Candidates try to stand out peers
The posters have all been up, the debates have been held, and after two weeks of campaigning it is finally time to start voting for the next student body president. On March 11 the results of the election will be announced in an e-mail sent out to students.
Along with meeting the minimum requirements to run for office, Director of Student Organizations and adviser for Student Government Kristy Brischke stressed that it will take many things for the candidates to fill the role of president.
“They’ve got to have the ability to work with administration … as well as students, command respect, and empower the senate and executive cabinet,” she said.
Junior international business major Tobin Davies may know a little bit about the job of president, as he currently fills the position for the junior class. As a candidate for student body president, Davies is running on a platform centered on communication.
During his time with the Student Government Association, he has seen the opportunity for growth in communication between SGA and the student body, as well as with administration.
“There are a lot of times when the student body doesn’t know what’s going on with SGA. If they knew, they’d be able to give more feedback,” Davies said.
As roommate of current Student Body President Tommy Wilson, Davies realizes what kind of commitment the position will require.
Another candidate wanting to bridge the gap between administration and students is junior philosophy/ theology and history double major Tyler Potts.
“Truly being a representative for both is the ultimate job,” he said.
Potts currently serves as the director of spiritual life for SGA, and thinks that as student body president his experience would help him to continue the work he and his fellow SGA members have already begun.
“In order for that vision to grow, you have to have somebody who has already bought into it,” he said.
The vision Potts speaks of is one of a community in which every student is involved..
“It’s clear that if we are a Christian school, we should be about uniting the church, and every person is a piece of that puzzle,” he said. “We have a core of 300 to 400 students who are involved, and they’re great, but it’s not reflective of our student population.”
Serving on SGA since his freshman year, sophomore Christian studies major Ryan Murphy thinks the Lord has been preparing him for the coveted position of student body president.
“I’ve always felt a calling into a leadership position, and running for student body president, in my opinion, is the ultimate way to submit to that calling,” he said.
Like his running mate, Potts, Murphy would like to bring an increased sense of unity to campus if he were elected.
“My desire is to create community so that students feel comfortable and empowered to help our student government bring change to this university,” Murphy said.
Junior international business major Kassidy Harris thinks it is the servant’s heart that is most important in a leader, and what he hopes to exemplify if he becomes the student body president.
“I want to be able to be a servant leader on this campus, and represent Christ as a servant,” he said.
After hearing about the opportunity to run through SGA, Harris began to consider taking on the leadership position, but felt as though he was not qualified. After talking with current president Tommy Wilson, he was reassured. He began to pray, and felt that God’s answer was clear.
“My goal is to serve the student body. That’s what’s on my heart,” Harris said.
It was while serving on the UMHB recrecation staff last summer that junior business management major Clayton Giraudin felt the call to run.
The main thing he hopes to accomplish if elected is to give students more options for weekend activities.
“The thing is, UMHB is dead on the weekends. Everybody goes home,” he said.
In order to remedy the problem, Giraudin plans to create events like dance parties to get students more involved on campus, as an alternative to traveling outside of Belton at the end of each week.
Even if he does not become student body president, Giraudin feels confident that whoever fills the slot will do the job well.
“I love all the guys,” he said. “I don’t even care who wins. I know that God called me to run. He has his plan and I’m happy to be a part of it, but they could all do a great job.”