic year. 

“I see a lot of different ways that SGA can help students, especially in the next year as we transition into some sense of normalcy, and I am just really looking forward to putting our ideas for students into action,” Skalko said.

Levine, who served as Vice President of SGA last semester with Amanda Rappa, already knows the ropes and is ready to tackle being President.

“What I am most excited about in this new position is the opportunity to set the tone for the entire organization and to challenge both the organization and the greater Villanova community to consider the responsibility we each have to make our campus a place everyone can call home,” Levine said.