New SGA executives need to focus on change

Our View

Six of the seven positions on the Executive Council of the Student Governor Association have candidates running unopposed in this year’s SGA elections. Unless a write-in candidate receives more votes than the current candidate, the SGA Executive Council will consist of President Jimmy Taylor, Executive Vice President Will Pylant, Vice President for External Affairs Parker Graham, Vice President for Academic Affairs Allison Montgomery, Vice President for Financial Affairs Chris Willis and Vice President for Student Affairs Hamilton Bloom.

Emily Passwaters and Mary Wills are both campaigning to become executive secretary. The Crimson White interviewed all of the unopposed candidates, except Parker Graham, as a group. Graham was interviewed independently because of a scheduling conflict.

Following the interview, we believe all the candidates are suited for their positions and will be able to fulfill the responsibilities of their respective offices. Each candidate brought new ideas to the table as well as ideas to continue or expand projects from last year they believed to be successful.

When a candidate runs unopposed for any office, they have the luxury of not having to be as concerned about their opinions and ideas costing them the election. This gives them the opportunity to break from the status quo to either go against previous policies they felt were unsuccessful or create new policies from which previous administrations may have shied away.

However, five of the six unopposed candidates did not seem to have any plans to break away from the previous years of the SGA – when asked to list any weaknesses from the previous administration, no one in the group meeting answered. The candidates also plan to attempt to organize another RAGE Concert, which lost $50,000 more than it gained for scholarships. In his independent interview, Graham said he is also interested in looking into putting on another RAGE Concert this year, but only if the logistics of it could be worked out. He was the only candidate not adamant about keeping the tradition alive. Graham also asserted that reducing the unnecessary politics of the SGA would enable the branch to operate more efficiently and acknowledged stereotypes and separation between different groups of people on campus and said he would enact programs that will help unify campus.

Graham’s honesty about issues he’s seen within the SGA and his willingness to attempt to change them are things the other candidates should mirror as they begin to work together. Every SGA administration is going to have strengths and weaknesses; it is the job of the new administrations to learn from the mistakes, not blindly follow the path laid out for them. In their first meetings, the new Executive Council should be honest with themselves about the problems they’ve seen in the SGA and immediately begin to work through them.

Our View is the consensus of The Crimson White Editorial Board. Chief Copy Editor Ashanka Kumari and Opinion Editor John Brinkerhoff did not participate in this editorial.