SGA elections kick off Monday

James Vaughn

Students aren’t seeing much competition in the Student Government Association (SGA) elections which start Monday.

SGA’s current Executive Vice-President Brian Anslinger is going head-to-head with sophomore health administration major Travis Dickison for the only contended position.

“It’s healthy to have competition,” Anslinger said. “By having two or more candidates, it gives students the chance to weigh their options and choose the best candidate.”

Anslinger was voted in during the fall semester, so his role was a little hectic, he said.

He said he brings a lot of experience and knowledge to SGA.

His position, more than any other, is about supporting the rest of the SGA positions and he’s really gotten to know the members, he said.

“The level of involvement among officers is phenomenal,” Anslinger said. “The people that we currently have in SGA are some of the highest caliber I have seen on campus.”

If he wins, he plans to continue to focus on changes in housing, such as the visitation policy, he said.

“It really depends on what the needs of the student body are,” Anslinger said. “More than anything else, this is about supporting the student body and the legislators.”

He said he plans to continue to push for SGA recruitment because he wants more student representation.

“If we can get more students involved, we have better representation of those students’ needs and we can respond more quickly to them,” Anslinger said.

He’s learned a lot in his position and has spent the year fine-tuning it, he said.

“I’m very dedicated to SGA being the voice of the students,” Anslinger said. “Our main focus should always be, ‘How can we enhance the lives of the students?’”

He said he firmly believes the university is the students.

“If it’s between students and the university, I’m leaning toward students,” Anslinger said.

He’s planning to spend some time in The Loft where he will be available to any students who might have questions or would like to chat and get to know him, he said.

“I have some personal ideas and agendas, but you know what, my personal agendas and views aren’t what this job is about,” Anslinger said. “The students have always got to be a priority and that’s how I’ve tried to do this position.”

Both candidates are confident in a victory.

Dickison said he likes the competition.

“It’s really annoying that nothing else is being contended,” he said. “It’s good that the students are going to have a legitimate choice. The person who is elected will have the mandate to actually work, as opposed to somebody who is just a body filling an office.”

Dickison has been an SGA representative for two years and a member of various committees, including acting as chairman of the Technology Committee.

Organization rights, student life, student rights and SGA reform are the issues he plans to focus on if he wins, he said.

“The biggest part of my campaign is organization rights because I believe student life is fostered by the students,” Dickison said. “Giving organizations more rights will create a better student life – not hiring more administrators to do that kind of stuff.”

For SGA reform, he plans to evaluate officer duties and make sure that each precisely describes what an officer is supposed to do.

Dickison has a Facebook page for his campaign – There is a banner hanging outside University Center East and “Elect Travis Dickison” is written in chalk throughout campus.

Tuesday, he said he had spoken to five organizations and had eight more scheduled.

He said he’s bringing projects and initiatives forward that are actually going to get done.

“I could be bragging about the iPads and shuttles and things like that that I’ve worked on, but it’s always about moving forward,” Dickison said. “I’ve finished this, now what’s the next thing?”

SGA Chief Justice Adam Brothers said elections will open Monday at 8 a.m. and close March 29 at 11:30 p.m. The Election Committee is planning to set up portable voting stations on campus Wednesday. They will be giving away election t-shirts, tumblers and SGA pens.