Interview with Grace Hurney, candidate for SGA Public Defender. She is running unopposed.
Note: Interviews with Kelsey Queen, Adam Pauley, Grace Hurney, and Spencer Stevens were conducted at the same time. Part of Matt Belcher's interview was also conducted at this time.
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Chris Slater: What’s your SGA experience?
Grace Hurney: I was appointed Freshman Senator in the fall of 2008, appointed justice in the spring of 2009, and I have served in the capacity of justice until this spring.
CS: What attracted you to the SGA?
GH: Being a freshman, and seeing the glitz and glamour of a somewhat larger institution, as opposed to a small high school. I applied, you know, wanted to make a difference. I was initially attracted to Justice, but they didn’t really put freshmen on as justices, which is probably a good call. But, I've always been very supportive of the idea Student Government, plus I'm a political science major, so it kind of fits.
CS: Why did you decide to run for your position?
GH: I've always admired the position of Public Defender. Just growing up in my household, my parents are defense attorneys, so my whole life has always been "fight the man" at this point, and I like the idea of representing the students, giving everyone a fair shot at say, a write-up where you really didn't - there are situations where things can get a little out of hand and we're not always able to take the time to sit and understand them and I'd like to make sure we give the students a voice. Especially, in the judicial process, because I don't believe it's well explained to everybody. Because, if you ask somebody the process, they'll be like, "I don’t know. You get an envelope, you turn it back in." You have options, and you have your rights. And, I want to defend the rights.
CS: What are some areas the SGA is doing well in, and what do you think they can improve?
GH: I'll go ahead and speak on the judicial aspect, as I've been out of the legislature for quite some time. I believe right now, we're embarking on a really good path with the judiciary and we've instituted community service instead of the traditional probations. Like, there used to be social probation or full probation. And, the idea would be if you violated it, a sort-of published rule or regulation, you could get, let's say, a week of social probation, when means you go here, here, here, and here. Library, cafe, your dorm, you can't go anywhere else. But, the thing is, who tracks that? Actually, no one.
So, at this point, we instituted community service, which is being monitored by the Prime Justice, which 1) is more rehabilitation, which is what we want to promote. More rehabilitation, instead of punishment. We don't want to say, "Well, you went out the wrong door, let's give you two weeks of full probation. 1) Full probation doesn't really do anything. And, then it looks on their record and when they apply for graduate school, it goes, "Oh, look at them, they had two weeks of full probation, whatever that may be."
Instead, we can give them community service and we can have it benefit the community, benefit the campus. Eco Club, pick up the recycling. You know what, you may find out you like Eco Club. Join a club, help the campus. Other than that, I think the community service initiative is great. I can't really say anything negative about the judiciary, other than we'll have a whole lot of new Justices in the fall.
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For more information on Grace's campaign, visit the Facebook group, "THE NEW DEAL TICKET."