Voting for Student Government Association elections are underway through Friday. Voting booths are located beside the cafeteria and commuter lounge, both in the Student Center. To vote, you must be a registered student with a valid ID card.
SGA debates were held Wednesday evening, in the State Room. Below are notes and observations from the debate between the four candidates running for SGA President.
From left: Cody Boone, Chelsey Rowe, Andrew Miller, Richard Babich.
Michael Cork, the SGA Prime Justice, moderated the debate. Questions were decided beforehand based on suggestions from the SGA senate members. Near the end of the debate, the floor was opened for audience questions.
I took notes while they were talking. Below are rough, sort-of complete responses to what they were asked. Basically, it's just to give you an idea of what your candidates think about the issues. If any candidate reading this wants to expand on my interpretation of their answers or add anything else, feel free to in the comments section either here or on facebook.
The first question asked the candidates to describe three duties of the SGA President.
Cody Boone: serve the student body ... deal with organizational matters at hand ... set up the sga for future administrations
Chelsey Rowe: be the liaison between the sga and the students ... delegate tasks to other sga members ... be a good face for the concord community
Andrew Miller: be a representative for the students ... lead the sga executive board ... lead the sga meetings every week
Richard Babich: leadership ... communication ... stewardship
The next question noted that previous SGA administrations have not achieved as much in the past and what the candidate would do to improve the SGA.
Richard: bring back transparency ... update the sga facebook and twitter accounts ... write a weekly column in The Concordian giving sga updates ... bring back the tuition rally concept from 2008
Andrew: noted that past administrations have served themselves instead of the students ... he would help the students get their voice back
Chelsey: require the sga executive board to keep folders of everything they do ... "More of those, like, 'Meet Dr. Aloia' meetings"
Cody: said that every student must know everything that is going on in the sga ... said that future planning was vital to the sga
The candidates were asked to describe their goals and how they would accomplish those.
Chelsey: [she started to say her campaign slogan, but then forgot what it was] ... said that she wanted more openness from the sga and wanted things more up-to-date
Cody: wants more cameras on campus in order to increase safety ... "I won't make a promise I won't keep."
Andrew: wants to involve the students on concord's beckley campus more ... "I will sacrifice myself for the benefit of everybody."
Richard: he will attend as many meetings with faculty and administration as possible ... wants to increase transparency between the sga & students ... wants to make sure condoms are available at the front desk of every dorm
The candidates were then asked how they would keep the Judicial Branch more involved with the Executive Branch.
Andrew: said the chief & prime justice should sit at the front table during sga meetings ... the judicial branch and executive branch should attend each others meetings
Richard: noted that there should be a separation of governing bodies and that it all depends on the people in charge next year as to how close they want to be
Cody: said that all the organizations should meet together to keep everything on the same page
Chelsey: wants to be a liaison between the executive and judicial branch ... encourages the chief justice to become more involved in things
Candidates were asked how they would help improve relations between Athens and Concord.
Andrew: he said he wants to put a student on the Athens town council
Chelsey: have Athens community more involved in things that concord does ... put up fliers around town for things going on at CU
Cody: stated that he was part of a student organization that already has a member on the athens town council and that he would expand upon that if elected
Richard: said he would push for tailgating at home football games
The floor was opened for questions. Genevieve Hatcher asked what the candidates would do to involve students more in the SGA.
Richard: said he would have an open-door policy and also use social media platforms to entice student involvement
Andrew: said he would keep his office hours in different places around campus; sit in the cafeteria one day, library another, starbucks another, etc... would actively engage students during this time, informing them of what their sga is doing
Chelsey: keep her office hours posted at different places around campus ... stress to the concord community that the sga is not an intimidating organization ... make sure more information is presented in the concordian
Cody: said that social media is a good way to talk to people
Jareth Wieland asked why we should vote for one candidate over another.
Cody: he said he is not in this election for a paycheck, he is in this to help people
Chelsey: she said she worked hard to get to this position over the years and wants to be the liaison between the students and administration
Andrew: he said he would be happy if any of the candidates here were elected ... noted that his current sga position is not paid and the he is also not in the election for a paycheck
Richard: the sga is something that he has always cared about and that he has taken things more seriously over the years ... wants to bring validity back to the sga and unite the student body
* * *
That was it for the Presidential debate. A few notes and observations:
Richard was the only candidate taking notes during the debate. He has sort of played his "public candidacy" persona as being humorous, with funny slogans and posters, but he appeared to be the most prepared during the debate.
It was kind of funny when Chelsey forgot her own campaign slogan, which was "A vote for me is a voice for you."
Candidates are allowed to run for more than one position, and two are doing that. Cody Boone is also running for Board of Governors student representative and Andrew Miller is running for Vice-President.
I have mixed feelings on candidates who do that. I feel like if you were really dedicated to something you would put all of your power into running for that one position. Which position does Andrew want more? Which one does Cody want the most?
Chelsey and Richard are at least solidly standing behind one position. They feel that they should both be the President and that's what they want to do the most.
Chelsey looks like the candidate who campaigned the most. Writing slogans in chalk on the sidewalks used to be one of the biggest parts of SGA elections, but this year it looks like she was the only candidate who did that. She was also the only Presidential candidate I saw sitting in the student center actively campaigning during voting hours. She gave me a sucker. I gave it to Ashley.
On a personal level, Richard is the candidate that I know the best. We've had classes together and used to sit next to each other during the meetings "back in the day." I had one brief conversation with Andrew Miller last semester. I've exchanged pleasantries with Chelsey Rowe a couple times and she gave me candy. I had seen Cody Boone at the meetings before but had never talked to him before.
Use the aforementioned information however you see fit. The best thing you can be at Concord is an informed member of the student body. Hopefully this helped you in that regard.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them. You can leave anonymous comments if you'd like to go that route. If any candidates want to add anything or expand upon a point, please do.
I'll try to get some more candidate debate profiles up shortly. I also have notes from the Vice Presidential, Public Defender, Business Manager, and Board of Governor races.