SGA 2019-2020 Officer Elections

The University of South Alabama SGA is currently holding elections for 2019-2020 SGA officers and senators. Students can cast their ballot by following a link provided to them through an email sent from SGA. Below is a list of candidates running for SGA officer positions along with their platforms. Ballots are due tomorrow, April 3, by 3 p.m.

Presidential Candidates

Dylan Cox

Experience:

Arts & Sciences Senator

Platform Outline:

Game Day and Traditions
Establish a committee open to all students and SGA Senators to explore the establishment of new traditions regarding Game Day in preparation for the new football stadium. Consult students, including Greek Life, regarding new Homecoming and Game Day Traditions.

Access to Learning Resources
Advocate for a 21st-century campus by identifying departments and colleges with specific needs regarding technology. Give students the tools that they need to succeed in the classroom by ensuring that every student has access to printing, working computers and more.

Mental Health and Drug Crisis Response
Work with Counseling and Testing Services to host consistent events to raise awareness of mental health. Work with USA PD to establish Drug Crisis Prevention measures and resources, including a prescription drug take-back program through the Student Health Center. Provide Mental Health First Aid training for SGA members and other leaders on campus in order to equip the campus to deal with mental health crises.

Celebration of Diversity
Establish a working relationship with the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer to continue initiatives and events that celebrate our differences rather than letting them divide. Be prepared to respond efficiently and factually to instances of hatred or bigotry on campus. Work with the diversity and inclusion committee to confront any challenges our campus may face in order to listen, understand and move forward, together.

Student BodyEngagement
Engage the Student Body by hosting digital town halls, familiarize students with opportunities available on open committees, and understand students needs through regular meetings with Student Organizations. Re-establish Greek Relations Director role in the cabinet to better serve Greeks on campus via the Executive Branch.

Increased Accessibility of SGA
Implement live-streaming of meetings with digital town hall features, a 24-hour rule for response time regarding emails sent to SGA, and weekly update videos produced by members of the Executive Branch to be released every Friday outlining what is being done within Student Government. Re-establish the PR Chair cabinet position, who will chair a new committee exclusively dedicated to keeping students informed.

Jordan Griffin

Experience:

FYC Councilor

MCOB Senator

SGA Chief Justice

Platform outline:

Jaguar Academic Success

Provide a free official transcript per student per semester and free student business cards for networking opportunities during conferences and to increase professional appearance. Increase awareness of internship opportunities through Career Services. SGA promotion of Academic Services and the resources offered.

Jaguar Support & Transparency

Senate Emails: Each college having its own email as a college senate (Example sga.mcob@southalbama.edu). LIVE Video Feed of SGA Meetings. Continue to keep the student body updated with a SGA Month-In Review report accessible on all social media platforms. Support through promotion of student organizations’ events through advertising and marketing by the SGA. Work with University administration to create a monthly report to keep the student body updated on the forthcoming projects,
plans, and decisions of the University. Brand social media handles on all marketing material, freebies of SGA and SGA officer emails.


Jaguar Health & Well-Being

Incentivize the JagFit Program for our Student Body: JagFit Days. Increase knowledge & awareness to all students of Counseling & Testing Services and resources offered. Continue the carry out the effort of Mental Health Week. SGA promotion of and collaboration with awareness & health events. Working with the SGA Treasurer on having financial literacy workshops for individual students and organizations.

Jaguar Safety & Experience

Increase incoming and current students knowledge of the functions & features of the
LiveSafe App: LiveSafe Days. Campus Food & Hygiene Pantry: Increase knowledge and awareness of the viable resources that this entity of our campus has to offer for fellow students in need of such items. SpeakUp South: Market and increase knowledge of this aspect of SGA’s website to gain more responses and feedback from the student body about concerns, matters, opinions and/or ideas for our campus. Working with the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer on ways SGA will help to maintain a diverse and inclusive environment for all students (Inclusive in Nature). Collaboration with GLOBALUSA
organizations on events and activities. My every effort to help create and have impactful ideas on the enhancement of the orientation experience while serving on the New Student Orientation Committee upon being elected as President.

Jaguar Community Outreach

Partner with the Office of Community Engagement to collaborate on ways SGA can help the student body be more aware of South Serves and opportunities to give back to the Mobile community. Partner with student organizations and leaders on campus on continuing to carry out the initiative to visit local high schools in Mobile County in an effort to motivate graduating and rising seniors to pursue Higher Education (SGA Visits). Spread this initiative by visiting high schools & junior high schools in the Baldwin County by Spring of 2020.

Sahilee Waitman

Experience:

First Year Council President

Freshman-Student-at-Large

Mitchell College of Business Senator

Student Affairs Chair

Platform outline:

WELL BEING OF STUDENTS

Being a successful student starts from within. Therefore, continuing to prioritize safety and students’ physical and mental health is key. Providing students with one free optional medical visit at USA Student Health Center. Giving students the opportunity of increased Counseling & Testing visits during high-stress periods such as midterms and final exams.
Ensuring the safety of our students by aiming to provide full camera coverage around campus.

FINANCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Making sure all Jags can seize their opportunities by aiming to lift financial burdens. Develop new strategies to market the use of JagSpot. Create a notification system for expiring and unapplied for scholarships. Provide funding towards housing costs for student internships. Advocacy at the state level for sales tax exemption on university textbooks.

QUALITY OF LIFE

As South continues to grow, so should our focus on ensuring a positive quality of life on campus. Small changes make the difference. Decrease JagTran wait time and update the transportation feature in the USA app for better efficiency. Ensuring on-campus dining options are available during holidays for students that are unable to travel home. Providing free feminine products in every women’s restroom on campus.

DORM EATS

Aiming for a variety of food options for students to enjoy. Adding JagCash as a payment option to services such as Doordash and Waitr. Continuing to expand the number of businesses and restaurants participating in the JagCash program.

JAG PRIDE


One Vision, one South. As students at South, we should embrace Jaguar pride, and find new innovative ways to showcase our love for our university. Providing more incentives for students to come out and support their Jaguar’s sporting events. Develop new Jaguar traditions building up to a strong stadium culture.

Vice President Candidate

Lacey Bemis

Experience:

First Year Council

School of Nursing Senator

Rules Committee Chair

Platform outline:

Communication

Post not only a monthly report on our website, but post all passed bills, SGA
meeting minutes, and weekly committee reports. Work with the executive board to recreate a PR Committee to communicate with students and be more transparent. The recreation of the PR Committee would mean that they take over running SGA’s social media outlets. Through this committee, I would also like to begin live-streaming the SGA Senate meetings. Continue to find new ways to publicize open Senate seats better to the student body so more students have the opportunity to apply.

Development

Create an orientation process for newly appointed senators, such as having
weekly meetings with me for the first month and giving them a “SGA
Buddy” in their college to also help get them acquainted with their position. Continue to teach senators Robert’s Rule at SGA retreats. I would like to revamp it by having a mock meeting during these retreats where they all participate. Continue to review the Low-Down entirely and bring it up to date with school’s growth and policies. Create a more engaging environment for SGA retreats to educate our senators by having shorter presentations and more interactive learning games.

Inclusion

Work to gain more outside participation in the open committees such as Homecoming, Governmental Affairs, Campus Safety and Improvement, and Student Affairs by asking organizations to send representatives to share their opinions on these committees. Create a table for cabinet members at SGA meetings to promote better relationships between the cabinet and Senate.

Treasure Candidate

Caleb Santa Cruz

Experience:

Arts and Sciences Senator

Campus Safety and Improvement Chair

SGA Treasurer

Platform outline:

Improvement

Improvement to the Appropriations Processes, Appropriations Committee, The Lowdown, and Treasurer Duties to Increase Accessibility. Internal Improvements: continue to provide training for Appropriations members on the new, appropriations process, continue to edit The Lowdown to accurately reflect the improved appropriations process and the new rules and create a more up-to-date budget to be presented to the SGA Senate on a regular basis. External Improvements: continue to improve and hold more informational sessions for the campus and community to learn about the Appropriations Process and increase the availability of educational tools for students and advisors to
understand and utilize the Appropriations Process on Engages new platform

Development

Create the easiest possible transition to Engage for Souths student body and develop the platform into a great tool for students and SGA. This year we are transitioning from Orgsync to Engage. As the bridge between the student body and SGA appropriations, I plan to work diligently to create a smooth and understandable transition. Hold informational sessions about how student groups can use and utilize the new features within Engage for their members. Create opportunities for dialogue between the student body and SGA about how we can make the new platform better.

Chief Justice Candidates

Tia Nickens

Experience:

First Year Council President

Freshman-at-Large Senator

College of Education and Professional Studies Senator

Legal Affairs Committee Chair

Platform outline:

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE INVOLVEMENT

I will make sure that they’re involved on-campus and within the Student Government Association. This will push for a more active and collaborative Supreme Court. After all, Associate Justices serve the students too.

ATTENTION TO APPEALS

If you think it’s not right, appeal it that night. With parking tickets, sometimes things can seem unfair. However, I’m making you the promise to serve fair and just while ruling on your parking ticket appeal.

BALDWIN COUNTY PARKING TICKET FORGIVENESS DAY

By implementing this, students that attend the Baldwin County campus will be given the opportunity to relieve one of their parking tickets. The same criteria will be presented to them, incorporating the rules that the students from the main campus follow.

TRANSPARENCY

Information on where your money goes when you pay your parking ticket and what we do with it as a university are both things I wish to share with my fellow students. I’m choosing to keep you in the know, while on the go!

VIDEO TIPS

Every other week there will be a video posted with up-to-date parking information. This video will also include information from the Lowdown, interesting parking tips, or special tips regarding Parking Ticket Appeals.

Jessica Richardson

Experience:

First Year Councilor

Allied Health Senator

Platform outline:

Awareness

Make students aware of parking rules so that students can clearly understand where and where not to park at certain times. I will implement “riding with Richardson” videos. These videos will be me, Jessica Richardson, riding with the parking ticket employees to see what they are looking for. I will then take that information and make a short video to thoroughly explain the parking rules and post it on social media to show students how they can prevent getting a parking ticket.

Promptness

As apart of SGA, I have learned that our main focus should be on the students and making sure that we can do whatever necessary to make the student’s experience on campus, that best possible. If a student believe that they were wrongly ticketed, the student can submit an appeal. My promise to these students will be to guarantee a 3 day turn around on their appeal. I will also include a short reason upon why the appeal was approved or denied. 

Improvement of parking ticket forgiveness day

ne of the biggest events as a Chief Justice is parking ticket forgiveness day! I understand how important this day is for college students, so as your Chief Justice I will make this into a week-long event to make sure every student will have a chance to partake in this event, if the one-day event didn’t work this weeklong event should! 

Approachable

As a leader of the University of South Alabama, I want to make sure that all my peers will be comfortable approaching me with any questions that they may have with parking ticket appeals, parking ticket forgiveness day or any questions pertaining to the campus and/or parking rules!

Attorney General Candidate

Hope Hill

Experience:

First Year Council

Arts and Sciences Senator

Governmental Relations Chair

Platform outline:

Refining the Higher Education initiative:

In recent years we’ve made an effort to include more students in our advocacy for higher education funding. However, I would be willing to say the majority of students on campus are still not included in the conversation.  First and foremost, I want to connect with more students through campus hotspots and an Office of Attorney General Instagram which will include public opinion polls and questionnaires. If we don’t listen to what the students really need, we’re never going to really make an impact. I also want to partner with the office of Scholarship Services and Career Services in order to increase student awareness of the opportunities they have to pay for their higher education and propel themselves into a successful career.

Making Civic Engagement Relevant:

Currently our demographic, young college students, is the least likely to vote and/or be civically engaged. Our efforts during voter registration drives has been successful but I think we certainly do more. This would include keeping students updated on current events in the state legislature and increasingly advertise for voter registration drives. I want to push again for a legislative town hall event where the student body is encouraged to question their officials on pressing issues. Paralleling this to a similar SGA town hall could also be effective in increasing accountability of our own campus elected officials. I want students to ask questions and advocate in whatever capacity they feel comfortable.

Connecting the Community and the Next Generation:

Mobile is a large and very diverse community with many of opportunities for outreach. While students at South are my first priority, I think it is also important to nurture our next generation of college students in the community. I want college to seem “doable” for those who truly care about furthering their education. Our assistance in efforts such as mock interviews is very helpful yet we shouldn’t stop here. Expansion of these programs should include resume building workshops and scholarship informational sessions. We can’t forget about those coming in behind us.

Student-at-Large Candidate

Cana Brown

Experience:

First Year Council

Student Engagement Committee

Campus Safety and Improvement Committee Chair

College of Allied Health Senator

Student Affairs Committee

Platform outline:

Inclusivity

I want to make sure every student on campus feels that they have a place to belong. Whether it is on an intramural team or in a gaming club, students should feel at home on this campus.

Leadership Growth

All students at South, whether currently in a leadership position or not, should have the opportunity to grow as a leader on campus. Through Student Leader Roundtables and SOLD, leaders will have the opportunity to connect and learnfrom other in their different positons.

Unity

Since we have over 200 organizations on campus, we have groups representing all types of people. I want to break the polarization between groups on campus and foster an environment of supporting one another.