United with Ulises: Herrera elected new Jacksonville State SGA President

Scott Young, Staff Reporter

Current Jacksonville State University SGA Vice President of Public Relations Ulises Herrera has been elected SGA President for the 2019-2020 school year, succeeding Kasey Gamble. His victory follows a two-week long campaign against the Vice President of Organizational Affairs, Will Milner.

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Ulises Herrera, who served as Vice President of Public Relations in 2018-19, will be the SGA’s president in 2019-20. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

“I want to make sure that every single student is being represented on campus. My campaign was all about unity and that it what I seek to promote,” said Herrera following the news of his victory. “Not only between our student body but also with our administration.”

Herrera is a junior majoring in marketing who began his involvement with SGA his freshman year, when he joined the Freshman Forum and was later selected to be a Collegiate Legislature delegate. Later on, he became a JSU ambassador, student senator, and was elected Vice President of Public Relations last year.

During the campaign, Herrera touted his accomplishments as Vice President of Public Relations, such as having “one of the biggest SGA social media outlets in the State” and his involvement in working with a $50 million budget to create the new School of Business and Industry. As part of his platform, he stressed the importance of creating an open dialogue to discuss campus-wide sexual assault awareness.

“Students should not be having to walk around in fear of being sexually assaulted,” he said, “Every student has the right to attend college and earn their degree. I will bring back a campus wide sexual assault awareness campaign for the betterment of our student body.”

Herrera argues that the biggest challenge facing Jacksonville State University is being more open-minded to more change, and that the current administration has been hard at work to make sure they are being more “efficient and effective.”

“I want to be able to come up with new methods in fixing any recurring issues to help our student body. Change shouldn’t scare us, it should make us excited for new things to come,” he said.

Other elections for SGA were held in which all candidates for the four Vice President positions ran unopposed. The winners of those positions are as follows: Jerod Sharp, Vice President of the Student Senate; Desmond Thomas, Vice President of Student Activities; Kathleen Seibert, Vice President of Public Relations; Will Bowen, Vice President of Organizational Affairs.

For Student Senators, the winners are Mariana Alvarez, Michael Canady, Destiny Paris-Cartwright, Harrison Cheatwood, Noah Davis, Dexter Ferguson, Paige Harles, Gregory Heathcock, Giovanna Hernandez, Timothy Hinkle, Justin Jones, James King, Camri Mason, Auburn McKee, Adam McNeal, Mason Prince, Kaylee Rawlins, Matt Reed, Guadalupe Rosiles, Taylor Smith, Garrett Squires, Taylor White, Demetria Williams and Katelyn Wolf.

The winners of Miss Friendly and Mr. Friendly are Elle Kate Patterson and Craig Scott, Jr., respectively. The winners of Miss and Mr. Jax State are Kate Fleming and Brad Vonner.

JSU goes trick-or-treating: SGA holds annual Harvest Fest

The Jacksonville Community gathered for the SGA’s annual Harvest Festival Monday night. (JP Wood/ The Chanticleer)

JP Wood, Staff Reporter

The quad was packed Monday night for the Jacksonville State University Student Government Association’s annual Harvest Festival.

Booths from campus organizations lined the sidewalks with games and candy for the Jacksonville community as well as JSU students and faculty. The event, much like welcome week’s Spirit on Mountain Street, is an opportunity for outreach from the University—namely, the SGA—to the city.

“We just love to do this with our community and give our students the chance to interact with them more” said SGA president Kasey Gamble of the Harvest Fest.

Each organization is given the opportunity to set up at the event. They are encouraged to incorporate a game or activity, and candy for the students of Jacksonville.

“We have about 20 organizations here, which is super awesome,” said Gamble.

Freshman Forum, the Public Relations Student Society of America, multiple Greek houses, and JSU Athletics, among many more, were represented Monday night.

The festivities also included a performance from the “Crazy About Dance” Dance Studio.

The Jack Hopper Dining Hall also participated in the event, hosting a night of carnival style food to fit in with the theme on the quad.

Speaking on her term of SGA President, Gamble said she’s noticed an uptick in student participation of campus events.

“I think everyone’s just grateful to be back” she said, in reference to the wake of the March tornado. “The school pride that I’ve seen has been amazing.”

Gamble said she wants to push for the best possible experience for students at JSU. Given the turnout, excitement and fun of the Harvest Fest this year, the Gamble-led SGA is making good on that goal.

SGA Senate nominations released

Patrick Yim, Special to the Chanticleer

The following 39 names are those students who have been approved for election to one of the 30 JSU Student Senate seats. The Student Senate acts as the legislative branch of the Student Government Association. They are responsible for creating and amending the JSU Code of Laws. If selected, these students will be responsible for making sure that JSU is a better place for all students.

During the election on March 9, 2017, each student currently registered and taking classes will be allowed to vote for three separate senators.

The choices for Student Senate are as follows:

1. Coleman Amason

2. William Arrington

3. Malin Barber

4. Jesse Battles

5. Rebekah Beasley

6. Jenna Bennett

7. Whitney Bennet

8. Mohammed Bouzouba

9. Bailee Bryant

10. Kaitlynn Campbell

11. Evan Clarke

12. William Daniel

13. Tyler Elsberry

14. Laci Gurganus

15. Clay Hardin

16. DeLena Harris

17. Hailye Hatton

18. Gregory Heathcock

19. Ulises Herrera

20. Ethan Jackson

21. Corin Manning

22. Will Milner

23. Hannah Nelson

24. Brad Nevels

25. Olivia Parsons

26. Tayor Register

27. Abbie Shipp

28. Beau Steelman

29. Jonathan Summerlin

30. Desmond Thomas

31. Macy Thomas

32. Philip Tice

33. Ty Tidwell

34. Chase Todd

35. Steven Trotter

36. Rachel Wallace

37. Abby Warren

38. Kyra Watral

Future SGA prepares for upcoming year

The upcoming Student Government Association President, Tyler Brown, prepares for the upcoming school year. The SGA is a very important part of the student life here at Jacksonville State University. The SGA is the student governing body of JSU, and it has been serving the students of this institution since 1946.

Tyler Brown is currently the Vice President of SGA. However, he has been elected for president. He will sign his contract on the April 20. Once the contract has been signed, he will take over the full presidential responsibilities. Until then, the acting President of SGA is still Brett Johnson.

Brown already has some ideas for next year. Some ideas include things like moving the student section and adding more charging stations throughout campus. Ultimately, Brown said, “I want to work on finding ways to reach new people.”

Brown will not meet with his executive officers until April 20. On this day, they will begin planning other events, activities, and changes in more detail. Until then, everything is just an idea. Regardless, Brown is very excited about his upcoming role as president.

“I am very honored to represent JSU,” said Brown.

The job comes with many duties. The president is expected to be at events and also must attend frequent meetings. “It is a fun job, but it is a hard job. Also, it’s a very diverse role,” said Brown.

As of now, Johnson and Brown are at the head of the SGA, but there are a lot of members. Technically, every student of this university is considered to be a member of this organization. This includes students that are dual-enrolled. As long as an individual has a student ID, they are considered a member.

However, the organization is divided into four branches. Within these branches, specific members are elected for positions. For example, the executive branch consists of six members. As of now, the members are Brett Johnson, Tyler Brown, Courtney Curtis, Andrew York, Kalyn Cabral and Ariel Tolson.

The other three branches are the legislative, judicial and activities branch. The legislative branch is also referred to as the Student Senate, and it consists of 35 members. The judicial branch, or the Student Judiciary Council, consists of eight justices. Each of the four branches serves a different function. For example, the Student Judiciary Council decides on issues such as whether or not an individual with a parking ticket is to be found guilty or not.

Together, the branches serve to better JSU. The advisor of SGA, Debbie Taylor, said, “We are the voice for the students. We are the liaison between the students and the administration.”

The SGA is very open to hearing the concerns of students. They listen to the concerns, but also take opinions and ideas that are offered. This open contact is made possible by the executive branch’s daily office hours. There are also weekly meetings in the SGA office that are held at various times.

If a student is interested in becoming more involved with SGA, they should consider joining. It opens the doors for many opportunities. The beginning requirements a student must meet are that they must have at least 12 hours and a 2.5 GPA. It is a rewarding experience.

“Even though we plan activities, our main goal is to cultivate leadership in our students,” said advisor, Debbie Taylor.

Katelyn Schneider
Staff Writer

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