SGA Elections and Presidential Debate
Student Center- LVIS
First: You should know how to vote. Log in to the GetInvolved site at ggc.edu. Above the “Events and News” box there should be a little banner with a clickable link that says “Vote Now!” Once you click it you will be led to the instruction page and can proceed from there. Beside each candidate’s name there is an icon which shows the candidate’s answers to questions about the role of the SGA. All students can vote for executive offices (like the president) and the Judicial Council, but the senate seats are slightly different. Students who have a declared major can only vote for the senators running to represent their school, but undeclared majors can vote for Liberal Arts as well. There are a lot of positions in the Student Government. Here’s a quick rundown of the students who introduced themselves at the meeting Tuesday, and the school they will represent:
Erin Lucier – Business (Senate Chairperson)
Esmeralda Trevino – Education
Ana Bedon –Business
Dreyvis Perez – Business
Aizaz Shaidh – Business
Mychaela Garner – Health Sciences
Tammy Lu – Science and Technology
Akeia Lyles – Health Sciences
Flurim Aliu – Liberal Arts
Fethi Basha – Science and Technology
Ivan Magana – Science and Technology
Obu Obu – Science and Technology
Students running for Judicial Council:
* Other students may be running for office that were not in attendance at the event *
There is a lack of time and perspective involved when it comes to GGC’s elections. The deadline for students to submit the application to run is March 16th. Those students who are accepted have about 2 days to submit their campaign materials for approval. Campaigning cannot begin until March 21st. The elections are held from March 25-27th, and there is one official event to meet the candidates and for the presidential candidates to debate. The LVIS event was only available for one hour, so the debate between President Chase Goodwin and Senator Joshua Sims consisted of 8 questions decided on and asked by the Election Committee and 1 question asked by a student in the audience. Current Vice-President Esteban Gonzalez spoke for about 30 seconds and Mr. Sims’ Vice-Presidential candidate Keiota Jones was absent due to illness. Ms. Jones has also been absent for Judicial Council meetings so far this semester.
There are many ways that the candidates are similar. They both agree that students need to become more involved, and that athletics and non-traditional students are important and should be supported. However, there are some important ways in which they differ and these represent different visions for the school moving forward.
The first major difference is on a stipend that is paid to the President and Vice-President every semester, $1,200 and $800 respectively. President Goodwin believes that the stipend is important, and allows the President to devote more time to being involved on campus rather than needing a part-time job to make it through school. His contention is that the job of being President is a demanding one, and that the number of hours devoted per week to the office make the stipend less than minimum wage. There are conditions on the money and it can be taken away if the candidate in office does not live up to the expectations. Mr. Sims says he would not accept the stipend, and that it should not be a part of holding the office. He believes that service should be the number one reason for becoming president, not money. Mr. Sims accused President Goodwin of hurting the relationship with the administration by asking for more stipend money. President Goodwin denied this, saying that the stipend was created by the administration before he came to office. Goodwin also explained that he is willing to fight with the administration as he did when the school did not accept an offer to host former President Jimmy Carter on campus for free. President Goodwin when asked after the debate said that the stipend doesn’t go to his personal use and he would run for President with or without it.
Another major difference is on the subject of fraternities and sororities on campus. President Goodwin fully supports bringing in Greek Life and introduced the idea as a Freshman senator. He believes that fraternities and sororities are about service to the community, and that they will help bridge the gap between students at GGC. Mr. Sims is against fraternities and sororities on campus. He believes they represent the negative aspects of college life and increase the chances of drug and alcohol use as well as risky sexual behavior. Mr. Sims says that he is personally opposed to Greek Life, but if it is the will of the students then he won’t stand in the way.
The question becomes what you the student believe is the vision of GGC for the future and what makes the SGA as effective as possible. Should the president be given a stipend for his or her service? Does having a stipend in place serve as a reason to get elected to office and stay there or does it provide a way for a student of lesser means to be able to achieve the same office, regardless of finances? We certainly don’t want to show favoritism to those of greater means, but we also don’t want students to seek the office for monetary gain.
Should GGC become more like a traditional college campus and have fraternities and sororities, and should that be a focus of the SGA? Do fraternities and sororities give more options to the students for networking and service, or do they provide a distraction to learning while facilitating the use of drugs and an increase in the chance for sexual assault? Perhaps the introduction of Greek life could serve to connect students on campus where there is traditionally very little connection and communication between commuters, residents, and athletics.
And finally, it comes to how you believe effective governance happens. President Goodwin has been in this role for a year. He knows the processes behind how things happen at the school and has a relationship with the administration, which he described as “love/hate.” President Goodwin because of his role has a deeper knowledge of the college’s plans and who to contact to get things done. Mr. Sims believes that he would better represent the needs of all students, needs which he says aren’t being answered now. He says he does not want the role of president for his own gain and would not take the stipend it comes with; he only wants to serve the students. Would his service mean revitalized efforts, or would his service prove an uphill battle where President Goodwin has already laid the foundations for change?
Voting ends on March 27th at 5pm, tables will be set up around campus to make voting easier. Take the time available to get to know the candidates and the issues, then go vote!
As always, if you need more information we are here to help! Contact us at TheGlobeGGC@gmail.com, @TheGlobe_GGC or www.Facebook.com/TheGlobeatGGC