Sep 9, 2008

Students Elect (Class) President

by Natalie Lozano

Each class of the student body is now under new leadership as the Student Government Association (SGA) held elections Friday evening, with nearly 400 students coming out to vote.

Miranda Canady and Jessica Carniol were chosen as the Class of 2009’s president and vice president, with roughly 60 percent of the votes each.

The junior representatives and the sophomore president won their positions by default. Anthony Pamplin was chosen to represent the sophomore class as vice president. Elizabeth Baldwin and Timothy Leong are the president and vice president of the freshmen class.
The freshmen gave speeches first, with three teams of vice presidential and presidential candidates and one presidential candidate as a stand-alone.

Darrio Walters, one of four freshmen candidates for president, stood out with his atypical stance on parking. Rather than proposing a parking garage for convenience or stickers giving seniors special status, Walters proposed changing the current system, which has the young ladies of the campus walking from the pit in the dark.

“I believe we have to do better by them — these are our future child-bearers and wives,” Walters said.
While Walters did not win the position, his attitude garnered attention.
“I liked how much he wanted to do it for the Lord and not for himself,” senior K. J. Mahan said.

The sophomore presidential candidate, Menlinda Zosh, was running unopposed but took a few minutes to vocally demonstrate her support with two sophomores competing for the role of vice president. Both junior class representatives were also running unopposed, however, Alison Howard and Drew Lewis took a few minutes to explain their past experiences in the respective roles of vice president and cabinet member of their freshmen class.

Last year under Brian Colas, the pair exemplified SGA’s effectiveness by seeing a need and working together to propose a solution which was then presented to and approved by Liberty’s administration. Howard said at the beginning of last year they noticed how many people were getting sick and felt something needed to be done to prevent the sickness from spreading.

SGA proposed placing hand sanitizer dispensers throughout campus and presented the idea to the administration. Students who have cleaned their hands using the dispensers in hallways and the computer lab can attest to SGA’s ability to initiate change.

SGA Chief of Staff James Kimmey feels that the great turnout at Friday’s election is a sign of the increased interest in SGA across campus.

“(The election) sets a precedent for the amazing things SGA will be doing this year,” Kimmey said. “We’ve never had something this large within the three years that I’ve been in SGA.”

SGA’s goal for 2008-2009 is to have the student body represented by 120 senators who attend biweekly meetings.
Several candidates had traditionally visual presentations, but a few chose to be more interactive by throwing out candy. Two candidates had candy thrown back at them, after the small, hard Jolly Ranchers they threw appeared to hurt the members of the audience.

The voters came out on a Friday night for a variety of reasons. Many were supporting a friend or dormmate who was running, or because they felt the candidates could make a difference.

“We support two candidates that we felt like they’re being optimistic about our future,” sophomore Jeremy Bourdon said.
The audience was not above material motivations for voting.

Sophomore T. J. Scott came to “see what the candidates were all about. And CC (Canady and Carinol) offered me free food.”
There were also rumors that resident assistants promised their students free room checks if they took time to vote.

Canady is looking forward to her new role as senior class president for 2008-2009, but acknowledges that her position can have an effect on more than just her classmates.

“We want to make this year really memorable for everyone, not just the seniors who will be graduating,” Canady said.
For more information about SGA, attend their next meeting Tues. Sept. 9 in CN 1500, or check out their website



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