SGA elections preview

By Danielle Marsh

Student Government elections are this week on Monday and Tuesday. And if you haven’t noticed, it is the first time that the college has had more than one candidate running for each office.

Whether it is offering smoothies, hotdogs or brownies, each party has offered something different to help themselves stand out.

One candidate for SGA president is Brandon Collins, who is presenting a different approach to winning the election. Instead of promising to work on issues such as parking or more lighting, Collins is focusing issues like getting microfridges for all students and not just a select few who can order them. In addition to microfridges, he is focusing on ways to make media readily available to the students by proposing offering basic cable in all the dorm rooms, a free newspaper like The New York Times for all students and a bigger collection of DVDs in Proctor Library for students to watch. Finally, he intends to make the campus more environmentally friendly by having a “basic recycling program.”

When asked about the unusual issues he is choosing to tackle, Collins said, “The SGA president is supposed to come up with a different approach to reach the students.”

What makes Collins unique in this election is that he isn’t running with several other members – he’s running alone.

Another candidate for president, Rich Harris, says if elected he will take “integrity, dedication and determination” with him in to office. Harris has been in SGA for two years as secretary and feels he has the qualifications to lead Flagler as its president next year.

“We need to push for a system that actively achieves our goals,” Harris said. He also said that SGA needs to work with administration to get policies passed and to do this in a respectful manner. Harris commends his fellow opponents on their ideas, but said he is the best option to get the job done.

Those that are actively involved in SGA might look at Harris and say that nothing has gotten accomplished and that the same issues are still present.

The third candidate for SGA president is Grant Gillenwater, who is trying his hardest to earn votes, even sending out mass friend invites to students on Facebook. Gillenwater has four main focal points: parking, lighting, a green campus and a student bill of rights. During his speech on Thursday he mentioned potholes in Kenan and how they are hazardous. When questioned why he was pushing to get the parking lot repaved even though Kenan is already scheduled to be repaved early this week, he was puzzled and unaware of the actions the school had already taken to solve this issue. Later in a mass e-mail, he said that he is pushing for “improved on campus parking.”

Next he plans to have more lighting on campus, which he feels will make for a safer campus. He also wants to have “a green campus” in which on-campus recycling facilities can be found. At first, he says, he hopes to have plastic, then cans and paper. Lastly, Gillenwater wants to propose a “Student Bill of Rights” that requires more student engagement. Gillenwater said that it would be “a document created by the students that they would be obligated to respect and uphold.”

Vice presidential candidates for SGA consist of Emily Bermann and Kaitlyn Maris. These two women assert that they have the needed qualities to lead Flagler College in the coming year.

Emily Bermann is a resident advisor, a student station manager for WFCF, the college radio station and a member of the campus concerns committee for two years. She said she has “heard and dealt with every single issue” on campus and believes that there is a way to take action on these issues. She said SGA has found “a way to make change” and she will see to it that this change continues.

She encourages students to vote for who they feel will do the best job. And if elected she feels that the student body will not regret their decision.

“Running for a reason, and the reason is you” is the slogan that Kaitlyn Maris and her fellow running mates have chosen to represent themselves with.

“A lack of communication between the administration and the student body,” is a key issue for SGA, Mairs said.

Mairs has held several leadership positions and is a member of Phi Alpha Omega. She said that Flagler should make more efforts to get lobbyists, senators and other government officials to come to the college so the student body can be heard.

When asked if there was a preference for who wins the presidency, Ellie Baggett, the current SGA president said, “I think that they all would do a great job at leading our school because they have a lot of things to offer.”

Even though most candidates are running as a group, voters are not required to vote for the whole party.

As a freshman at Flagler, Sara Brown, a candidate for secretary, feels that she has enough experience to lead in SGA as a key member. If elected she gives us her “intentions” of keeping the SGA website as up to date as possible, and becoming a “voice to the Flagler students.”

Christopher Lauth gave a lively speech that called for the student body to vote for his whole platform. He was heavily involved in SGA in high school and has an “ambition for improved student life.” If elected, his main goal as secretary is to involve the students and seeks for “the betterment of Flagler College.”

Alana Cadiz is a spunky freshman who delivered a speech that showed her preparedness to take on the position of treasurer. When giving her speech Cadiz says that she has high hopes for SGA, and she wants to help them achieve all of their goals. She also has plans to make the student government “more engaging and effective” for the students.

Another candidate for treasurer is Katlyn Cinelli, a junior who “truly loves Flagler College.” She makes a good effort to show her credentials and how much she wants to see Flagler flourish. However, she does criticize the current SGA members for being “lazy and apathetic” because they get nothing done. Cinelli, hopes to change this with her many leadership qualities.

Eric Tirro has been involved with SGA for the past two years and believes that he is well prepared for a position as treasurer. He wants students to be involved, to have their voices heard. He stands by the fact that involving the students “takes initiative.” Which is a quality he claims to have.

The last candidate for treasurer is Gail Connor who seemed lacking in a direction when she said that she “doesn’t have any goals” for SGA as of yet. She did however valiantly encourage students to “try and get involved.”

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