North Texas Daily

SGA presidential candidates run unopposed

SGA presidential candidates run unopposed

SGA presidential candidates run unopposed
April 02
00:04 2015

Rhiannon Saegert / News Editor

Unquestioned and unopposed, political science junior Adam Alattry, the current Student Government Association director of marketing, and photography junior Christopher Lee are running for SGA president and vice president respectively in the general election April 6-9.

In the election, students will have the opportunity to vote for SGA president, vice president, college senators, and a referendum that will decide whether or not the Graduate Student Council will split from SGA.

After SGA’s usual meeting Wednesday, what was initially meant to be a presidential debate for candidates to explain their platforms and take questions became an impromptu Q & A for Alattry and Lee. Only a handful of people were present to ask questions and the session finished early.2_sga_web2

 Adam Alattry

“It was a surprise,” Alattry said. “We were actually looking forward to having the debate, having some sort of competition, just so students feel like it was truly democratic.”

Another pair was planning to run, but dropped out at the last minute. Ballots will have two empty spaces for any unlisted write-in candidates students want to nominate.

English and creative writing senior Alyssa Donaldson is serving as election coordinator. She and an election board of sixother students will make sure the election follows set rules, interpret bylaws and address any complaints. She also acts as a liaison between SGA and candidates as well as other entities on campus.

“We’re impartial to the election and we don’t vote,” Donaldson said. “We’re the referees of the election.”

2_sga_web4

Alyssa Donaldson

Lee said he saw drastic changes to SGA from year to year and wants to create more consistency if he and Alattry are elected.

“Every year they want to come in and change something internally and when they do that it changes the entire balance,” Lee said. “It’s more difficult to focus on external issues when you’re constantly battling with internal issues.”

Alattry said he and Lee decided to run together because of the potential they saw in the organization.

“Chris and I come from very different backgrounds in leadership positions,” Alattry said.  “We saw potential within us to collaborate and take what we’ve learned and what we know about the university and apply it to the SGA.”

Their platform consists of four parts: communication, parking and transportation, spirit and tradition, and improving life for students attending Discovery Park.2_sga_web3

Christopher Lee

Lee said communication between students, the administration and SGA is the biggest part of their platform.

“We know [parking] is a big issue within the student population,” Alattry said. “From the get go, we haven’t said that we’re going to fix it. That’s way beyond our means, and we want to be realistic, but what we are trying to do is improve the communication between parking and transportation services and the student body.”

Alattry, a Pi Kappa Phi member and Lee, a Pi Kappa Alpha member, said their participation in Greek Life influenced them to include spirit and tradition in their platform.

“Greek Life has great ties to tradition simply because we participate in bonfire and homecoming and all of that,” Lee said. “I think that students who aren’t involved in Greek Life or housing kind of miss that.”

Lee said they plan to address this by collaborating with spirit groups like Talons.

“We believe spirit and traditions are what truly connect student to a university,” Alattry said. “Greek Life does that, but Greek Life is only 5 percent of the student population, so we need to reach out to a lot more students.”

Their platform also includes plans to make campus amenities more available to students attending Discovery Park, as well as more food options.

“It’s so far away, really only engineering students go out there. We’ve actually toured Discovery Park, got a feel for it, saw what students experience there,” Lee said. “It really made us realize how alienated they tend to be. Because they’re in classes from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. they don’t come to the main campus.”

The pair said they can’t predict whether or not the GSC will successfully split off from SGA.

“It’s really up to the students to figure out, ‘Should GSC split, should they not?’” Alattry said. “Any presidential or vice presidential candidates in GSC or SGA who say ‘vote against this,’ that voice is going to hold weight. You guys vote for what you want. We’re not going to influence your decision.”

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