The values driving my platform are gratitude, respect, and the belief that listening and speaking candidly leads to the most worthwhile endeavors within SGA, the Centre College community, and beyond.
My core desire to run for President of SGA stems from the admiration I’ve found for all people on this campus. When I reflect on my accomplishments in SGA, the personal impact stands out the most. Receiving a grateful and enthusiastic email from an international student in support of Amendment Unity, setting up dinners to put students with dietary concerns in direct contact with the Centre Dining administration, meeting with the football team to encourage them to run for SGA, and seeing one of them get elected as a representative have all been moments of personal importance. The people of Centre are what makes this college so valuable to me, which is why my administration will be one of empowerment, encouragement, and support. I believe the power of tangible change lies in the hands of the student body, and I shall run SGA to maximize that power for all students.
1) Sustainability and Campus Safety are personal priorities
- SGA has shown a commitment to sustainability over the years, installing solar panels on the roof of Chowan and continuing efforts to restart the compost pile on campus. I pledge to use my position to focus on more of these efforts. Similarly, campus safety is an important issue to me that I will continue to emphasize in meetings with faculty, administration, and the board of trustees. I state these two issues without offering tangible task items because my vision of a successful SGA is one that accomplishes these goals through the support of clubs specifically dedicated to these issues, the second and most integral part of my platform.
2) SGA as an empowering governmental organization
- SGA functions best when it ensures that clubs have the financial as well as organizational support they need to best pursue their missions. Recently, there has been a disconnect between many clubs and their relation to SGA, both in regards to how to maximize their support from SGA and communicate with SGA. I will first dedicate myself to communication with these clubs, making sure that each treasurer is comfortable with the process of requesting financial support. Secondly, I will make it clear that SGA supports the mission of these clubs by actively bringing ideas or offering support to ongoing projects within the organizations. SGA is a governmental organization that should prioritize empowerment of student clubs rather than trying to accomplish everything internally and exclusively.
3) Listening to the campus
- Amendment Unity was an overwhelming success because its creation and implementation were largely driven by students outside of Student Government. The values of the amendment, inclusion and empowerment, were important to me as a leader and as a human being. However, it was clear that there was a significant part of campus in opposition to the amendment and that they felt ostracized from participating openly in the conversation around the issue. I was proud that we could enact an amendment driven by listening to many students on campus, but I was disappointed that there were members of the campus community who felt opposed to the amendment and furthermore that they felt like they could not openly bring their concerns to me. It led to a divisive and tense time on campus. While I do not try to avoid tense situations, I firmly believe that open discussion leads to more productivity and unity than anonymous opposition. Therefore, I would like to continue the act of listening to all students. I will work hard to identify those who feel disenfranchised by SGA and the school as a whole, communicate with them, and reach an action that is inclusive and beneficial to the student body as a whole.
Please join me for the SGA debate on Tuesday, March 13th, to hear these ideas discussed further, and please consider a question central to the development of my campaign: What voices need to be heard more on campus?
Speaker Of The House
Hey, Colonels! My name is Grace Bertram and I am excited to announce my candidacy for SGA Speaker of House! My time as Speaker would begin my 5th term being an SGA representative, as I’ve served every semester I’ve been on campus. In this time, I have served on the Dining Services Committee and on the Executive Council as Secretary of Administration. As Speaker of the House I will act as a liaison between students and the SGA body, enforce decorum during general session meetings, and use my experience to ensure productivity, intentionality and effectiveness. On the Dining Services committee, I worked diligently to act as an intermediary between the Sodexo Administration and the student body. This included taking suggestions daily for Cowan improvements and planning special food events to create the best experience for students. As Secretary of Administration, my duties have included maintaining active participation from the representative body through service and attendance. I am planning a Clean Up Camp Horsin’ Around service event to be held on April 28th to fulfill my Secretary campaign promise of providing service opportunities to the student and SGA body.
Next year, I hope to instill the following platforms that I believe are paramount to the overall effectiveness of SGA:
Diversity. SGA has worked diligently in the past year to promote diversity and inclusion both on campus and in how representatives reflect the actual student population. However, our work is not finished – SGA is a long way from where it needs to be. In my current role as Secretary, I have been able to take a central role in the installment of Amendment Unity through my reaching out to the correspondent groups and establishing their ballots. As Speaker, I will dedicate my time to ensuring the smooth transition of these newly elected representatives into the SGA voting body and will impel the imperative measures to edit current diversity amendments to best fit the fundamental needs of our growing student body. My connections with various organizations on campus and willingness to meet new people make me an ideal candidate to effectuate this platform.
Accessibility and Communication. SGA should be a governing body, yet easily accessible to all students on campus. As Speaker of the House I would make myself, as well as the executive council, readily available and at the disposal of the student body and representatives at all times. Acting as a liaison between the administration and students is a role I would fulfill through intentional communication and transparency in representative ongoinings. I will facilitate active dialogues on issues pertinent to the performance and productiveness of SGA meeting the needs of the student body.
Passion. SGA has always been my priority. I am exceptionally dedicated to my roles on SGA, but more importantly, I am excited about my part in them. I am passionate about people, about student government, about leadership, and most importantly – about Centre. It is my enthusiastic passion that makes me the best candidate for Speaker. With this passion comes effort – I do everything within my power to give SGA center attention, making me available, willing and capable to adapt to what the student body need as at a given time. This is a platform unique to me and a platform of promise. I will promote harmony within the body and illicit a contagious excitement for making Centre a better place.
Centre, I am running for Speaker of the House because I care about our school and the well being of its population. I believe I am the best candidate for this position because of my experience, dedication, and love for SGA and Centre Dear. If you have any questions regarding my platforms or have suggestions for SGA in general, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that if my platforms and ideals align with your vision of a better Centre, both for our current experiences and for those that come after us, you will consider voting for me in the election on the 14th and 15th. Roll Colonels!
President of the Senate Platform
Hello all Centre Students,
With a year of experience on the Student Senate, I believe that I am in a unique position to further contribute to the efforts that we have begun this year. A cornerstone of my position as President is fostering a long-term mind-set for the Student Senate and facilitating a space that allows for larger undertakings in service to more holistic change within Centre’s academic sphere. I aspire to continue working with my predecessor on our goal of self-scheduled exams through the end of this year and spearheading this project in the coming semesters. In working closely with current Senate President Noah Martin, I feel that we are in a position to move this great idea into a phase of concrete change within the coming year. We’ve made progress this year in examining our civility pledge, and through this progress, I feel that we are prepared to make the changes necessary to create an optimal environment for accentuating the reforms needed regarding academic honesty on our campus. This optimal environment is where our campus can prepare for a transition between our current exam model and self-scheduled model. Finally, I aim to continue exploring ways in which Student Senate can highlight the academic caliber of our faculty and students both on campus and in the Danville community at large through the Literacy Gala, Professor Symposium, and other events.
Speaker Of The House
Ladies and gentlemen of Centre College, I am very excited about my candidacy for Speaker of the House and I look forward to the opportunity to get to share with you my aspirations and love for this great college. My love for this school and everyone who is a part of it is the major reason I choose to run for this position. With your help, I desire to see the following changes in our SGA model:
- I would like to encourage committee meetings to be open to the public because, as a non-SGA rep, coming to General Session can seem pretty intimidating. Opening committee meetings to students gives individuals the opportunity to go straight to the groups generating ideas in a specific realm of campus life and offer their creativity to the conversation.
- On that note, I believe it would be beneficial to require committees to create a banner advertising their regularly scheduled meeting times and display them in Cowan a few days prior to let students know when and where to go to suggest ideas.
- Simply, I believe SGA should go back to sending students the minutes from General Sessions.
Fostering an Inclusive SGA:
- SGA, at times, has the tendency to regress to partisan viewpoints and discussions of what “really matters” on campus. As you can imagine, this, inevitably, leads to unnecessary tension in the room and ineffable grudges between representatives. I think I may speak for everyone in saying I do not believe this to be the direction we should head as SGA. We, as representatives, are all elected for the same reason and, more importantly, the same purpose. We are all working to accomplish the same end, but the only way this can work is if everyone respects each other and answers the question, “what would the student body think?” rather than “what do I think,” when voting on certain motions. There are a couple ways we can accomplish this:
One thing I did this past year as Member Educator and New Member Educator for Beta was organize a diversity education session with Kiana Fields. One of the most important things to come out of that session was her educating us on the process of non-violent communication and how to better understand why people may be saying the things they say. I believe we should incorporate Kiana’s teachings into the SGA fall retreat before the year gets under-way, that way we all come into the year knowledgeable on how to appropriately express our viewpoints without coming off as insensitive to someone else’s beliefs or aspirations. Another thing more directly related to my position as Speaker of the House would be to properly enforce Robert’s Rules of Order and maintain a professional atmosphere in our meetings. Just by holding representatives accountable to speak directly to the Speaker and not to address other representatives directly, matters become infinitely less personal, which allows us to proceed with substantive conversation on our topics rather than a series of rebuttals directed at individual representatives’ arguments. The second part of this, admittedly, will be the more difficult portion. However, I am willing to step in and be the moderator of what our representatives are saying; if that means speaking up and redirecting a comment that seems pointed at a particular individual, I will do what is necessary.
Learn and Serve:
- This one seems simple in theory, but in practice, it is the most important point of emphasis in my platform. If any of you know me at all, you know I extremely value the process of learning and am constantly looking for ways to make a good thing better. That is the beauty of what we do here at Centre, what we all do at Centre: we never stop learning. I am a firm believer that people make a place what it is, and Centre is no exception. We have the best people here at Centre and a large part of why I run for this position is because it provides me with an opportunity to continue to learn about each and every student who walks across campus, whether it be through a funding request made by your student organization, or by working closely with the other members of the exec team to figure out what the word is around campus of what you all would like to see out of us. Being a frequent proxy first-year, and a representative this year has given me a taste of what all I can learn about this school and her students, but I run for Speaker so I may delve deeper and get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look, and a direct say, in how we represent you all.
- Finally, serving you all is why we got into SGA in the first place. Centre students are all one-of-a-kind in our own special way. That makes it all the more an honor for me to even get the chance to stand here and have the opportunity to continue to do something I love, and I don’t use that word lightly. I genuinely love this school. I recognize the immense privilege it is to be able to walk alongside some of the best people I have ever come to know and appreciate. It’s remarkable, I can honestly say there isn’t a single person I have come into contact with at Centre from which I haven’t learned something. Think about that, it blows my mind every time I ponder it. For me, that is a truly tangible testament to the quality of people who walk these grounds and being able to represent such a high caliber of human life would be one of the higher honors imaginable.
President Of Student Activities Council
As president of the Student Activities Council, I will work to create consistent programming for the student body that will be enjoyable and promote unity. Students voices will be heard and programming will be provided that they went and will get excited about. I will not continue programs that people are not showing interest in. I intend to ensure that there is at least one exciting event every weekend for students to attend so that Centre can truly have an alternative weekend culture. As a past SGA representative, I am confident that I know how to navigate the organization and utilize their resources to best serve everyone in the Centre community.