Meet John Tintera. He is the President of the Student Government Association from Haverford PA, Delaware County, with a double major in education and government and political affairs.
A denied funding request to attend a conference is what first attracted Tintera to SGA.
“I wasn’t happy with the system so I decided that I’m going to try and run and be in this organization, and try to change it and make it a more professional and consistent organization,” he said.
Tintera worked his way up the ranks by running for a general executive member position on the board within two weeks of joining SGA, and won the role by the end of the semester. The following year he was appointed chief justice, but still saw areas where progress could be made. Thus, shortly after, he finally decided to run for president.
Tintera defined what democracy means to him as, “Having valid opinions and everyone’s voice at the table allows an organization in a governing body to be able to make decisions that are right for the population in which they’re serving.”
This year Tintera’s focus for SGA is going to be all about advocacy and getting the word out about their structural changes.The organization is centering a theme around their purpose statement for the remainder of the year.
“It says that we strive to be a conscious and transparent governing body, and that we represent the student body,” said Tintera.
He considers one of his biggest accomplishments during his time in office as creating a new constitution and bylaws, but more specifically, “creating an avenue for all students to be able to have a voice within the student government association, have a seat at the table and have their voice be valued, because our representative system now allows that to happen,” he said.
But to get here, SGA had to overcome the challenge of up to four-hour-long meetings every Thursday night, for several weeks in a row.
The main key takeaways Tintera has learned throughout his experiences at Millersville are compromise, especially in professional settings, people’s perspective is their reality, and being engaged and being present in anything that you do.
“Because if you’re not going to be present, then why are you doing it?,” he said.
Tintera gives a piece of advice from his different experiences in leadership roles.
“Don’t criticize someone’s way of doing things, until you’ve done it yourself . . . If you think someone’s doing a bad job, just understand that they come from a different perspective, and that there are sometimes external factors that influence certain things,” he said.
Tintera would like to follow in President Wubah and his cabinet member’s footsteps, and continue to promote the engagement of students around campus.
“I think there is a new breath of life on campus and I think that anything I can do to encourage and foster an environment in a climate of engagement, inclusivity, and support for students, that is ideally what I’d like to do,” he said.
Tintera would like to see more students stay at Millersville throughout the course of their four-year college education.
“When everyone wants to see the university and the campus succeed, people tend to stay past their freshman year,” he said, “I think that certain aspects of campus are really coming together and giving that environment for people to stay engaged.”
“We’re really seeing a culture change right now at Millersville. I’m really excited about it, and I can’t wait to see when I come back in 10 years, what it looks like,” said Tintera
In the future, Tintera can see himself working either in the southeast or central PA, due to his love of Pennsylvania, where he will continue to strive to create “a better society and a better environment for people to live in.”