SGA elections set for April 13: Meet the candidates

(From left to right): 2020-2021 SGA executives Brooke Robinson, Auburn McKee, Jerod Sharp, Scout Spears and Cindy Danini walk in front of Angle Hall. Candidates vying for election to the Student Government Association are counting on the student vote on April 13. Voting will take place from 12:01 a.m. to 4 p.m. on myJSU. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)(From left to right): 2020-2021 SGA executives Brooke Robinson, Auburn McKee, Jerod Sharp, Scout Spears and Cindy Danini walk in front of Angle Hall. Candidates vying for election to the Student Government Association are counting on the student vote on April 13. Voting will take place from 12:01 a.m. to 4 p.m. on myJSU. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Ally Morrison, Correspondent and Ryleigh Dobson, Correspondent

The Student Government Association is hosting elections for various positions, including executive officers, on April 13 from 12:01 a.m. to 4 p.m. through myJSU.

Meet the candidates facing off for these executive positions:

Brooke Robinson, Candidate for SGA president

Brooke Robinson is a senior communication student with a focus in public relations and a double minor in English and marketing. Robinson has held multiple leadership positions on campus, with organizations such as Freshman Forum and the JSU Ambassador program.

She is currently involved in Public Relations Student Society of America, Zeta Phi Eta and Zeta Tau Alpha. She currently serves as the SGA Vice President of Public Relations.

“I have many goals for this position,” said Robinson. “One of my goals is to always advocate for the students. I understand the importance of transparency that is oftentimes demanded in communication. While working as VPPR, I see the students. I see their needs and wants. I want to be the President who advocates for all.”

Rachel Mayo, Candidate for SGA vice president of public relations

Rachel Mayo is a senior communication student concentrating in public relations with a minor in English. Mayo currently serves as vice president of academics for Zeta Phi Eta, the professional communication and arts sciences fraternity at Jacksonville State University.

She also serves as a Jacksonville State Ambassador where she serves on the Media Committee. Mayo holds the title as social media chair for the Public Relations Student Society of America at JSU.

She details her desire to give recognition to accomplished students at JSU.

“I think it is important to show them that they are being represented and their hard work is not going unnoticed,” said Mayo.

Jewelishia Johnson, Candidate for SGA vice president of public relations

Jewelishia Johnson is a sophomore at JSU with a focus in secondary education. Johnson served as SGA public relations committee head position in the 2020-2021 academic year. She detailed her involvement with the public relations committee, being able to delegate projects to senators within the committee.

“I was granted the opportunity to work hands on with the VPPR which gave me insight into how the position works,” said Johnson. “This opportunity is what interested me in applying for SGA Vice President of Public Relations.” 

Johnson said that her goals, if elected, would include continuing to increase social media followings with current and future students, starting an event spotlight for all organizations, giving students the opportunity to get involved and being the connection between students, faculty, staff and the community.

“I based my goals from the viewpoint of a student,” said Johnson. “Being in senate and attending organization council meetings, I have realized how essential social media is to the success of the campus, and most of all, students!” 

Cory O’Neal, Candidate for SGA vice president of public relations

Cory O’Neal is a junior communication student with a focus in public relations and a minor in English.

He is involved on campus with several clubs in the Department of Music. He currently serves as the media and social director at Greater New Destiny Christian Church in Cropwell, Ala. as well as serving as a public relations representative at Camelot Charters. 

“I want to be able to help any and every organization on campus,” said O’Neal. This is not an easy job, but the job is worth every second. I certainly want to find new ways to reach students and give every organization the spotlight they deserve each month.”

Daniel Washington, Candidate for SGA vice president of student senate

Daniel Washington is a sophomore majoring in social work. 

He has been a part of many campus organizations including Freshman Forum, SGA, and has served as both a peer educator and CLEG officer. Washington also serves as president of JSU’s NAACP chapter.

Since enrolling at Jacksonville State, Washington said he has dreamed of running for vice president of student senate.

“Some of my goals and policies would be to be an advocate for people,” said Washington. “As student senators and SGA executive officers, we are advocates for the students. Although it is our job to advocate for people, sometimes no one can advocate for you like you can.”

Adison Cook, Candidate for SGA vice president of student senate

Adison Cook is a junior history major, with a minor in public administration. 

During his time at JSU, Cook has been involved with many organizations such as Student Senate, public relations committee, president and public relations chair of JSU College Democrats, philanthropy and community service chair for Sigma Nu fraternity, and a resident assistant. He is also a member of the Honors Program.

“My campaign platform focuses on four items,” Cook explains. “Continuing the legacy and initiatives of past VPSS office holders that have emphasized advocating for the student body as the most important part of the job. Continue personal commitment to advocating on behalf of the student body as evidenced by my co-authorship of Senate Bill 22, which established the Student Judiciary Panel. Continuing to work with newly elected VPPR to increase the presence of Student Senate on campus (including an increase of Student Senate coverage by posting details about legislation on social media, working with The Chanticleer to highlight important Senate initiatives, and extending an open invitation to writers and correspondents at Senate meetings, and other initiatives which will result in the Senate becoming more well-known on-campus and Student Senators becoming more accessible the student body), and finding ways to increase contact between university administration and Student Senators so they are equipped with a better network of people to help solve problems that arise.”

Jacob Hinkles, SGA vice president of student senate

Jacob Hinkles is a senior biology major with a concentration of pre-health. 

Hinkles has been involved in many leadership roles at JSU, serving two terms as a senator. He has also been involved with Tri-Beta, the Biological Honors Society and JSU College of Republicans

He also served as co-chair of the Governmental Relations Committee in the Senate. 

“I have helped orchestrate Voter Registration Drives with the Governmental Relations Committee to spread awareness about the census within the student body,” said Hinkles. “My overarching goal as VPSS is to get Senate more plugged into the student body. A glaring issue I have noticed as a senator is just how few students are aware of what Senate does or even who their senators are.”

Throughout the campaign, Hinkles said, he has had to detail to students the purpose of the Senate at JSU. If elected, he promises to “seek to start an awareness campaign to educate students about our Senate.”

“I will work with VPPR to launch a PR initiative on social media to spotlight certain senators, detail which schools they are members of, which organizations they are in, and how to reach them,” said Hinkles. “Ultimately, if the majority of the student body is unaware of what Senate is or who their senators are, Senate is not representing students to the best of its ability. That is something that desperately needs changed, and I plan on working toward this goal.”

Alayah Washington, candidate for SGA vice president of student activities

Alayah Washington is a JSU sports management major from Montgomery, Ala.

Washington said that, with her position, she plans to create new initiatives to highlight the numerous organizations on campus.

“It is an honor to be running for Vice President of Student Activities, I have a love for planning events, so much so that a crucial part of my major is event planning,” said Washington. “I have had the opportunity to plan major campus events and smaller events. I have enjoyed my time serving students on campus thus far and would love to continue to do so. I hope to have your vote on April 13th!”

Tierra Thatch, Candidate for SGA vice president of student activities

Tierra Thatch is a sophomore majoring in nursing from Athens, Ala. Thatch is an active member of the Student Activities Council (SAC), a member of the Student Senate and head of the Athletic Support Committee.

“With this position I work closely with the current VPSA and SAC when programming certain events,” said Thatch. “With this pandemic, and me being a healthcare worker I know how important everyone’s safety is on campus.”

Thatch explained that her goals, if elected, would be to get students involved on campus and “show a unique and diverse perspective on how we can create, connect, and conquer together.”

“I also want to continue to grow SAC,” said Thatch. “All of the members are amazing and they have so much potential and they do not even recognize it yet! My end goal is to get our upcoming freshman and our current JSU students involved.”

Auburn McKee, Candidate for SGA vice president of organizational affairs

Auburn McKee is a JSU marketing major who said she fell in love with JSU the moment she stepped foot on campus.

During the 2020-2021 school year, McKee has served as the vice president of organizational affairs. She is also involved in Zeta Tau Alpha, Freshman Forum, Student Senate, National Society of Leadership and Success, Red Tape, football recruitment and the Student Culinary Council.

McKee said she has strived to create a welcoming and loving environment for all JSU organizations in hopes of living out one of JSU’s slogans: “You Matter!” 

As of this school year, she has sponsored an organization spotlight to highlight organizations through an interview with WLJS 91.9 FM, JSU’s student-run radio station, and The Chanticleer.

“My hopes for the 2021-2022 school year is to continue the successful foundation of Organization Council and support them in revamping their organization that faced many obstacles during the pandemic,” said McKee. “Organization Council has come a long way with community, fundraising, and professional development. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for my fellow colleagues!”

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