SGA elections to take place April 14: Meet the candidates

Miranda Prescott, Correspondent

The Student Government Association is hosting elections on April 14 from 12:01 a.m. to 4 p.m., where students will be able to log into their MyJSU and vote.

Listed below is a short introduction of each of the candidates running for positions on the executive board for the Student Government Association at Jacksonville State University, including some personal information and their goals and ideas for their time in their elected office.


Vice President of Public Relations:

Brooke Robinson

“My name is Brooke Robinson. I am from Pell City, Alabama. I’m a sophomore majoring in Communication with a focus in Public Relations and a double minor in Marketing and English. I have a lot of hobbies. I really enjoy baking, cooking, and occasionally crafting. I have been involved with organizations all my life. In high school, I felt like I was constantly on the go. I thought things would change when I got to college, but they speed up even more and I love it.  At JSU I’ve been involved with organizations such as: Zeta Tau Alpha, Zeta Phi Eta, Freshmen Forum, JSU Ambassadors and the college democrats. I’ve always had a leadership quality about me. I am running for SGA Vice President of Public Relations. This position is all about connecting with the students and social media. Everything begins with communication. One of my life skills is communicating. I want to communicate with all students about all the involvement opportunities which take place on campus. I will be the link to help provide communication between administration, faculty and the students at JSU. While there are many goals I have for this position. One main goal would be to communicate and market all of SGA’s advocacy efforts to the entire student body, faculty and citizens of area communities.” 


Vice President of Student Senate:

Cindy Danini

“Hey everyone! My name is Cindy Danini, and I am a current sophomore from Attalla, Alabama. I am so honored and excited to be running for Vice President of Student Senate for Fall 2020-Spring 2021! For those who don’t know me, I’ve been involved with Student Senate, The National Society of Leadership and Success, Acapella Choir, and am a former STU 101 peer mentor as well as a former Freshman Forum member. I have a huge passion for music and leadership, as these past two summers I have been a music instructor for Plainview High School’s marching band program. I have found my purpose through serving others, and through the leadership positions I have held, I’ve gained significant experience that has helped me become who I am today. I am a business management major, and plan on using my degree from JSU to begin a career in Human Resources and later open a self-funding nonprofit organization in the future.

The VPSS position has been something I could only dream of doing. Because of my involvement in the Student Senate and the YMCA Collegiate Legislature Conference in Montgomery, I am confident that I will be able to uphold the high standards of VPSS. While serving in the Executive Office, I plan on expanding on the foundation that current VPSS Jerod Sharp has built for the Student Senate by passing meaningful legislation, building better connections with the Faculty Senate, and strengthening our bond with the student body. Along with this, I would like to make the Student Senate a more prominent organization on campus through media and events, among other things. I also plan on taking advantage of our meeting times by interacting with other organizations, inviting speakers, and hopefully participating in more philanthropic events.”


Vice President of Student Activities:

Sawyer “Scout” Spears

“Hello everyone! My name is Scout Spears, and I am running for Vice President of Student Activities. I am a Junior Business Management major. I am from Jacksonville, Alabama and I have lived here since I was born, so Jacksonville is the place I have always called home. I am also a proud member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity here at Jacksonville State. In my free time, I love to do CrossFit and CrossFit competitions. I am a CrossFit coach at CrossFit Thelo in Jacksonville where I love to teach classes. 

I also have a student Job here at JSU in the Dean of Students office where I have really been able to learn about SGA and what it involves. I have worked every home football tailgate since I have been at JSU and have gotten the opportunity to help set up and work different SGA events. With the VP of Student Activities position, I will make sure the students voices are heard. My plan is to take all suggestions from students for different events they would like to have on campus. I would then make a vote on social media and let the students decide on the events they would like to have. I would reach out to every student through their school email asking what events they would like to have.

With uncertainty about what campus life will look like over the summer and fall semester, not only will I take suggestions for events, but I already have some ideas for remote events (in the event we are not able to return to campus). My first idea is a talent show where students submit videos of any talents they have and give the students the opportunity to vote for a winner. This would be a great way to give the students a chance to still be involved in events on campus without having to physically be on campus.

Alayah Washington

“Greetings Gamecocks,

My name is Alayah Washington, a sophomore studying Sports Management. I was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. All of my life, I have had a deep love for sports and the way they bring people together. My mother, an evangelist and youth minister, has always had a love for planning events in an effort to unify them. When you put those two together, you find the source of my passion for this position. As a candidate for the Vice President of Student Activities position, I plan to use my passion for people to continue to build the love and sense of community within JSU. My involvement at JSU has given me irreplaceable life skills, friendships, and opportunities that every student should experience. My largest goal is to give each organization, especially smaller ones, a chance to have a platform to reach all students through numerous activities and events. During my time at JSU, I have quickly learned that there is a place for everyone, students just need to find it. I strive to make that task easier for every student.”


Vice President of Organizational Affairs:

Gabriel Alvarez

“My name is Gabriel Alvarez and I am a business marketing major here at Jacksonville State University. I am from Southside, Alabama. I am vice president and cofounder of the JSU men’s soccer club. I am passionate about helping organizations grow because I know how much enrichment they can bring to the lives of students. I also know about the struggles of beginning a new club. One idea I would like to implement is mixing between clubs. This includes ideas as well as members. This would allow for smaller clubs to learn valuable skills such as recruiting and fundraising from successful organizations around campus. This would also allow for members of clubs to see other organizations that they may be interested in. Another goal of mine is to help more students learn how to start clubs. This can be a confusing process as most students, although interested in starting an organization, are unaware of the procedure to do so. 

Overall, my goal is to help the students of Jacksonville State University find things they are passionate about and enrich their lives.”

Garrett Harrelson

“My name is Garrett Harrelson, I am a senior studying Political Science, and I will be pursuing my Master of Public Administration degree here at JSU. I have had the pleasure of being the president of the campus video gaming club, JSU Level Up, and the JSU chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha. My time running my own club has prompted me to run for VPOA this coming year. My goals as the VPOA can be summed up in three short words: collaboration, vigor, and simplicity. 

First, I aim to encourage the student body and their organizations to work in collaboration with not only the University, but also with their fellow organizations. I have previously assisted with the implementation of this policy by participating in JSU Gaming Day at the library. Both JSU Level Up and the JSU Tabletop & CCG Club, in collaboration with the Houston-Cole Library, organize a day-long retreat from the stress of finals week every semester.

My second goal as VPOA is to engage the office with vigor, in order to bring to the table everything a student organization needs to succeed. In my tenure as an organization leader, I have experienced many diverse problems and issues that organizations face, from interpersonal issues to administrative and financial challenges. As VPOA, I want to be there for students, offer guidance, and support them through the challenges of navigating the University landscape.

Lastly, I want to provide an opportunity for organizations to simply and plainly understand the paperwork and processes required of them by the Administration. I know all too well how intimidating filing these forms can be, so that is why I want to help guide organizations through this rigorous process. I have spoken with several other leaders of different organizations, and they mostly agree: having a guiding hand in this process is a must in order to let our organizations succeed. 

If these ideas are what you want to see in the VPOA, then I am your candidate. I encourage you all to please share my platform and vote for me on April 14th.”

Auburn McKee

Hey Gamecocks! My name is Auburn McKee and I am from Birmingham, Alabama. My passions are meeting new people, spending time with family, and being outdoors.  I am beyond honored and excited to be able to run for Vice President of Organizational Affairs! When I first became a student at JSU, having the opportunity to run for VPOA became an instant dream of mine! Once I became a Student Senator, my dream of being VPOA immensely rose! My platform for my campaign is Suicide Prevention in honor of the “SM;LE ORGANIZATION”. I am currently majoring in Business Marketing. The organizations I am involved in have completely prepared me and taught me how to be successful if elected the next VPOA! Here are the organizations that I have been a part of while being a student at JSU: Zeta Tau Alpha, Freshman Forum, SGA Student Senator, JSU Football Recruitment Team, National Society of Leadership and Success, Church of the Highlands ONE Campus Group, and 2020 Rho Gamma! Leadership positions in these organizations include: ZTA Service Chairman, whereas I was responsible for organizing community service activities, and an advocate for campus life by being on the Student Senate Campus Life Committee!


My main goal if elected as VPOA is for our student body to be entirely confident in knowing that I am HERE FOR YOU JSU! Along with that, I feel as if it is very important for EVERY ORGANIZATION gets the same amount of recognition and publicity as the bigger organizations on campus! My three specific goals if elected as the next VPOA include: 1) Honoring and recognizing every organization on campus for the hard work that they do, 2) Creating an “Organization Spotlight” so that students can become more familiar with the organizations that JSU offers, and 3) Providing resources to organizations that plan on hosting events. Stay Cocky!

Katelyn ‘Katie’ Wolf

“Hello! My name is Katie Wolf and I am honored to announce that I am running for Vice President of Organizational Affairs (VPOA) in this year’s SGA election. I am from Helena, AL and this semester I will graduate with my undergrad in History. In the fall I will be returning to JSU as a graduate student in the History program. Since I was a Junior, I have been the president of JSU History Club. This opportunity has taught me so much about what organizations need to be successful. I truly loved every minute of serving in this role and working with my fellow history club members. Another organization that I have been involved with is Student Senate. I have been a student senator for the past year. Working in the student senate opened so many doors for me. That experience allowed me to work closely with the current VPOA as well as develop positive professional relationships with those that work in the Dean of Students Office. If elected as VPOA I have two major goals that I want to work towards. Firstly, and most importantly, is to be an advocate for all JSU organizations on campus. I want organizations to know that, if I am elected, my focus will be to ensure that they have someone they can turn to that will bring their questions and concerns to the proper people. This way we can work on building solutions and helping organizations grow in their success. My other major goal will be to bring more transparency to all the ways the Dean of Students Office can currently help organizations thrive as well as work to develop new ways! This would include things like bringing organizations more involvement with the allocation process, as well as creating a list of pre-approved fundraisers for organizations to run. I hope that I can count on your support in the SGA election on April 14th. Be sure to vote before 4pm that day!”


President:

Kathleen ‘Kate’ Seibert

“Communications Major, concentration in Public Relations, Minor in Political Science. Smiths Station, Alabama

If elected president, one of my goals is to continue to have communication from students to administration. This year I’ve helped students obtain information, solve their issues, or point them in the right direction to help find an answer. I want students to know that I know their name, I know their face, and I take their issues personally. Nothing is too big or too small.

I also want to keep bringing students together. Our campus has weathered a lot of adversity in just a few short years, and we’ve proven ourselves to be strong enough to handle it. I believe that with a strong leader, our students will be able to bond together on all levels, from all walks of life. President Herrera has done a wonderful job making sure that students are included on our campus, and I learned many things from him, especially how to fight for the ones who others want to silence. He has been a wonderful example of uniting people and I hope that I can continue to follow his footsteps.

This year I served on a committee to create a “Social Norms” campaign for our campus. We were set to debut this spring, but we’ve had to postpone. I would really like to continue working to promote this campaign and create a safer campus. The campaign was geared at cultivating conversations about topics that some people may see as taboo, but the point is to break the stigma and make our campus a place where these topics can be discussed openly. We had topics like sexual assault, abusive relationships, domestic violence, safe partying habits, mental health awareness; a lot of topics that are relevant to our area. I think it’s important that we raise these questions and make these conversations happen.

Jerod Sharp

Hometown: Sylvania, Alabama

Major: Biology with a focus in Cell and Molecular Biology

Minors: Chemistry and Forensics

Passions: 

Judicial reform has always been one of my biggest passions. As a student senator I wrote multiple pieces of Legislation to expand on the position of the Student Judiciary Advocate as well as the judicial procedure that should take place if a candidate is charged with an infraction. As VPSS, I have worked very closely with the Director of Community Standards and Student Ethics in regards to the Student Code of Conduct as well as Judicial Boards for students facing charges of misconduct.  

Legislation is another huge love of mine. I have interpreted pieces of legislation for President Ulises Herrera during his term and I have guided many Senators on where to start with the Code of Laws changes they had in mind.

Research would be my last passion. I am currently performing Western Blotting research with Dr. Sauterer in the Biology Department (I won’t bore you with the details). 

And of course I love people too!

Platform: 

First and foremost I want to continue this trend of enhancing communication between the administration and students, and I want said communication to be as transparent as possible. As VPSS, I was one of the main supporters of having SGA Town Halls and I also moderated the two we had this academic year. 

Secondly, I want to ensure that the SGA is efficiently representing the diversity of the Student body and their needs by actually utilizing the appointed officials within the SGA. I want these positions to go to work for the Students and to not simply use it as a title. 

Thirdly, I want to expand on the “Day of Unity” to include an event where all of the Student Presidents across campus come together to be celebrated for the hard work they are putting in to their respective organizations which in turn make this university as great as it is!

Lastly, I stand by President Ulises Herrera’s hope for a sexual assault awareness campaign. I have a fantastic relationship with the Title IX Coordinator and with her help I know we can get this done! 

Interesting fact: 

I was elected to the Sylvania Town Council in the summer of 2016 becoming the youngest elected official in the state.”

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