/Meet the SGA executive candidates

Meet the SGA executive candidates

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Tori Bedsole

News Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) will hold executive board elections on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to vote through their Trojan email.

The Tropolitan interviewed each candidate about his or her platform and goals if elected. Interviews were conducted by Asem Abdelfattah, Tori Bedsole and Taylor Boydstun. Headshots were taken by Asem Abdelfattah and Clif Lusk.

Candidates

President

Gus McKenzie, a junior communication major from Monroeville, is running on a platform of “Giving Back with Gus.”

McKenzie has served in SGA and has held five executive positions in organizations on campus and five university jobs. He said he has relationships with the administration that would benefit him in the position by making him a good spokesman for the student body.

He said he would like to spend his last year at Troy giving back to the university through encouraging the administration to hire more full-time faculty to ease advising for current students and working on a more streamlined transportation system.

“I want everyone on this campus to have an equal voice on campus, whether you are a Greek member, a member in the band or a completely independent student here doing classes,” McKenzie said. “I want all of your concerns to be pushed to the administration, not only the ones that are usually pushed.”

Carter Ray, a sophomore geomatics major from Troy, is running on the platform of increasing student participation in organizations and events across campus.

He said he wants to find greater ways to “showcase our Trojan pride” and help improve communication between SGA and the administration. Ray said he wants to change the perception that Troy is a “suitcase college” and make more students want to stay in Troy on the weekends by hosting more SGA events on the weekends.

Ray said he believes the administration should use increased funding from the state Legislature to increase the scholarship budget and refrain from increasing tuition this year.

“Being from Troy, I fell in love with this place, and I never want to leave,” he said. “I hope I never leave.

“With my platform and everything that’s on it … I really feel that we can make Troy a better place and make the student life here more enjoyable for people.”

VP for Campus Activities

Morgan Long, a sophomore sport management major from Alabaster, plans to simplify Homecoming and bring more excitement to the quad by creating a winning tradition if elected.

Long has served in the SGA for two years and has also served as a Trojan Ambassador, IMPACT leader, director of the leadership conference and director of operations from Homecoming.

Long said he wants to bring fun and excitement to the students so they will leave their dorms and spend more time on the quad.

“I just want to create a buy-in for people,” he said. “I want people to come out of their dorms and experience things.

“I want to make it where we also come to them so they can be engaged and independents can find their niche.”

Emma Turner, a junior exercise science major from Huntsville, plans to create engaging events for the student body if elected.

Turner said her experiences in SGA, and as a student in general, have prepared her for the role of VPCA.

She said she hopes to tailor events to all students on campus, including creating an open forum for Homecoming events.

“I really want to hear all of their (students’) ideas and their opinions,” Turner said. “Really, in service, your main goal is to serve the people that elected you.

“So, with that, I really want to create events and activities and really hear them out because I’m serving them, and they’re the ones who elected me and put this trust in me.”

VP for Legislative Affairs

Adrian Bone, a sophomore economics major from New Market, is running on the platform of being a “voice for all.”

Bone said he has the ability to reach all students, including international students, Greeks and independents, by bridging gaps. He has served in SGA, in Tea for Troy, in ISCO and as a Trojan Ambassador.

Bone said his relationships across campus will help him get plugged in to the people he needs to get tangible goals completed in a timely manner. He also said he wants to hold senators accountable at a higher level.

“My biggest goal is to bridge the gap between internationals and independents and Greeks,” Bone said. “Also, I’m looking to push for more inclusiveness from the senate to the student body.”

Alex Reynolds, a sophomore nursing major from Dothan, is running on a platform of “Communication, Service, Leadership.”

Reynolds has served in the SGA for two years and was the Freshman Forum vice president last year, where he led committees. He has also served as a Trojan Ambassador.

Reynolds said he wants to strengthen the communication between the SGA and students, continue to serve students and lead the SGA senate.

He said he hopes to create and utilize a survey system to get input from students about their ideas and opinions, which he will make top priorities for SGA.

“I believe that the SGA should be focusing on what the students care about,” Reynolds said. “It is time to get creative and do what the students want.”

Director of Representation

Matthew Dortch, a sophomore criminal justice major from Hoover, is running on a platform of “Honesty, Integrity and Transparency.”

Dortch said he believes the position requires the DOR to be honest in the election process, to be unbiased toward all candidates and to be transparent with the student body about the elections. He said he has those qualities to do what is best for the student body.

Dortch said he wants to promote a healthy election atmosphere with “clean and fun elections.”

“One thing I want to push is promotion for a more diverse SGA,” Dortch said. “We have a very diverse student body, and that’s one of the great things about Troy that should be accurately represented in the SGA.”

Morgan Tew, a junior biomedical science major from Eclectic, is running on a platform of “Communication, Representation and Transparency.”

Tew said she wants to streamline communication between the SGA and students on when elections are happening and when things are due in order to have a more diverse group of people applying for those positions.

Tew has served in SGA for three years but said her “tough skin” makes her most qualified for this position.

“This isn’t a job that is necessarily fun, but I think it is the one that will be the most rewarding,” she said. “I will be able to handle situations with an unbiased opinion, and I will be able to handle certain situations gracefully.”

Director of Administration

Abby Hamilton, a sophomore biomedical science major from Fairhope, is running on a platform of clarity.

She said she plans to keep the student body informed about what is going on in SGA through revamping the SGA’s social media with the PR committee.

Hamilton said she is prepared for the position by being organized to get things done efficiently and on time. She said she hopes to utilize her office hours by being available in the SGA office to answer questions.

“I want everyone’s voices to be heard,” she said. “So, whether they have an opinion on what we’re talking about, at least they will be able to know.

“If there is an issue … I want people to know that we are working on it.”

Sydney St. John, a sophomore nursing major from Leeds, is running on a platform of being open, honest and transparent.

St. John has served in the SGA for two years and said she is passionate about the position.

If elected, she said, she plans to get feedback from students to ensure the senators are serving the students to make sure the students’ views are being represented.

“I’ve been trying to give back to the school for a couple years now being in SGA, and I just want to do it on a bigger level,” St. John said. “I’m levelheaded, and I’ve been in situations like this before where I had to deal with large groups of people, and I’m really good at it.”