Six SGA candidates speak at final meeting

Ethan Metcalf

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Students listen during the final Student Government Assocation meeting of the semester in Clark Student Center Shawnee Theater Tuesday night. Photo by Lauren Roberts

Students listen during the final Student Government Assocation meeting of the semester in Clark Student Center Shawnee Theater Tuesday night. Photo by Lauren Roberts

Six of seven candidates for Student Government Association positions briefly spoke to about 40 students at the final SGA meeting of the semester on April 15. Candidates gave reasons for running and spoke about their goals for office if elected.

Most of the students in attendance were senators who are chosen by their respective organizations to represent them at SGA meetings, and 31 active organizations were not present.

Melody Gregory, mechanical engineering senior and SGA president, said the election is important because it decides which students will represent student body concerns to the administration.

“This is who is going to be representing you, the face of who’s going to tell your opinions and be that voice for you,” Gregory said. “If we weren’t here then the administration would do what they thought was best, which could always be right, but it could be wrong in many cases. We’re here to always kind of push for something that the students should be wanting.”

Rebecca Stogner, political science senior and candidate for president, and Marco Torres, nursing senior and senior senator candidate, already won their election as they are running unopposed.

Gregory said SGA members did not publicize the special meeting more than normal meetings.

“That was kind of up to [the candidates] because it is part of the campaigning,” Gregory said.

Students listen during the final Student Government Assocation meeting of the semester in Clark Student Center Shawnee Theater Tuesday night. Photo by Lauren Roberts

Students listen during the final Student Government Assocation meeting of the semester in Clark Student Center Shawnee Theater Tuesday night. Photo by Lauren Roberts

Rachel Whatley, radiology senior and secretary candidate, said in a Wichitan survey that the university could fix its flat enrollment broadening its target audience.

“My top priority is to encourage active student involvement on campus. I want the students to take part in decision making on campus, and I think the SGA is a great opportunity to do that,” Whatley said.

David Joseph, marketing and mass communication major and secretary candidate, said his experience in marketing and editing the tourism magazine Beautiful Barbuda will help him promote MSU.

“You’ve got to take the matter into your own hands and employ a marketing strategy to maintain and develop your product and service.  After all, no one will visit you if they’ve never heard of you,” Joseph said.

Roylyka Roache, junior in English and candidate for vice president, said she wants students to come together for campus events, and promote more diverse service projects.

“As students we need to come together and find a common ground so we can better our university, not only for the students who are here now, but for those students that are yet to come,” Roache said in her address. “My top priority would be to ensure that the concerns of the students are voiced and brought to the attention of relevant parties. Also, continue striving towards increasing enrollment and try to get more organizations involved in different volunteer work within the community.”

Philip Mundine, mass communication senior and candidate for vice president, said he also wants to help unify the campus and increase student participation.

“We’re not just Greeks, we’re not just SGA, we’re not just UPB, Carib, ASO. We are Mustangs first and foremost. I would like to bring back campus unity because I feel like we cannot do this alone,” Mundine said. “I will meet with various clubs and organizations, so that the students involved will see a representative of SGA and can become familiar with it. I also would like to do a club/organization spotlight, and invite a representative to come speak at an SGA meeting.”

Kyle Gordon, mechanical engineering senior and final candidate for vice president, did not speak at the meeting.

Gregory said the candidates’ emphasis on increasing student involvement was actually one of the hardest parts of her term as SGA president.

“The hardest part is trying to make it bigger and better and make more students know about it. We’ve done a little bit better from last year, and last year we did a little bit better than the year before, but it’s only been small steps,” Gregory said. “We have one of the best senates because other senates only have representatives from each college.”

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