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The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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SGA presidential candidates discuss platforms, goals

Voting for the SGA president and vice-president began Wednesday. The Appalachian had a chance to ask both tickets questions about their platforms and goals for the next school year.

Nathan Bailey and Nick Smith

The Appalachian: What do you think the role of SGA is and how will you help it fulfill that role?
Nathan Bailey: “We are a recommending body for the student body, and so it’s our job to really take in what the students want to see on this campus and really make it happen in one way or another. That means connecting the students’ voice with the faculty and administration’s voices because that’s where the real change happens. We’re thinking about pulling back on [required SGA] committee meetings so we can [send senators] to a university committee meeting such as Library 24/5 so we have those senators going out there and spreading out so we can externally get the students’ voice heard.”

TA: Why are you different from the other ticket?
NB: “Our platforms do have some similarities, but the main difference between the two tickets it that Nick and I have much more experience working with faculty, administration and working within SGA.”

TA: What are the big issues that you plan to address first?
NB: “One that is really important is getting the Appalachian State 2050 plan of being carbon neutral. Also, safety on this campus. We know about policy that needs to be changed focused around sexual assault [and] focused around mental health stigmas.”

TA: What specifically would you change about these policies?
NB: “There is one policy regarding self-harm. You can be fined or referred to student conduct for harming yourself, and we feel that is not the right message we want to send to our students. If someone is that far down along the road, we want to make them feel safe, we want to refer them to the counseling center, we want to get them into a tight circle of friends so that they don’t feel that need to harm themselves.”

TA: How specifically would you address the 2050 plan?
NB: “Not everything can be changed overnight, so it starts with simple solutions, like motion sensor lighting. We have the Eco Clamshell system, we want to expand upon successful programs like that by giving students reusable tote bags when they enter their rooms as freshmen, so instead of getting plastic bags from the market, they can just use this one tote. We talked about the visual aspect of sustainability, having art students create a bench or something [out of recyclable materials]. It all works together.”

TA: How do you see that creating the artwork will help?
NB: “Having a visual staple of Appalachian’s sustainability helps with the mind shift. We have so many recycling bins on campus, we have solar panels. When you see those things, you think ‘sustainable.’ With promotion and education, you change the mindset of a school.”

TA: Why are you running for student body president and vice president?
NB: “There is a lot of change that needs to happen. We’ve passed a lot of legislation and we work together with a lot of faculty and administration, but there’s more we can do. This is really important to me. I’ve found a passion with this.”
Nick Smith: “My big personal reason for running is we label ourselves as a sustainable school and we don’t have a whole lot to show for it besides very little things, and I want to get that personality of App to be more defined. Increasing the role of sustainability on campus.”

TA: How would you get more students involved with SGA?
NB: “It all starts with spreading the message. It’s about public relations; it’s about advertising and informing people about what SGA really does.”

Dylan Russell and Michael Page

The Appalachian: What do you think the role of SGA is and how will you help fulfill that role?
Dylan Russell: “The role of SGA is to make sure the students’ voices are being heard. We have an extensive glass door campaign, which involves reforming how senators do research. We’re going to put surveys on AppalNet. We’re going to email what specifically senators are accomplishing. We’re going to use iClickers so that students can track what their senators are voting for. It’s all about making things crystal clear.”
Michael Page: “We have developed a platform that is based solely on research from students during limited campaigning. We collected 1,778 student opinions through limited campaigning.”
DR: “We took the students’ ideas and we figured out some tangible ideas to make them happen. We are running off of a platform that we did not create. We are running off of the students’ platform.”

TA: Why is yours the right ticket to vote for?
DR: “Our platform is based off the needs of all the students.”
MP: “We’ve reached places that have told us they’ve never been reached by student government before.”
DR: “Michael and I have been involved in organizations ranging from the smallest of clubs to housing and SGA. We reach everywhere. That’s another way were going to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.”

TA: What are the big issues that you plan to address first?
DR: “Definitely transparency.”
MP: “Campus safety is an issue we face. We’ve already begun with bringing this Blue Light application to campus [which can be used to alert someone if you are in a precarious situation].”
DR: “We need to continue to promote wonderful programs like the Red Flag Campaign and the It’s Up to Me campaign.”
MP: “One issue that we have brought to the table is the ASUnity gender neural housing, and that really boils down to a campus safety issue. We want those students to feel at home.”

TA: Why are you running for student body president?
DR: “I’m extremely eager to serve this university. Redefining, reclaiming and refocusing Student Government Association, and moving forward together.”

TA: How would you get more students involved with SGA?
DR: “You have to change the stigma of SGA. Being a senator should be one of the most prestigious titles one can hold at this university.”

TA: How will you try to implement a 24/5 library?
DR: “We will make sure that the people representing the student body on the tuition and fees committee are the people that will make sure that students get something out of the tuition and fees increases. We want to look into options as to how we can keep it open and it be a feasible thing for the university.”

TA: How are you different from the other ticket?
MP: “We combine for two more years at this university, two more years of involvement. We address things that we have gathered from student opinions that are not mentioned on their platform.”
DR: “I’m a local. I was born in Boone, raised in Boone. I know people on the school board, the county commissioner. We have these connections that combined are going to propel our administration to new heights. We don’t have to worry about saying, “Hey, I’m Dylan. I’m student body president, nice to meet you.” We can just go straight into, “Hey, let’s get down to work.” Our experience is different from theirs. It’s more expanded than just SGA- and Housing-focused.”

Story: JOSHUA FARMER, News Editor

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