It's likely the biggest news to hit Concord this week, but I doubt you'll see much press about it. Curtis Kearns, a long-time member of the Student Government Association announced last week on his Facebook page that he was not seeking office for next year's SGA. The ballots had not been announced yet, but Kearns wrote that he had filed to run for 2010-2011 SGA President.
"Although it has been a very difficult decision to make, I have decided that I shall not seek the SGA Presidency in the upcoming election and shall stand down from SGA entirely at the end of my term on the Board of Governors on June 30th," Kearns wrote on Facebook.
Kearns detailed some of the work he hopes to accomplish during his final months - "Over the next few months I will continue to serve on the Board of Governors and fight for the campaign promises I made. I will fight to finalize my alcohol reforms to students are treated with the respect they should be. I will fight to prevent an expansion of off campus jurisdiction so students are shielded from frivolous write-ups. In the coming weeks I shall cast my vote for one of the lowest tuition increases in Concord history. I will continue to hold our administrators accountable, continue to push for expanded hours for campus facilities, diversity in our faculty and staff and for significant improvements to our buildings."
I interviewed Curtis on Nov. 30, 2009, for a feature that was printed in The Concordian (click here to read the interview; click here to read the story). It was an interesting insight into the mind of somebody who has dedicated several years of his academic career fighting for the students.
Looking at Curtis' place in SGA history, there is sure to be some controversy. He and I have historically disagreed with each other in the past. He and several people have, as he mentioned in his retirement announcement - "Unfortunately I’ve been a somewhat controversial figure in the Student Government Association in the past. I never set out to cause controversy but it always seemed to follow me. I attribute this in part because I’m an outspoken person. ... That being said, I don’t regret a single decision I have made in your service. I’ve accomplished almost everything I have set out to do and have seen students enjoy the tangible benefits of my work. That alone has been worth it for me."
Kearns thanks several people from former SGA adminstrations for helping shape him into the student leader he is today - "I had the wonderful opportunity to serve under SGA Presidents Sean Noland and Jessica Cook who believed deeply in fighting for student rights. Sean made the decision (which perhaps he regrets lol) to appoint me to the SGA Senate and I continue to rely on his guidance and advice in everything that I do. President Cook taught me something about leadership that we all too often forget: service. I’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to work with people like Danielle Richmond, Jesse Call, Akeya Carter Bozman, Brittany Keys and Ashley Hicks who constantly devoted their time to fighting for student rights. We’ve not always agreed on everything but without these people I can only guess at where I would be or what we would have been able to accomplish."
Kearns was one of the front-runners for the SGA Presidency. With him out of the picture, it is presently looking like a 3-way race between Matt Belcher, Korey Hummer, and Robert Elsaid. More on that later.
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In other news, I may have thoughts up about last week's SGA meeting sometime later today or tomorrow. Not much of interest happened, honestly. Thoughts on last week's issue of The Concordian: No Comment.
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