SGA: Colleen McNickle Is Radford’s New President; Hopes to Continue to Listen & Fix Student Issues

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By Jeremy Moser | jmoser9@radford.edu

Radford students elected Colleen McNickle and Chase Arrington as Student Government Association (SGA) President and Vice President, respectively.

Taking place over three days, from Feb. 26-28, the elections determined ten seats; three executive board positions and seven senate positions. The polls were all conducted electronically through the My RU student portal.

The Tartan reached out to both McNickle and Arrington for interviews regarding their election.

President – Colleen McNickle

McNickle was the only person to run for SGA President. As such, she won by default.

McNickle, a junior, joined SGA as a freshman. She began with a staff cabinet position. As a sophomore, she was elected to the Senate. Before running for president, she was elected Chief Financial Officer.

As Chief Financial Officer, McNickle has overseen the funding for many other student organizations.

“That’s really eye-opening in that I see what other clubs want and need and what they’re funding is going towards,” McNickle said. “So, I think, just as president, I will try to rely on all of that experience, and of course, just make sure I’m being a good representative.”

In the projects she has worked on before, McNickle has taken steps to ensure that the programs and policies SGA members want to implement are reflective of the wants of the student body.

“The point of that was to gather their opinions, so that we didn’t move into legislation that only we wanted,” McNickle explained. “Because we wanted to make sure that the whole student body wanted it too, and that it was a necessary thing.”She spoke about one pilot program that she has been working on with the standing SGA president, Julianna Stanley, that hopes to make feminine hygiene products more available on campus.

To do this, they teamed up with Peer Health Educators to place baskets full of tampons and condoms in offices around campus. On each basket is a QR code that leads to a survey to ask if students wanted this to become a permanent program.

“The point of that was to gather their opinions, so that we didn’t move into legislation that only we wanted,” McNickle explained. “Because we wanted to make sure that the whole student body wanted it too, and that it was a necessary thing.”

The survey results have been very positive. As a result, McNickle hopes that during her presidency, SGA will be able to make the program permanent, and perhaps even add feminine hygiene product dispensers in bathrooms around campus.

“It’s been going really well, it’s going better than I thought, so I’m really happy,” she said. “Cause it seems like the women on campus – or anyone really that can utilize feminine hygiene products – definitely appreciates it, from what we’ve seen.”

Outside of this specific project, McNickle hopes to continue to gauge student opinions through surveys. SGA often hosts “What Do You Want Wednesdays” where they ask what problems students want to be fixed.

McNickle attributes her running against no one else to a lack of eligible people in SGA. To qualify as a presidential candidate, a student must have a minimum of two years of experience in SGA. Out of only a handful of people that could have run, she believes that no one else wanted to do it.

Additionally, she implores people to join SGA when they are young so that they will have the experience needed to fill executive roles later.

“If you are interested, if you feel like you’re an emerging student leader, if you feel like you really want to take on the responsibility of changing campus, the place that you love so much, you love it so much that you want to put back into the community what it’s given you, then definitely, definitely, definitely join SGA,” McNickle said.

Vice President – Chase Arrington

Arrington, a double Management and Marketing major, won the vice presidency against one other candidate, Justin Webb. He has been in SGA for two years as the senator for the Davis College of Business and Economics.

“Any students can come up to me and talk.,” Arrington said. “I’ll try to introduce myself as much as possible and let people know, ‘Hey, I’m here if you need to talk’.”Just as in the government of the United States, the SGA Vice President oversees the Senate. Arrington believes his experience as a senator will help him better lead the Senate once he takes office.

Arrington believes the primary goal of student government is to serve the students. His strategy for doing so is to be as approachable as possible.

“Any students can come up to me and talk.,” Arrington said. “I’ll try to introduce myself as much as possible and let people know, ‘Hey, I’m here if you need to talk’.”

While on the Senate, Arrington was involved in the tank-top legislation passed last year. It changed the rules at the Student Recreation and Wellness center that disallowed students from wearing tank-tops.

Both Arrington and McNickle hope to lead a productive Senate next year. The current plan is to continue doing what SGA does, listen to what students want and use their close relationship with the university administration to come to a resolution.

Other Positions

  • Samantha Powell won the position of Chief Financial Officer.
  • Students elected Krystal Lee and John Will as At-Large senators.
  • Bryce Shaar won the position of On-Campus senator.
  • The Artis College of Science and Technology won Richy Castro as its representative.
  • Anne O’Hara won the position of Waldron College of Health and Human Services senator.
  • Samuel Finley will take over as senator for Davis College of Business and Economics.
  • Mary Brown was elected as Sophomore Class Senator.

The induction ceremony where newly elected members will assume office will take place in April.

Photo Credit: (SGA – In the Featured Image is Colleen McNickle (left) and Chase Arrington (right))