Candidates discuss platforms
Two tickets have formed for the 2014-15 ETSU Student Government Association executive branch.
SGA Sen. Doretha Benn, Attorney General Zack Sholes and Sen. Taylor Dunn have united to form the DZT 4 You ticket and Sen. Kevin Carlson, Secretary/Treasurer Alicyn York and Sen. Ben Schaller have united to form the KAB ticket.
Benn said that her ticket hopes to improve communication within the Senate to enable senators to resolve existing conflicts.
"Basically, our main goal is to first get SGA functioning properly," Benn said. "We really just want SGA, as a body, to be able to trust each other, be able communicate with each other and be able to put out legislation that will help the students. ... Right now, we're just fighting each other in some weird battle, and it really doesn't make sense because we're not really helping the students anymore."
"We want to listen to the students," Benn said. "We want to bridge this gap that is between SGA and the student body. We feel like the students think that we're unapproachable and we don't want that to happen. We want them to know that we function solely for them."
Benn said that she plans to have monthly "town hall meetings" where students will interact with SGA members.
"One major thing we want to do is have town hall meetings," Benn said. "At these meetings, the students will ask us questions, give us ideas, and we'll just have this open dialogue with students. We also want to present them legislation that senators are working on, legislation that has been passed, legislation that has been tabled. ... We just want this to be a relaxed environment where they feel like they can approach us and just be open and honest with us."
Carlson said that, if elected, he plans to hold meetings where students can meet senators.
"This way, students voices are heard as individuals and can be acted upon in a personalized manner," Carlson said. "This will also allow senators to disseminate information about how SGA works."
Carlson said that he believes his previous SGA experience uniquely qualifies him for the position of SGA president.
"I believe that my multiple semesters in Student Government Senate, over a dozen pieces of legislation sponsored or co-sponsored, and tenure for two semesters as chairman of the BUC Fund committee provides me with a great deal of insight into the student self-governance process at ETSU," Carlson said. "I have seen this organization accomplish great things and intend to maintain a culture conducive to such progress."
Carlson hopes to create a collaborative work environment, he said.
"I always strive for a collaborative style of communication because I believe that the best leaders are those who surround themselves with individuals more qualified than they within a given position.
"By creating a wellspring of knowledge and experience in the executive branch, I intend to give SGA a whole new level of effectiveness."
Though these individuals have teamed up for the election, the student body elects the SGA president, vice president and secretary/treasurer separately.
The SGA election will be held this week, and the election results will be announced April 17.
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