Students can let their voices be heard in SGA election

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Sam Houston State University students have a chance to voice their opinions through their votes Wednesday and Thursday in the student government elections. Students will vote for president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and senators for each college. There will also be a referendum that will allow students to answer a series of questions about concerns on campus. The online polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. They will re-open Thursday at 8 a.m. and close once again at 6 p.m. Students can vote by going to and click on the link to the polls.

Jason Horn, Daniella Uiterwijk and Orlandria Handy are all in the race for the presidency of the Student Government Association [SGA]. Each candidate has his or her own views on how the SGA can benefit from his or her appointment as president.

“Changing times call for changing ideas,” said Jason Horn regarding his campaign for the presidency of the SGA. Horn is a senior, majoring in radio-television with a broadcast journalism track. He is a member of the senate executive committee and serves as a senator for the college of arts and sciences and chair of the grievances committee for the SGA.

Horn first became involved with SGA in fall 2002. He started going to meetings and became a senator.

Horn is involved with other organizations at Sam including Honors Student Advisory Council (HSAC), Golden Key and Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society. He is a former secretary of the Texas Association of Broadcast Students and is an anchor on cable Channel 7 News.

Horn said that as president, he would start a book swap program for the entire student body so students can go to the SGA office to fill out a form about what textbooks they have and what they need so a match can be made.

“Hopefully through this program, students will be able to get rid of books they don’t want and receive books they need without going through the buy-back process,” Horn said.

Horn also wants to rebuild the League of Organizations to allow organizations to get the same access SGA has to “behind the scenes” information and policy-making. Horn said a couple of representatives from every organization would meet at least once a month so members of SGA could tell them what’s going on in the administration, and the organization’s representatives could present their problems and concerns to SGA for consideration.

Daniella Uiterwijk is another presidential candidate for the SGA. Uiterwijk is a sophomore majoring in psychology with a minor in political science.

She is parliamentarian and grand chapter delegate for Phi Sigma Pi (a national co-ed honors fraternity), a member of Chi Tau Epsilon (dance honors society), a soloist for Texas World Dance Company, a Sam Mentor and an assistant sports information director for the athletic department.

Uiterwijk has been involved in SGA since her freshman year when she was a freshman intern. She was later voted most outstanding freshman intern in SGA. Soon after she became a senator for the college of education and applied science until she was appointed to the speaker of the senate position by the current SGA president, Angie Cartwright. Uiterwijk said in order to be a speaker of the senate she had to resign from her senator position. Uiterwijk continues to stay involved by attending finance committee meetings and senate executive committee meetings.

“If someone needs help with something, I’m there for them,” Uiterwijk said.

One of Uiterwijk’s primary goals she hopes to implement if elected would be to improve the quality of life on campus. Uiterwijk said she wants to enrich the atmosphere on campus, especially on weekends.

“I feel there’s so much more possibility here. I want everyone to stay here. I’m already working on programs with other organizations,” Uiterwijk said.

Uiterwijk also mentioned that she wants the League of Organizations program to continue. She said she would like to have more meetings with organizations in order to increase awareness of issues on campus.

“The organizations would be brought together so that the students’ voices can be stronger than just the senate representing them. It would increase student knowledge and awareness. We all communicate, and I think it’s a vital part of any campus,” Uiterwijk said.

The third candidate is Orlandria Handy, a sophomore majoring in journalism/public relations with a minor in mass communication.

Handy is a member of the Black History Committee in the Program Council and is also a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. She first became involved with SGA in August of 2002, her freshman year. She became a senator for the college of arts and sciences this semester but was previously serving as a freshman senate intern. Handy is an active member of the communications committee in SGA and has been involved in other committee meetings within SGA such as academic affairs, external affairs, grievances and student life.

Handy said student government is very serious to her, and she would take her experience as SGA president as a learning experience.

“If I was student body president, I would know more about issues on campus and outside campus that affect us.” Handy said. “I have a strong morals. I would like to know exactly what’s going on.”

Handy wants to help smooth over the internal conflicts of SGA. Handy said when it comes to bills, “Everyone is closed minded about things.” “Everyone is taking to their own personal feelings,” Handy said. “They’re not taking it from the students. We should be about the students. People are more negative because of their own personal views. I want to make sure senators are considerate of each others’ feelings. No personal feelings should be involved. That’s what’s caused a gap in the Student Government Association.”

The position of vice president is another competition within the SGA that will be voted on Wednesday and Thursday. Jason Plotkin and Stacie Jones are the two candidates that are vying for the position.

Jason Plotkin is a junior majoring in radio and television with a promotions/public relations track. Plotkin wants to be vice president because it will allow him to have more interaction with how things are managed in SGA.

“You have direct communication with committee chairs and the senate, and you’re able to educate a new class of freshmen on how to be student representatives,” Plotkin said.

If he is voted vice president, Plotkin said he would greatly improve the communication between students and administrators.

“Every year in the election we hear about communicating to the students. Every year communication is not improved. It’s time to communicate to the students and ensure them that the administration and departments on campus are being held accountable for fees and other concerns of the students.”

Plotkin became involved with SGA in fall 2002 and became a senator for the college of arts and sciences in the fall 2003 semester and was later promoted to secretary by the student body president in spring 2003. Within SGA, Plotkin is the external affairs chair and is involved in committees such as the grievance committee, the finance committee and the senate executive committee.

He is involved in other organizations outside of SGA such as Rotaract and Hillel. Plotkin is also active with the student radio station, 90.5 The Kat, in hosting the halftime show for SHSU basketball.

Plotkin won the outstanding sophomore student leader award in the 2003 Sammy Awards.

The other candidate for vice president, Stacie Jones, is a sophomore majoring in science composite with an emphasis in biology and a minor in secondary education.

Jones has been a member of SGA since her freshman year. Her sister first introduced her to SGA and became a freshman intern. Being a freshman intern motivated Jones to become more active in SGA and fight for students’ rights. Jones became a senator for the college of arts and sciences in spring 2003, and she is active in the academic affairs committee and student life committee.

Jones is also a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Jones said she wants to be vice president of SGA so she can help the organization grow and help the students.

“We had many problems arise this semester,” Jones said. “As vice president, I would constantly make sure committees are continuing to find issues on campus that students really care about so bills can be written and continue to be implemented throughout the whole semester.”

Jones said she also wants to make sure senators are always doing their job.