This Monday marked the beginning of Student Government Association election week with a debate among all the students running for office. In total, eight people are running for office. On Monday there was a debate held where the students discussed their feelings on the tank top debacle, designated smoking areas, and how they would make SGA a priority in their everyday lives.
Running for Freshman Class Senator is Abigail Pearl, Crystal Lee, Chase Arrington, and Johnathan Borsellino. First up to the stage was Abigail and Crystal. The first question was, how would you prioritize SGA in your daily life? Crystal responded with, “Out of all the clubs I’m interested in, student government is my number one. This is the only organization that seems most involved, gives me a purpose and will help me get to know my peers. I want to talk to them and hear their concerns, and I just feel like there’s no better place to be than student government.”
Abigail was asked the next question, “What is one area that needs the most improvement on campus?” Abigail said she believed the safety of the students was what needed the most improvement. “We have many clubs that do this, but they mainly focus on women, and we need to work on keeping all of us, altogether safe. We also need to improve on keeping the environment, our campus cleaner. We need to pick up after ourselves. This is our university and our home. We need to treat it as such, and not like trash.” Abigail also answered the same question Crystal was given. She said her student government in high school made her realize she could have a voice and help people, which is why she chose to become involved in SGA.
Next up to the podium was Chase Arrington and Johnathan Borsellino. During his opening statement Chase mentioned having designated smoking areas for students on campus, so the first question, “how would you feel about a campus-wide smoking ban,” was directed towards him. “Well,” Chase started, “if you’re going to smoke, that’s fine. Just don’t blow it in other people’s faces, that’s rude and disrespectful. I don’t think we should ban it campus-wide, just make designated smoking areas.” Johnathan was them given a chance to speak on the subject as well. “I love the idea of designated smoking areas!”
Johnathan had the next question which was, “What is your definition of social justice and how will you help students dealing with social justice issues?” Johnathan responded with, “I think social justice is when someone has a problem and they’re not able to do anything about it. That’s what I would do; I would be there to help them and talk about that.”
The three candidates running for On-Campus Senator made their way to the stage next, Christian Davis, Trenton Snead, and Dre Tillery. Christian answered the first question, “What experience do you have that you think will help get you elected?” “As I mentioned in my opening statement,” He started, “I have experience will the military and training with them, I have also been involved with multiple political campaigns in the 5th district, and I won a prize for being the number one outreach program coordinator.”
Next, the moderators asked Dre how we would prioritize SGA in his daily life. “Believe it or not, this is my least busy of all years, since I am a senior. It’s going to be balanced. I am the president of the Residence Hall Association, so I’m a pretty busy person, but SGA will become a part of my daily routine, my daily ritual.”
Christian was then asked which area of campus he felt needed the most improvement. “So, in the first weekend, there are so many activities going on that it’s just overwhelming. Then after that weekend ends and classes starts, everything stop. There aren’t enough things that keep freshman coming out and meeting people. As a freshman, I don’t always know about events happening on campus until I walk by and see it happening. Then it’s too late because I haven’t planned to attend this event. I think we need to do a lot more to get freshman involved and help them transition because this is a scary time.” Dre added onto that with an idea to team up with ResLife so that students will get to know their RA, and the RA will be able to tell them about events they’re aware of.
Drew Wolford is also on the ballot, but couldn’t make it to the debate due to an exam, so next, we have Borian Moffo, running for Military Service Senator. Borian has served in the military before. He told a story about himself and his group of friends that served together being recognized, out of uniform, because of the diversity of the group. Borian was asked for his definition of social justice and how he would help students facing social justice issues. He responded with, “We need to help students feel more welcome when they come here.” He also agreed with the idea of designated smoking areas, “Chase has only been here for a month and having people blow smoke in his face? That’s not right, that’s not having common courtesy.”
The results of this election should come out Thursday night; results will be posted in following issues.