Pianovich, Kowadlo go in-depth on their plans for UNCW


Couresty of the Pianovich-Kowaldo campaign

From left to right: SGA President-elect Nick Pianovich; Sammy C. Hawk; SGA Vice President-elect Rachel Kowaldo.

Fairley Lloyd, Assistant News Editor

It has been a few weeks since the UNC Wilmington student body elected the 2019-2020 SGA president and vice president, Nick Pianovich and Rachel Kowadlo. While much of their plans are still in progress, both Pianovich and Kowadlo went into more detail on their plans for UNCW’s campus in an exclusive interview with The Seahawk. They focused on their four main platforms: Unity, Service, Sustainability, and Growth.


Pianovich and Kowadlo plan to increase SGA’s presence on campus. One of these initiatives focuses more in-depth on Seahawk Orgs United, a new forum-type event focused on bringing student organizations together to discuss issues with the student government and connect with other organizations on campus.

This academic year, Seahawk Orgs United has occurred once a semester, but Pianovich and Kowadlo want the event to occur more frequently — about once per month.

Kowadlo wants students’ feedback on their overall experience at the forums.

“These forums are really tailored to students’ needs,” Kowadlo said. “If we know what they’re looking for, we can better serve our students’ needs.”


Pianovich and Kowadlo are planning an SGA Day of Service, which would be similar to UNCW’s Dean’s Day of Service with a focus on students working with SGA members alongside other community members on community service work. Pianovich plans to have an SGA Day of Service once per semester.

Another once-a-semester planned event is a Little Seahawk Preview Day, in which at-risk students in the community spend a day at UNCW to learn about university life and consider higher education for their future.

Pianovich said that SGA was already in talks with local schools who were onboard with the idea.

“We want to make sure we don’t overdo this event,” Pianovich said. “We want everything to go well.”


Kowadlo and Pianovich plan to educate the UNCW community more on sustainability. In addition to teaching students how to become more sustainable by having more recycling bins on campus, they want to ensure the university’s buildings are all certified in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). They also want to offer students tours of the dining halls to show how they are already being sustainable.

Kowadlo stressed the importance of the unity aspect of their platform in the sustainability area.

“We’re not qualified to give these dining hall tours, but Campus Dining does,” Kowadlo said. “We’re working with these organizations but sometimes they have more of the qualifications to carry these tasks out. In a way, we’re passing the torch to the experts.”


Pianovich and Kowadlo found that mental health is a large student concern and they plan to address the issue while time in office. They plan to create a mental health alliance to discuss these issues, which would be made up of experts in the community (such as the school’s counseling center and CARE office).

The alliance is not a part of student government, but SGA would work with the alliance by having SGA members passionate about mental health serving on the board.

“Starting a conversation started about mental health is the first step,” Kowadlo said. “We know we’re not going to change everything overnight, but we want to get this discussion rolling.”

The timeline for the mental health initiatives have not yet been in place, but Kowadlo says they plan to finalize all the initiatives over the summer so everything will be in place for the 2019-2020 academic year.

With all the initiatives Pianovich and Kowadlo have planned, both stressed the importance of collaborating with various organizations on and off-campus so the work does not rely on one group, but everyone involved.

“I believe I’ll have an excellent executive board that will guide and help us achieve our goals,” Pianovich said. “Rachel has an entire Senate behind her that’s passionate and dedicated to what we’re doing.”

Kowadlo said that the key to accomplishing their goals would be placing students in areas where they are most passionate.

“We’re not just looking to fill spots where we need people, but where people want to be,” Kowadlo said. “As I like to say, hustle and heart set you apart.”