Matt Talone and Sabrina Balent elected as 2020-2021 SGA president and VP



2020-2021 SGA VP Sabrina Balent and Preisdent Matt Talone.

Veronica Wernicke, Opinion Editor

Every year UNC Wilmington students are given the opportunity to vote for the next school year’s upcoming Student Government Association student body president and vice president.  On April 13, 2020, Matt Talone and Sabrina Balent were announced as the new president and vice president, respectfully, for the 2020-2021 school year.  

Prior to their election, Talone served as chief of staff under the current president, Nicholas Pianovich, and vice president, Rachel Kowadlo. This will be Balent’s first involvement with SGA.

The Seahawk reached out to Talone, but he was unavailable for comment. 

Matt and I care about UNCW and the Seahawk experience with our entire hearts,” wrote Balent. “This university has shaped us into the man and woman we are today. As heavily involved students that have fallen in love with our time as Seahawks, we felt a responsibility to create the best experiences possible for other UNCW students. Representing UNCW as student body president and student body vice president was the next step to take to make those wishes come true.”

Balent wrote that she and Talone are looking forward to taking on their new roles next school year. They have several things they would also like to accomplish during their time in office. 

“Divestment from fossil fuels, raising student wages, providing larger offices to the diversity centers (Upperman, Centro, LGBTQIA+), developing an ongoing clothing drive similar to Hawk’s Harvest, providing free feminine hygiene products in campus bathrooms, working with career center for furthering the development and advancement of UNCW’s Career Closet and having schools host events similar to Make the Most of Your Major (Communication Studies) and Business Week (Cameron School of Business),” wrote Balent. 

Balent thought her and Talone’s campaign was successful because they were able to see eye-to-eye on the platforms they ran on. 

We had multiple meetings with each other before campaigning to discuss changes we hoped to implement and improve throughout UNCW,” wrote Balent. “We felt as though it was important to provide tangible examples to the student body of how we would act towards our platform. Our supporters appreciated this. They knew they were voting for real change.”

The four pillars they ran on were sustainability, advocacy, opportunity and futuristic.

“Sustainability [as in] our commitment to making UNCW a more “green” and sustainable campus,” wrote Balent. “Advocacy [wise] as SGA representatives, we have the duty to be a voice for the entire student body and their needs/concerns. Opportunity [as in] the idea that all Seahawks deserve equal grounds for success during their time at UNCW and futuristic [as in] creating experiences and providing resources that UNCW students can take beyond their undergraduate careers at UNCW.”

As Balent and Talone take on their new roles at UNCW, they look forward to serving their fellow Seahawks. 

“I have loved my time as a Seahawk,” wrote Balent. “I feel lucky to have worked for/with faculty and staff that have truly cared about my academics and professional development. I look forward to creating the best experience possible for UNCW students so that they adopt UNCW as their home away from home.”