By Rebekah Crozier
On March 18, students running for the Student Government Association’s Student Executive Board for the upcoming school year gave their candidate speeches to the student body.
The first to speak was the candidate for vice president for Events. Even though Caroline Coleman is running unopposed, she wanted the student body to hear her plans for the Student Activities Council. Coleman is a junior political science and JMC double major. She has been involved in the SAC since her freshman year and became a director her sophomore year. Coleman is excited that Samford plans to return to normal operations in the fall and that the SAC will be able to plan events like it used to.
“I believe next year is our year to go big,” Coleman said.
The students then heard from the three candidates running for vice president for Senate. Caroline Bass, sophomore history major and SGA senator, was the first to speak. Bass said that she wants to help other students find the same community in the Senate that she found, as well as improve communication between the Senate and the student body.
“I want every student organization and every student to feel well-represented and well-advocated for in Senate,” Bass said.
The next speech was given by Tim Cleveland, a junior exercise science major who serves as a senator on the Academic Affairs Committee. Cleveland began his speech by saying that he has recently been talking with students about the challenges that they face on campus. He said he has five objectives for his time as vice president for Senate: to improve parking across campus, examine core university classes that are offered, upgrade the cafeteria, work with Residence Life to update residence buildings and increase SGA’s voice and power.
“I want to be the type of leader that presents attainable goals, measurable goals and ones that you can care about, be involved in and vote on,” Cleveland said.
Cole Powers was the last candidate for vice president for Senate to speak. Powers is a sophomore international relations major with a double minor in french and business. Powers has been serving as the chair of the Community Life Committee in Senate.
“If elected as VP for Senate, I would commit myself to these three goals: unity, action and results,” Powers said.
Powers continued his speech to discuss his intent to l place an importance on listening to the student body and actively working on constituent reports that are submitted by students. He also said he desires to help the Senators grow in their leadership skills.
The two candidates for SGA president were the last to speak. Tristan Mullen, junior history and legal studies double major, was the first to give his speech. Mullen brought to light conversations that he has held with minority students who have told him that they do not feel well-represented by SGA. Mullen then proceeded to say that he wishes to build connections with minority organizations on campus and make sure all Samford students feel heard.
“I plan to be the SGA president for all students, not just some. I plan to be an advocate for all students, not just some,” Mullen said.
The last candidate to speak was Tyler Kendall. In the past, Kendall has been involved in SGA as a member of Freshman Forum, a sophomore advisor for Freshman Forum, sophomore class president, chair for the Student Life Committee and current vice president for Senate.
Kendall began his speech by sharing that the most important thing to him about Samford is the community that he has found. Kendall then continued to give practical examples of ways that he will achieve each of his four goals if elected as SGA president.
“I plan to create unity across campus, increase student advocacy, have complete and total transparency and have SGA as a whole be more approachable,” Kendall said.
Elections for all these positions, as well as for Senate and Class Officers, occurred on March 22. The student body is currently awaiting the results of the election to see what SGA will look like for the 2021-22 school year.