SGA endorsements for 2014

Each year, it is the practice of this newspaper to make recommendations to the student body to help guide their vote in the upcoming Student Government Association elections.

Because we believe that voters should make informed decision on who they vote for – as opposed to just voting for their friends or the most popular name they recognize – these recommendations are designed to be objective and not beholden to a single party or ticket.

Therefore, our endorsements of candidates or even a group of similar candidates should not be conveyed to indicate a certain bias towards one party or another. Neither should it be interpreted as a tacit acceptance of everything they advocate or have campaigned for.

With that said, for this year’s elections, The Signal hereby recommends Lanier Henson and Ashley Uzamere for the positions of President and Executive Vice President, respectively.

Due to Lanier Henson’s experience as Vice President of Student Services, we believe he is the most experienced candidate for the job. Henson was successful in his work to get the library open until 2 am for the fall of 2014 and has promised a 24 hour library for the fall of 2015. He has also been heavily involved in working with Organizations United to make a central space for organizations on campus to communicate and work together.

Ashley Uzamere was sworn in as Executive Vice President when the previous vice president, Ashley Epperson, resigned at the end of the fall 2013 semester. Since she has a semester of experience as vice president, we believe she is the best candidate. In addition, her opponent, Matthew Altman, was placed on probation for missing two senate meetings during his previous position last year. We believe he needs more time in SGA to build trust with students.

For Vice President of Academic Affairs, The Signal recommends incumbent Sebastian Parra for his experience, as well as because his opponent Breeana Minton appears to have broken campaign rules by publicizing a flyer online before candidates were permitted to begin their campaigns. Parra was successful in creating the Student Government Association Scholarship Fund, which will begin in the fall of 2014 with a $2,000 dollar budget. He also created a bill template to establish a standard way for senators to draft a bill, increasing the efficiency of SGA. He is a part of the student library advisory council, which looks to expand the hours of operation for the library. He is also heavily involved in expanding research opportunities for undergraduate students.

For Vice President of Public Relations, The Signal endorses Olivia Hightower. We believe her plan to host weekly coffee houses where students can informally voice their concerns will be beneficial to students who are apprehensive about standing up to speak during town hall meetings. In addition, students have voiced their discontent with the current lack of transparency of SGA despite $9,000 getting spent on public relations under incumbent Camryn Bradley’s vice presidency.

Drake Greer is the stronger candidate for Vice President of Student Services. He is more headstrong about addressing issues such as parking issues at Turner Field and establishing a 24-hour library. He has served on several committees during his time as a senator from the College of Arts and Sciences. Overall, he appears to have the most experience and could play a more active role as the VP of Student Services.