Election season for Samford’s Student Government Association has rolled around yet again. On Monday, March 21, Samford students will vote to elect their new Senators, Class Officers and Student Executive Board members for the 2022-23 school year.
On Thursday, March 17, the candidates gave speeches in Reid Chapel. Each student took a turn explaining their vision and their plans for Samford they would carry out if elected.
Junior Andrew Mintz, who is running unopposed for Vice President for Events, discussed his plans to enhance Samford’s already unique community. Next, the Vice President for Senate candidates — junior Timothy Cleveland, sophomore Jada Hunter and freshman James Jefferson — took turns speaking on their goals for the SGA Senate. Cleveland spoke about how his past SGA experiences, especially as Senate Parliamentarian, and involvement on campus has qualified him for the role of VP for Senate. Hunter spoke next, highlighting her plan to emphasize “access, efficiency, and community” in her candidacy. Jefferson spoke third, expounding on his belief that the SGA Senate can greatly impact the Samford community and explaining how he plans to help Samford “soar.”
Next, the two candidates running for SGA President gave their speeches. Sophomore Micaiah Collins spoke first, outlining his goals for the future of SGA and the whole of Samford. Collins was a member of SGA’s Freshman Forum and has served in the roles of Freshman Class Vice President, Chair of the Senate Diversity Committee and Sophomore Class President.
“We should be serving the student body in such a way that they’re able to feel their skills growing and develop,” Collins said. “Our job as SGA leaders is to empower each other to use what God has given to build up people in His kingdom.”
The second candidate for SGA President, junior Peyton Lankford, gave practical ways that he plans to better SGA and the Samford community during his speech. Lankford’s SGA experience includes serving as the Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
“I hope and pray that SGA helps cultivate community and makes an eternal impact. I want this to be the goal of SGA, because we need Jesus and we need each other,” Lankford said.
Students in attendance were then given the opportunity to send in their own questions to be answered by the candidates. Candidates answered questions regarding their motivations behind running for their chosen position, the influence that their faith will have on their leadership and their plans to include underrepresented groups in decisions on campus.
This year, students will also be voting on changes made to the SGA Constitution. After weeks of discussion, these changes passed in the student Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
One of the biggest changes made to the Constitution is the addition of a new position to the Student Executive Board called the Executive Director of Diversity. According to the draft of the new SGA Constitution, the Director of Diversity “will be responsible for building and sustaining relationships that support students and organizations that focus and/or directly impact underrepresented groups on campus.”
Another change made to the Constitution is that of the qualifications of students who serve in SGA. All members of the SEB must now have a 3.0 GPA as opposed to the 2.5 GPA that was previously required for some members.
Candidates and students alike are busy preparing for election day on Monday, March 21. Throughout the day on Monday, students can vote through the Samford portal on the Constitution changes and for the next leaders of Samford.