After spending two years on SGA and one year as a member of Exec, I’ve learned that the best perspective to bring to student government is one that leads by selflessness and uses the tangible resources SGA provides to support the overall more significant goal of making the campus community a place that all students can thrive. My platform includes large projects around campus to improve the student experience, but unlike a common trend in SGA campaigns, my candidacy is not legitimized by these projects. It’s legitimized by my dedication to elevating the work of others around me, and my strength lies in my relationships with diverse groups of people on campus. My actions with SGA as Secretary of Administration and Dining Services Chair have shown how I approach SGA as a tool to bring campus together. My connections with a diverse set of students around campus make me the most fit to be a voice of student government, a voice of the student population, and finally, Speaker of the House.
The details of my platform are outlined below:
1) Making SGA truly representative of the students on campus
a. Outline of issue: SGA fails at representing the student body by only pulling from certain groups on campus. Diversity of opinions and backgrounds strengthens SGA’s mission and connection to campus and I’ve met people from every group on campus who have something valuable and unique to contribute.
b. How my record proves my dedication to this issue: As Dining Services chair, I created an event for students to directly communicate with the Centre Dining administration. The upcoming food truck event and the sustainable mug design competition use a Dining Services approach to include student’s voices in SGA matters and bring the community together beyond group boundaries. Finally, I make a personal effort everyday to broaden my connections with people from different groups around campus.
c. How I plan on addressing this moving forward: In the past, SGA has not been actively promoted amongst all groups on campus. Instead of passively allowing for only those students initially interested in student government to approach SGA about running, I will begin next year with outreach to the underrepresented groups on campus such as international students, athletes, and non-Greek students, and recruit them to run for positions. Once the trend of making SGA more representative of the student body is initiated, it will become more sustainable each year and its cultural effects at Centre would continue far into the future.
2) Centre community compost project
a. Outline of issue: Centre has the resources to run a compost pile that would save approximately 6.000 pounds of food waste from Cowan and 6,000 pounds of dead organic matter from going to the landfill each academic year, but unfortunately it has not been utilized in recent years.
b. How my track record proves my dedication: I’ve started working on this project by speaking with Dr. Miles, a member of the grounds-keeping team, and interested students on campus. The project began with my role as Dining Services chair, and while this is where the process of composting will begin, there are many more aspects to the initiative such as coordinating workers and designing a final destination for the compost product that expand outwards from Dining Services. The role of Speaker of the House will provide the autonomy possible to lead this initiative and this project is where my relationships with a variety of groups and leaders on campus will be necessary to excel.
c. How I plan on addressing this moving forward: The first big step in this project involves finding a final destination for the compost product. This presents the opportunity to have a spot on campus that ideally uses the soil in an aesthetic or food-producing garden that reflects Centre’s sustainability and serves the student body as an outdoor space for studying and outdoor recreation. I envision a place that is used by groups like the After-School Program to have fun activities outdoors on campus or by students looking for a space to study as the weather gets warmer. I will be meeting with Centre’s administration and students to refine this vision and determine what is feasible and productive for Centre from a sustainability and recreational perspective
3) How Speaker fits my leadership style
b. How my track record proves my dedication: My leadership style is one that emphasizes bringing out the best in people’s ideas and work. I recognize that the most efficient organization is not one that only expects its members to follow the goals of its leader, but rather expects its leader to support the goals of its members. I excel in creating environments that are comfortable for everybody to participate in and helping people find and achieve the goals they are passionate about.
c. How I plan on addressing this moving forward: I will bring my own initiatives to Centre student government, but I will only be successful if SGA as a group is successful. Therefore, I will dedicate myself to elevating the work of the representatives around me through facilitating General Sessions and supporting progress among all committees in SGA. I’ll bring an enthusiasm that drives SGA as a whole to serve the student body better.