Vote Now: SGA elections officially underway

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Voting for the Student Government Association Executive Board is officially open today.

The candidates running for president are graduate student Rhys Blavier and biology junior Briauna Augustus.

Blavier wants to focus on filling senate and representative seats, re-writing SGA’s
governing documents, and possibly creating two new departments within SGA if the new
constitution passes.

“If the new constitution passes, we will create two new departments – Academic Affairs, and Financial Affairs,” said Blavier. “I will work towards increasing transparency with and awareness of SGA among the student body as a whole. We will update all of our websites and pages, as well as our social media presence. We will make sure that all current governing documents, meeting minutes, and legislation are open, available, and most of all, correct. We will also continue our work on completely rewriting all of our governing documents, including new Bylaws, Election Code, Standing Rules, and even creating a Student Bill of Rights.”

Blavier also wants to focus on giving SHSU students more rights through SGA.

“I will also work vigorously to lower the fees that students are charged to attend SHSU, and to get voting rights for students on the boards and committees that make decisions such as those,” said Blavier.

Blavier has been involved in SHSU’s SGA for two years. He has formed, and is chair of, the Graduate Studies Caucus, he is chair of the department of Rules and Regulations, and is chair of the Governing Documents Committee. He has also been used, when necessary, as the acting parliamentarian for the Senate.

The other presidential candidate Augustus said one issue she wants to tackle is the issue of lack of involvement.

“A lot of people during election season, local, state and national, tend to focus on what needs to be changed when things don’t always need to be changed,” said Augustus. “I think that the leaders of SGA could be more involved but
I think that comes from the senate and others holding them accountable which can be fixed by the culture portrayed from those leading the senate, not necessarily a one person thing.”

Augustus has been in SGA since her freshman year and held several positions. Her freshman year she helped change the council process to have more efficient recruitment, the following year she was Council Director, and currently she is the vice president of the student body.

The vice president candidates are Chloe Henze and David Eller.

Henze wants to focus on re-structuring SGA.

“First and foremost, I’m hoping the new constitution will pass,” Henze said. “The new constitution allows for a true separation of the Executive and Legislative branches and addresses issues that SGA has been dealing with. The most important outcome for me is electing someone that it completely dedicated to Student Government and won’t just use it as a resume builder.”

Henze also wants to focus on being a voice for SHSU students.

“I am determined to stay true to the SGA mission and make sure we are an accurate voice for the student body,” said Henze.

Henze has been in SGA for a year. During this year she has served as the caucus chair for the College of Business
Administration, the secretary of the Department of Rules and Regulations, the executive secretary, and is on multiple committees within SGA.

Eller, who is also running for vice president, wants to focus on improving SGA rather than changing it.

“Most candidates when it comes to election season seem to focus on things that they believe need to be completely redone whether it be communication, team work, or governing
documents,” Eller said. “I believe that SGA already has a great foundation to grow on so we do
not need to change the whole organization. We do have things that we can work on and improve,
but nothing that requires us to completely change our organization and how it functions.”

Eller has been in SGA since his freshman year and is currently treasurer. He also has held the positions of College of Sciences caucus chair and chief of student affairs.

The secretary candidates are Ruth Alvarez and Taylor Bailey.

Bailey wants to improve availability and accountability.

“I would hope to have more accurate minutes of the meetings and to have them available for review by the next day,” Bailey said. “I would also like to hold the senate members more
accountable for adhering to the dress code and for attendance.”

Bailey has been in SGA since Fall of 2015. She is currently a senator for the College of Health Sciences and on the committee for Bearkat All Paws In, where she will also serve as a site leader. In addition, she serves in the Department of Student Affairs.

The candidates for treasurer are Logan Ellis and Matthew Lopez.

Lopez plans on working on relationships between SGA and others.

“I would like to continue to see the close relationship between the university and the student body and allow both parties to work together to benefit everyone,” Lopez said. “I would love to strengthen the relationship between Greek Life and SGA because having these two entities cooperate could create unity and huge benefits for the university as a whole.”

Lopez is not currently a member of SGA, but looks forward to joining. However, he has
worked closely with his fraternity’s treasurer.

The candidates for chief of staff are Samantha Afonso and Kelechi Ofoegbu.

Ofoegbu plans on keeping the efficiency of SGA up to standards.

“I would make sure that everything is ran smoothly, ensuring that everyone does their job and I guarantee there will be respect as well as cooperation,” Ofoegbu said. “I will make sure that everything is performed according to the Presidents game plan and help achieve positive results.”

Ofoegbu is not currently in SGA but believes he brings skills to contribute.

“I’m hoping that I give a good impression and that after careful consideration I am given the position of chief of staff because of the skills I possess,” Ofoegbu said.

Voting for SGA Executive Board members begins today at 8 a.m. and will end tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Students can be involved in the choice of their student body officers by voting via the link sent to their emails.