While the majority of the student body is regaining energy from last week’s Tigerfest activities, the latter of the campus has gotten revved up for the well anticipated week-long event, Student Government Association and Royal Court elections.
The elections week began with a campaign parade, which afforded each candidate the opportunity to showcase themselves to their fellow classmates and friends. All of the competitors and their respective campaigners traveled in a circular path around the campus, beginning and ending at the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. The greater part of the contenders’ campaigning team members wore specially designed apparel that included the candidate as well as their slogan.
In addition to throwing candy, a few of the competitors went above the norm to grab everyone’s attention, SGA president hopeful Kenneth Williams being one of them. The Houston native had a surprise for his audience- using a U-Haul truck as part of his campaign float. When his float became visual for everyone in the quad area to see, an abundantly large box opened, releasing several blown up balloons, wowing everyone and in return receiving numerous applauses from the students. Another campus favorite, Kedrick Smith better known as “KK”, also adhered to his audiences’ attention, grasping it with his catchy slogan- ‘Vote K, The Easy Way.’
As the parade came to an end, various students provided their outlook on the event.
“I feel it was a great opportunity for students to come out and take pride in not only the university but in their campaigner as well,” said sophomore Demi Spencer.
“While it was interesting to see everyone show their support, I hope to see the same outcome on the polls,” states Compton native Maya Romos.
Although many were only looking forward to receiving treats from the campaigners, a few students, including Khalil “Black” Eaddy, felt the giveaways were the diminutive part of the bigger picture. “I’d rather be more influenced by who I’m supposed to be voting for as opposed to catching candy,” said the Criminal Justice major.
Senior Terrell Spears was also a bit disappointed.
“Overall, the parade had a decent turnout, however with some of those running for office were in vehicles, so that causes me to not know who I’m voting for, because a name on a ballot doesn’t tell me who the person is,” Spears said.
Following the parade was the showcase of the SGA contenders and class queen hopefuls. The event, held in the Black and Gold Room, provided each candidate the chance to introduce themselves and briefly talk about their expectations if selected.
Although there were a total of 39 names on the ballot for a position in office, four of them being a constituent of the Executive Board (which consists of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer), senior and current Favrot Student Union Board president Metria McCall was the only female vying for a position in the running for SGA Executive Board.
“My gender is not an issue. If selected, being the only female on the SGA Executive Board will not hinder me in any way,” says the Portland native.
After the candidates running for office positions were commenced, 11 class queen hopefuls each introduced themselves to the audience, showcasing themselves in both swimwear and evening gowns.
Vying for the title of Miss Grambling State University are LaSharae Jacobs, Jamesia Leonard, Lauren Rock and LaDonna Williams. While the ladies were backstage changing their wardrobes, members of their campaign teams held up signs and chanted their hopefuls’ names, eagerly hoping to leave a lasting impression on everyone’s mind.
While in their evening gown, each of the ladies took the stage and verbalized her platform she plan to implement if selected. Miss GSU contender Lauren Rock, used her last name in her platform R.O.C.K., which stood for Revising Over College Knowledge, plans to make a difference on campus not just once a year but once a month.
“In addition to assisting students with financial aid in August, I’d like to host programs in the quadrangle area for obesity, hypertension, AIDS awareness and conducting seminars to help unify our campus, regardless of their background,” she said.
A subcomponent to the showcase was the question and answer segment, which was administered by current Miss GSU Solange Sayers, giving each of the women the chance to discuss inquiries that are solely centered on the university. When asked how could she increase student participation if chosen as Miss Grambling, hopeful Jamesia Leonard emphasized “the importance of always putting the students first in order for them to come together and as Miss GSU, I’ll be your biggest supporter.”
When candidate Lauren Rock was asked what she thinks the title of Miss GSU means, Rock provided clarity against the misconception that many assume that the title itself is merely just a title and a crown, but the Dallas native elucidated there is more than what meets the eye. “Miss GSU is not just a title, it’s a role. If selected, wherever I go, I will be a positive representative for Grambling State University.”
Following the question and answer period, the final walk for all of the ladies to present themselves again to the student body was given.