Candidate debates and voter decisions

The Student Government Association debates were held this Tuesday. Each candidate stood before their peers to argue why they should be elected, and now it is time for JSU’s students, the voters, to decide their fate.

Issues ran the range from budgetary to event planning, and each candidate took the opportunity to weigh in. The first debate was between Dylan Jones, Austin Thigpen and Hunter Wallace, each running for Vice President of Organizational Affairs.
The primary issues were regarding the Organizational Council’s relevance and attendance, as well as concerns over increasing allocations to student organizations.

“With representation at the OC, they would have more of an obligation for their organization,” said Dylan Jones. As for allocations, “I know it was raised recently. $400 is a good median.”

“I won’t mandate full attendance, but requiring attendance to at least two meetings a semester will lead to a more well-informed Council,” said Austin Thigpen. Regarding the allocations, he stated, “I would absolutely raise them. If we raise them bit by bit, we will encourage groups to apply and accomplish more.”
Regarding the OC, Hunter Wallace had this to say, “I want to seek them out, do the footwork. Speak face to face with our OC representatives.” He also weighed in on the issue of allocations, “These organizations are bringing aid to the campus. We have to have more apply to make it worthwhile.”

Next were the candidates for Vice President of Student Activities, Alexis Gravlee and Ariel Tolson.

Regarding what kind of event she would like to bring to JSU, Gravlee suggested, “Something like a carnival, with games and booths dedicated to specific groups. It’s inexpensive and fun.” Regarding the possibility of an additional fee for students, to be allocated to the Activities budget, “We should ask the students, hold a survey to see what the students want.”

Ariel Tolson had her own opinions to express regarding both issues at hand. “Go back to middle school, something fun and simple like a field day. Three legged race, sack races, something we could run all day on the TMB lawn that everyone could see and attend.” Regarding the fee, ““I won’t support anything the students don’t support. If the students don’t want an extra $10 student fee, then I won’t push for it.”

The last two candidates, Jesslan Sharp and Tyler Brown, are each running unopposed. Sharp is running for Vice President of the Student Senate, while Brown is running for SGA President. However, each still had their own issues to weigh in on.

“Give each Senator an outline, show what they can and cannot do. Make meetings every other week, so that they are more invested,” said Sharp on her plans regarding the student Senate.

Brown’s chief concerns regarded the student body, as well as acclimating to a new administration after Doctor Meehan’s retirement later this year. “The SGA has a hard task ahead of it, building relationships with the new administration. Working one on one, regardless of rank and file.” As for the student body and their own concerns, “I keep an open door policy, and by listening to students as they address their concerns.”

John Sterling
Staff Writer

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