The four candidates vying for the position of SGA president met on Aug. 27 to hold a debate before this week’s election.
Eddie Davis, John Gasson, Rachael Swokowski and Evan Brock sat in four arranged chairs on the stage of Farmer Hall. Each took turns responding to questions asked by Vice President Jonathan Evans and students.
The candidates addressed the audience with an opening statement. Each explained their majors and general qualification backgrounds.
They were first asked why they were running for the position. Davis has lived in Montevallo for 16 years and wishes to have a bigger role in its growing development. Gasson plans to increase student participation. He revealed not being involved much last year, and thought it proactive to start with “a problem of myself.”
Swokowski painted herself as a strong leader. Her priority is focusing on students’ needs and said serving the student body as president “would be an honor and a privilege.”
Brock revealed that he heard about the position via a Broadcast email. The senior history major thinks of his campaign as “one last chance for me to help give back.”
Evans then asked the candidates to sum their campaigns up in one word. Davis answered with “honesty.” Gasson stuck to his campaign slogan with “determination.” Swokowski stated “participation” in reference to active student interest, while Brock decided on “enthusiasm.”
The candidates were then asked who they were running for. Brock went first, stating that he is running to prove “anything is possible” to students. Swokowski is running for the student body and hopes to be someone students can turn to.
Gasson’s reason for running was identical to Swokowski’s. He promoted the idea of the school’s general population leading most of the decisions. “Why not make it what you want it to be?” he reasoned. Davis followed the lead of his fellow candidates, and hopes to be the source of answers to any concerned questions.
Evans’ final question for the candidates concerned the importance of the student body casting their votes. All of the potential presidents agreed voting was essential to students’ voices being heard.
The floor was then opened to those who had been watching in the audience. The four on stage were asked how they planned to time manage such a prominent position. Swokowski spoke up first, assuring her experience in SGA and impressive academic record represented her effective time management skills.
Brock, on the other hand, believes he will have to make “cuts” in his schedule, perhaps forgoing his place on the track team to set aside presidential planning time. Gasson is wary of a few minor adjustments, but believes himself to be fully capable of balancing the job well.
Davis revealed already making necessary changes to his schedule in order to preserve a healthy amount of work time.
One of Davis’ fraternity brothers asked what “physical changes” the school could expect to see once one of the candidates is chosen.
Brock began a trend by mentioning the lack of parking spaces around campus. He could not produce a plan to implement this change, however. The other candidates briefly touched on parking spaces as a primary concern among other student needs as well.
The final question of the debate asked the four hopefuls why they thought they were the most qualified for the position.
Gasson named his leadership roles in his fraternity and previous experience in SGA as valid proof of his ability.
Swokowski first retorted the question by briefly mentioning how anyone was qualified to run under the university’s constitution. She then re-mentioned her academic achievements and referenced meeting congressmen in D.C. as a sign of her diligence.
Brock and Davis listed their previously stated positions in SGA and athletics as proof of their leadership abilities.
The candidates gave brief closing remarks, mostly encouraging students to get out and vote. “I love you guys!” Swokowski stated, promising “to be the best president I can be.”
Gasson hopes voters will choose their idea of the best candidate.“Let your voice be heard!” he reminded. Davis agreed with Gasson and promoted the SGA in general. “Go out and vote..and do your thing,” Brock stated.