Election fever sweeps campus

Student Government Association candidates and their campaign teams took full advantage of the Election Weeks activities, starting with Monday’s parade.

As the World Famed Tiger Marching Band led the parade, attracting the crowd, some candidates raised the bar from throwing coconuts and beads to flinging flip-flops to bystanders.

 Candidates like Justin Owens took advantage of this event by demonstrating face-to-face communication skills. 

Owens, who is running for Sophomore Class president, shared with each student his platform to initiate a program for students to exchange books to save money.

As the parade came to an end, the Queen Showcase followed in T.H. Harris Auditorium. Students and supporters gathered to get a closer view.

Platforms, budgets and initiatives were the main topics for the Election Debate on Tuesday in the Black and Gold Room in Favrot Student Union.

The candidates competing for the SGA president position were questioned about their qualifications and goals for the student body. 

Jordan Harvey, Reginald Mask II and Kedrick Smith addressed one another with respect and even agreed with one another on some initiatives and fee proposals.

Harvey, current Junior Class president, proposed to focus more on the student body, in addition to male-centered initiatives, clothing drives and more campus beautification projects.

If elected, Harvey plans to give his attention directly to the student body.

“Because our focus should be directed more toward our students and their interests as we strive to strengthen student involvement and organizational effectiveness,” said Harvey. 

Mask echoed Harvey in wanting to increase the amount of funds for students. He wants to use more of the SGA budget on students because he feels the Tiger Den is more for Favrot Student Union Board members and the SGA, rather than the general student body. 

“The previous SGA president used the budget for the Tiger Den and computer lab, but I want to use the budget on the students,” said Mask.

In addition, he plans to implement a mentor program called “Save My Son/Save My Daughter.”  His campaign slogan is “T.U.R.N. U.P. or Transfer,” which was borrowed from the SGA president at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

 The acronym T.U.R.N. U.P. stands for tackling understatements, reversing negatives, unveiling positives. 

Candidate Smith is hoping that the second time will be the charm for him, after being defeated in the presidential race last year. At Tuesday’s debate, he said passion, patience and commitment are his strongest traits. 

“Doing this for a second time taught me patience and how to listen,” Smith told the audience. 

His plans are to have a unity seminar between international and domestic students, and ensure that students take surveys before or after they drop a class to bring attention to their issues.

Although there are two candidates for Sophomore Class president, contender Alante Adams was the only one who showed up for the debate. 

Adams, current Freshman Class president, proposed establishing morals and instilling professionalism in his class.