Update: The spring 2017 election determined that SGA’s incoming President is Kirby Fitzpatrick, incoming Speaker of the House is Walker Morrell, incoming President of the Senate is Noah Martin, and incoming President of SAC is Amaryst Parks. Congratulations and thank you to all who ran!
Elections for the 2017-2018 Executive Positions will be held on Thursday, March 16.
Come watch the Candidate Debates at 8 p.m. in Newlin on Tuesday, March 14!
Below you will find the candidate platforms:
For President of SGA-
- Ben Coates:
Greetings Colonels, I am honored to have the opportunity to run for Student Government Association President. My drive to run for this position stems from 3 and a half years of communicating with students about their needs and desires on campus. Each point in my platform represents issues that come directly from the students, that I have a passion to change.
First, I will focus on public safety. I will make it a priority that all students feel safe anywhere on campus. While DPS and administration work their hardest to keep our campus safe, I want to promote a culture of students looking out for student safety. This goal strives to encourage students to be more than just a bystander, but an active community member, looking out for our fellow peers.
Second, I want to enhance the student experience through social programming. The purpose of SGA, “is to enhance the quality of life for all students”, and I want SGA to help provide weekend activities for all students on campus. SGA will work in collaboration with SAC to host weekend social events. 98% of students live on campus and it is necessary of SGA to help provide fun and safe social spaces that will bring all students together.
Third, I will strive for Centre to be more accommodating to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. We will do this in SGA by creating a statement for diversity and inclusion, to be added to the civility pledge that is already in place on campus. I want this to be a message that applies to our wonderful diverse and unique population on campus, and also make sure students revisit and recommit every year, not just the first year. Community, inclusion, and civility are themes that Centre values, and having a yearly reminder will encourage students to apply these themes to their engagement on campus.
While my experience on SGA has been valuable, I believe my service to students in other ways is my greatest strength. My sophomore year I was IFC risk manager and implemented social policy for the college to improve safety at fraternity social events. Last spring I founded DANCE GOLD, which is an event hosting a 6 hour dance marathon on March 31st to raise awareness for the Wilderness Trace Child Development Center. I have served this year as an Exec officer for the Centre Investment Society, which runs $100,000 of the colleges endowment. I represented the student body on the Alumni Board of Directors. I have served a full year as President of SAE and was appointed to the fraternity state of KY board to plan the state service project, which will be hosted here in Danville. These experiences have made me a determined, well-rounded, and competent leader in a variety of situations, which is an essential combination of traits for the position of SGA President. These are valuable experiences that will allow me to not only achieve the goals of my platform, but also achieve the goals of all students.
I want students to know what resources they have at their disposal through SGA. I know many students that have great ideas on how to improve campus, however the road to implementing these changes is challenging. The mission of student government is to be a liaison between individual students and administration to quickly and effectively implement positive student driven change at Centre. Thank you and go Colonels!! (:
2. Kirby Fitzpatrick:
Centre friends, I am so excited to be running for SGA President. I have been on SGA for each semester I have been on campus, including spending two years on Executive Council as Communications Chairman and Secretary of Administration. As Communications Chairman, I worked to ensure that students were able to find any information about SGA efficiently. I created a weekly Cowan banner for SGA to best communicate with the students, as well as improved our social media outreach to better communicate with the campus community. As Secretary of Administration, I am currently planning a community-wide 5K at Millennium Park on April 22 to benefit Camp Horsin’ Around, an outstanding camp for disabled children right outside of Danville.
Next year, I have big plans to create a better campus for students.
- I will create a Sustainability Chairman for SGA. Centre SGA already does excellent work promoting a more sustainable campus, but I believe the addition of this position would help us to change our campus sustainability culture and would allow us to take on larger projects as an organization.
- I will create open dialogues between the administration and the student body. I would like to have monthly Q&A sessions between SGA members and the student body with different parts of the administration: the SLO, DPS, the RLO, and so on. Opening up avenues of communication between these groups at Centre can only help us improve our campus community.
- The Centre experience focuses on three pieces: learning, leadership, and service. I will work with service organizations on campus to create more cohesive, substantial service opportunities for students. Centre students are overprogrammed, limiting their ability to participate in service. I will help organizations to collaborate to allow Centre students more opportunity to get involved in campus and community service events. I have already met with Greg Chery, our Director of Community Service, and we are working together to ensure that these plans become a reality over the next year.
Because of my SGA experience, I know I can accomplish these tasks in the upcoming school year. The key to a successful SGA is the collaboration of all members working toward a common goal. As SGA President, I would build a diverse, creative Executive Council that would work to improve the student experience at Centre College. I am qualified, I am committed, and I am ready to help you! If you have any questions or suggestions for me or SGA as a whole, feel free to shoot me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!
For Speaker of the House-
- Alex Grove:
Hi everyone! My name is Alex Grove, and I’m running to be your Speaker of the House for the Student Government Association during the 2017-2018 school year. I have a unique and ambitious vision for our already wonderful community in the upcoming year. On campus, I’m involved in several clubs and have faithfully served on SGA this year. Because of this I am able to understand the different issues that face the diverse campus community we have. I will fight for the entire student body and not just a narrow segment.
While serving on SGA, I have not missed a vote or been absent for a general session the entire year. My continued presence has allowed me to best understand the issues that matter most to students on this campus, and accordingly, my platform is based on your voice. While I will fight my best to represent all students’ interests, I am not the important person in this election. Your voice is what matters. That’s why all my policy goals and work this year have been geared towards issues that students truly care about
Sustainability. Water bottle refilling stations are a necessary facet in every college dorm building. These machines eliminate the several hundred water bottles used a week by students who have no easy access to filtered water in their dorms. Particularly freshman dorms are in dire need of the filling stations; it is unhealthy and paints a poor picture of the school to not have easy access to water in dorm buildings. I’ve already worked with the RLO and maintenance office to make this a reality during my time on SGA. This initiative is emblematic of the first portion of my platform which focuses on practical and common sense initiatives that can lower the waste on campus. I will work beyond the water bottle refilling stations to promote recycling and general environmental awareness by talking to groups like CEA. like recycling programs. I promise that I will continue to brainstorm and think of new ideas if I’m elected to promote sustainability on campus.
Student Health. Reform of the medical amnesty policies is one of the most pressing issues for students on campus. I have supported and assisted Stephen Marks with an initiative to reform the student handbook to provide more than one medical amnesty. Under the current rules, students are only protected from citations the first time that medical attention is called for them. Students should not fear retribution for calling for a friend in need. We need a policy update so that the school is able to promote student health and safety. I promise that as a representative of the student body that I will work with the administration to enact this change.
Safety on Campus. According to the Centre College website, only four individuals reported being sexually assaulted on campus to the Department of Public Safety in 2015. It is estimated that up to 11.2% of college students experience sexual assault during their undergraduate experience. That means that over 150 assaults are probably happening on this campus in a four year period. Students need change so that they feel more comfortable coming forward. I am working to resolve this issue with Olivia Renfro to address this issue in the best way possible using SGA, students, faculty, and administration resources. I promise that I will be a strong voice of support for all survivors of sexual assault and a leader in preventing assault in the future.
Members of the student body, I am running to make our Centre campus a place where your voice is heard. I hold the Centre community in a special place in my heart, and I want to work to make it the best version it can be. If you ever want to discuss my positions, please reach out to me at email@example.com. After all, what really matters is what you, the students, think is most important. If you believe that my platforms reflect your concerns on this campus, please consider voting for me between the 15th and 17th. Roll Colonels!
2. Walker Morrell:
After spending two years on SGA and one year as a member of Exec, I’ve learned that the best perspective to bring to student government is one that leads by selflessness and uses the tangible resources SGA provides to support the overall more significant goal of making the campus community a place that all students can thrive. My platform includes large projects around campus to improve the student experience, but unlike a common trend in SGA campaigns, my candidacy is not legitimized by these projects. It’s legitimized by my dedication to elevating the work of others around me, and my strength lies in my relationships with diverse groups of people on campus. My actions with SGA as Secretary of Administration and Dining Services Chair have shown how I approach SGA as a tool to bring campus together. My connections with a diverse set of students around campus make me the most fit to be a voice of student government, a voice of the student population, and finally, Speaker of the House.
The details of my platform are outlined below:
1. Making SGA truly representative of the students on campus
Outline of issue: SGA fails at representing the student body by only pulling from certain groups on campus. Diversity of opinions and backgrounds strengthens SGA’s mission and connection to campus and I’ve met people from every group on campus who have something valuable and unique to contribute.
How my record proves my dedication to this issue: As Dining Services chair, I created an event for students to directly communicate with the Centre Dining administration. The upcoming food truck event and the sustainable mug design competition use a Dining Services approach to include student’s voices in SGA matters and bring the community together beyond group boundaries. Finally, I make a personal effort everyday to broaden my connections with people from different groups around campus.
How I plan on addressing this moving forward: In the past, SGA has not been actively promoted amongst all groups on campus. Instead of passively allowing for only those students initially interested in student government to approach SGA about running, I will begin next year with outreach to the underrepresented groups on campus such as international students, athletes, and non-Greek students, and recruit them to run for positions. Once the trend of making SGA more representative of the student body is initiated, it will become more sustainable each year and its cultural effects at Centre would continue far into the future.
2. Centre community compost project
Outline of issue: Centre has the resources to run a compost pile that would save approximately 6.000 pounds of food waste from Cowan and 6,000 pounds of dead organic matter from going to the landfill each academic year, but unfortunately it has not been utilized in recent years.
How my track record proves my dedication: I’ve started working on this project by speaking with Dr. Miles, a member of the grounds-keeping team, and interested students on campus. The project began with my role as Dining Services chair, and while this is where the process of composting will begin, there are many more aspects to the initiative such as coordinating workers and designing a final destination for the compost product that expand outwards from Dining Services. The role of Speaker of the House will provide the autonomy possible to lead this initiative and this project is where my relationships with a variety of groups and leaders on campus will be necessary to excel.
How I plan on addressing this moving forward: The first big step in this project involves finding a final destination for the compost product. This presents the opportunity to have a spot on campus that ideally uses the soil in an aesthetic or food-producing garden that reflects Centre’s sustainability and serves the student body as an outdoor space for studying and outdoor recreation. I envision a place that is used by groups like the After-School Program to have fun activities outdoors on campus or by students looking for a space to study as the weather gets warmer. I will be meeting with Centre’s administration and students to refine this vision and determine what is feasible and productive for Centre from a sustainability and recreational perspective.
3. How Speaker fits my leadership style
Outline: The primary role of Speaker of the House is to facilitate General Session meetings to help SGA run efficiently and productively.
How my track record proves my dedication: My leadership style is one that emphasizes bringing out the best in people’s ideas and work. I recognize that the most efficient organization is not one that only expects its members to follow the goals of its leader, but rather expects its leader to support the goals of its members. I excel in creating environments that are comfortable for everybody to participate in and helping people find and achieve the goals they are passionate about.
How I plan on addressing this moving forward: I will bring my own initiatives to Centre student government, but I will only be successful if SGA as a group is successful. Therefore, I will dedicate myself to elevating the work of the representatives around me through facilitating General Sessions and supporting progress among all committees in SGA. I’ll bring an enthusiasm that drives SGA as a whole to serve the student body better.
For President of the Senate-
- Noah Martin:
Of my three years as a Centre colonel, I have spent the last two in service to our campus through the Student Government Association. From 2015–2016, I represented my fellow sophomores in the House, contributing to the efforts of the Student Affairs committee; during the current school year, I’ve acted as one of Division I’s delegates in the Student Senate. Equipped with the experiences, insights, and knowledge that I’ve accumulated the past two years, I am prepared and eager to be your chief academic advocate as President of the Student Senate for 2017–2018. Under Mason Paas’s leadership this year, the Student Senate has pioneered several initiatives that I would like to continue in Mason’s absence, while adding a number of new items to the Senate’s agenda.
This past fall, the Student Senate organized the first annual Literacy Gala. Hosted in the Grace Doherty Library, the gala garnered enthusiastic support and drew attendance from both students and faculty members, as it raised funds to purchase books for Centre’s After-School Program. In addition to providing a valuable channel for financial contributions, the gala allowed individuals within the Centre community to engage in conversations surrounding this worthy cause. Needless to say, this is a tradition that I consider to be worth maintaining—a sentiment that I hope you share.
Another project that the Senate has undertaken this school year has involved the Center for Career and Professional Development. In collaboration, the Senate and the CCPD have made various attempts to enhance the visibility, accessibility, and utility of the office for Centre students. Recently, we decided to conduct a raffle, in which students who register for an appointment with a CCPD representative get entered into a drawing for a tablet. When the fall semester begins, I’d like to continue these kinds of efforts to incentivize students’ participation in and engagement with the CCPD’s wonderful programs and staff.
My central plank revolves around the school’s exam scheduling. In the coming year, I hope to spearhead an effort to reform the existing finals framework to a self-scheduled system. Working alongside the senators whom you elect, and gathering the input of faculty members and academic administrators, I will advocate for an alternative that grants you a greater degree of choice, as the Centre student. Instead of having to modify your study schedule to accommodate the preconfigured finals layout, you should have the opportunity to distribute your exams in such a way that maximizes your potential to perform well. As a caveat, though, understand that such a set-up would demand from you higher levels of responsibility, accountability, and foresight. Ideally, though, if you were to utilize this freedom wisely, it would only work to your advantage. While I cannot guarantee success on this front, know that I will work tirelessly, on your behalf, to achieve reform that better serves the administration, faculty, and—most importantly—you, as the exam-taker.
I highly encourage you to attend the upcoming debate, taking place on Tuesday, March 14th, at 8:00 p.m. It will certainly be a worthwhile and informative event, as you prepare to cast your vote on the 15th. When the polls open, I would be very appreciative of your support, as we strive, collectively, to enhance the academic experience of Centre’s student body.
For Student Activities Council President-
- Amaryst Parks:
As president of Student Activities Council, I would like to get more student input for programming and initiatives that SAC provides to the student body. Students are why SAC exists. I want to hear what the students want. I am running on a platform of diversity and inclusion. I want programming that brings the campus together, programming that students of all backgrounds will enjoy. I will be diligent in trying to create an alternative weekend culture for students on campus with programming.