Ladies and gentlemen of Centre College, I am very excited about my candidacy for Speaker of the House and I look forward to the opportunity to get to share with you my aspirations and love for this great college. My love for this school and everyone who is a part of it is the major reason I choose to run for this position. With your help, I desire to see the following changes in our SGA model:
- I would like to encourage committee meetings to be open to the public because, as a non-SGA rep, coming to General Session can seem pretty intimidating. Opening committee meetings to students gives individuals the opportunity to go straight to the groups generating ideas in a specific realm of campus life and offer their creativity to the conversation.
- On that note, I believe it would be beneficial to require committees to create a banner advertising their regularly scheduled meeting times and display them in Cowan a few days prior to let students know when and where to go to suggest ideas.
- Simply, I believe SGA should go back to sending students the minutes from General Sessions.
Fostering an Inclusive SGA:
- SGA, at times, has the tendency to regress to partisan viewpoints and discussions of what “really matters” on campus. As you can imagine, this, inevitably, leads to unnecessary tension in the room and ineffable grudges between representatives. I think I may speak for everyone in saying I do not believe this to be the direction we should head as SGA. We, as representatives, are all elected for the same reason and, more importantly, the same purpose. We are all working to accomplish the same end, but the only way this can work is if everyone respects each other and answers the question, “what would the student body think?” rather than “what do I think,” when voting on certain motions. There are a couple ways we can accomplish this:
One thing I did this past year as Member Educator and New Member Educator for Beta was organize a diversity education session with Kiana Fields. One of the most important things to come out of that session was her educating us on the process of non-violent communication and how to better understand why people may be saying the things they say. I believe we should incorporate Kiana’s teachings into the SGA fall retreat before the year gets under-way, that way we all come into the year knowledgeable on how to appropriately express our viewpoints without coming off as insensitive to someone else’s beliefs or aspirations.
Another thing more directly related to my position as Speaker of the House would be to properly enforce Robert’s Rules of Order and maintain a professional atmosphere in our meetings. Just by holding representatives accountable to speak directly to the Speaker and not to address other representatives directly, matters become infinitely less personal, which allows us to proceed with substantive conversation on our topics rather than a series of rebuttals directed at individual representatives’ arguments. The second part of this, admittedly, will be the more difficult portion. However, I am willing to step in and be the moderator of what our representatives are saying; if that means speaking up and redirecting a comment that seems pointed at a particular individual, I will do what is necessary.
Learn and Serve:
- This one seems simple in theory, but in practice, it is the most important point of emphasis in my platform. If any of you know me at all, you know I extremely value the process of learning and am constantly looking for ways to make a good thing better. That is the beauty of what we do here at Centre, what we all do at Centre: we never stop learning. I am a firm believer that people make a place what it is, and Centre is no exception. We have the best people here at Centre and a large part of why I run for this position is because it provides me with an opportunity to continue to learn about each and every student who walks across campus, whether it be through a funding request made by your student organization, or by working closely with the other members of the exec team to figure out what the word is around campus of what you all would like to see out of us. Being a frequent proxy first-year, and a representative this year has given me a taste of what all I can learn about this school and her students, but I run for Speaker so I may delve deeper and get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look, and a direct say, in how we represent you all.
2. Finally, serving you all is why we got into SGA in the first place. Centre students are all one-of-a-kind in our own special way. That makes it all the more an honor for me to even get the chance to stand here and have the opportunity to continue to do something I love, and I don’t use that word lightly. I genuinely love this school. I recognize the immense privilege it is to be able to walk alongside some of the best people I have ever come to know and appreciate. It’s remarkable, I can honestly say there isn’t a single person I have come into contact with at Centre from which I haven’t learned something. Think about that, it blows my mind every time I ponder it. For me, that is a truly tangible testament to the quality of people who walk these grounds and being able to represent such a high caliber of human life would be one of the higher honors imaginable