/2019-20 SGA candidates debate in Farmer

2019-20 SGA candidates debate in Farmer

SGA VP candidate Madison Hollon addresses the crowd. Photo by Ariel Hall

Current Administrative Vice President of SGA Justin Barrick and SGA President Tori Irvin led the annual debate for prospective SGA officer candidates on Monday, March 11. 

First up was Olivia Eldridge, a junior chemistry major and the sole contender for SGA president.  

Eldridge has been involved with SGA for three years, first getting started with freshman forum and then climbing the ladder, serving as executive secretary her sophomore year and as vice president this past year. 

The three points of her platform were involvement, advertising and development. One of her main focuses is to get more of the student body involved on campus. 

“Something I’d like to change is constituent reports. They are very generic with the same complaints. We are always working on them and that feedback doesn’t help us gauge what the students want,” said Eldridge. “Next year, I really want to change constituent reports to reflect what SGA is thinking about at the time. So, if there are certain things we are working on, like the bus system for example, we would have a constituent report that would ask specific questions about that.”  

SGA Vice Presidential candidates Erin Green and Madison Hollon then introduced themselves and their platforms.  

Green is a senior English major and his platform focuses primarily on two points: accountability and participation. He added that he has served in leadership positions inside and outside SGA that have helped prepare him for the role, such as his position as an SGA Senator. 

“I think that you should write legislation about something that you care about and something that can actually make a difference on this campus. Knowing the ins and outs of writing legislation is needed so that we can have bills and resolutions that are consistent,” said Green in response to a question from Irvin regarding the definition of good legislation. 

Hollon is a senior political science major and wants to become SGA’s vice president because she has grown to love the process of legislation-making.  

“It’s really helped me learn more about how important SGA is, especially to build substantial legislation and to help us provide for our students here,” said Hollon. 

Hollon’s platform is centered around sustainability and transparency.  

“Whether it would be taking out the paper of our Senate reports or maybe investing in better technology instead of having so much paper collected,” said Hollon. “I would like to make some changes in our constituent reports. I would also like to have some more transparency.”  

Sophomore political science major Alex Cochran was the sole candidate for treasurer. Cochran, who worked on the finance committee this past year, wants to continue to gather funds to enable students and organizations to attend conferences and other events. 

Because SGA’s treasurer is responsible for the distribution of funds during the fiscal year, it is important that they remain impartial when awarding funds to various groups.  

“As your treasurer, if you elect me, I will try to stay impartial as possible because I don’t think there should be any bias when it comes to giving out money to each group,” said Cochran. 

Kendall Criswell, political science major, was another solo act in her pursuit of senior class president.  

The three goals she has for the position are to represent and advocate for the senior class and organize them to become involved with the campus and city community.  

“We are seniors and I think it’s important to give back to those who have helped us get to where we are today,” said Criswell. 

SGA elections opened Monday, March 18 at 8 a.m. and closed Wednesday, March 20 at 3:30 p.m. Results were announced that same Wednesday afternoon in Farmer Hall. 

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Ariel Hall is a writer for The Alabamian. She is a senior communication studies major and enjoys reading and photography in her free time. Previously, Zoe has acted as editor in chief, lifestyles editor and advice columnist.