While some see today as the day to avoid the Student Union’s courtyard, lest a sticker be slapped to your chest, all know that today is the day that the students of the University of Mississippi will elect their leaders for the 2015-16 school year.
The positions of president, secretary and treasurer are uncontested, but the races for vice president, attorney general and judicial chair will prove to be extremely competitive. Below is a small profile on each candidate.
Presidential candidate: Rod Bridges
Major: Public Policy
Hometown: Madison, Mississippi
Campus accomplishments: Associated Student Body Freshman Council Director, ASB “Senator of the Year” 2014, Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honor Society President, Omicron Delta Kappa’s “Freshman Leader of the Year,” member of the Columns Society
Why are you running for president? I chose to run for Associated Student Body President because I saw a need — the need for revitalization in our student government. There’s a debilitating disconnect in the reputation of ASB: Many students have misperceptions that ASB is solely for a bunch of Public Policy majors wanting to play politics, but it’s so much more than that. I, as ASB President, have the privilege and obligation to use student government as a foundation and platform to tackle the issues that affect our student body the most — and I intend to make the most of it.
What would be your main goal if elected? The main goal is simple: If I can walk up to any student on campus next May and ask that individual, “What has ASB done for you this year?” and he or she can adequately answer, then I’ve done my job. I’ve done my job in injecting a greater sense of relevancy and pertinence into one of this university’s greatest outlets for student voice and input. I’m really excited to see what’s in store for us.
Vice presidential candidate: John Brahan
Major: Public Policy and Theatre Arts
Hometown: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Slogan: Brahan Can
Campus accomplishments: ODK Freshman Leader of the Year, IFC VP of Standards, Leapfrog Mentor, RebelTHON Director of Greek Relations, and Barksdale and Lott Scholar.
Why are you running for vice president? My vision is to transform elected officials into public servants by lifting the veil between the students and the ASB through increasing community and accessibility now.
What would be your main goal if elected? My main goal would be to make the Senate more representative of the student body. One of accomplishing this would be creating Senate seats for international students. I would also like to establish monthly community service projects for Senators so we can directly impact the community.
Vice presidential candidate: Vivian Paris
Major: Public Policy
Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi
Campus Accomplishments: ASB Senator, Sally Barksdale Honors College, SAC, Order of Omega, Chancellors Leadership Class, Sorority Member at Large, Trent Lott Institute for Public Policy
Why are you running for vice president? After holding leadership within ASB, I am running for Vice President because I have grown to appreciate and love serving Ole Miss and the ASB.
What would be your main goal if elected? If elected I hope to further connect the students to those that represent them. One of the ways is with the event titled Meet Your Senator Day. Another way is giving students a way to voice their ideas with a suggestion box on the ASB website, where they can submit any ideas they believe would better our University
Attorney General candidate: Emma Jennings
Majors: English and History
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Slogan: For a United Ole Miss
Campus Accomplishments: Global Ambassador, ASB Senate (Academics and Governmental Operations Committees), Vice President of Standards for Sorority Leadership Council, RUF Leadership Team, Orientation Leader
Why are you running for attorney general? I love this university and I love her students, and I think that the primary goal of ASB is to listen to the students that put us in office. I would love to be Attorney General not only because I would be honored to give back to the student body and the university in that capacity, but also because I believe my experience as a Senator will help bridge the gap between the student body, Senate and Attorney General. I want to make ASB all about the students.
What would be your main goal if elected? The first thing I want to do if elected is sit down with the Senate and examine the Constitution to find ways to make it more concise, understandable, and accessible. The students need access to the Constitution, as most people do not even know it exists. I want to equip the student body to be leaders and to have the understanding necessary to be active participants in student governments.
Attorney General candidate: Loden Walker
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Campus accomplishments: Policy Assistant for Mississippi Speaker of the House, Deputy Attorney General of Elections, ASB Elections Commissioner, ASB Senator, Student-Alumni Council, Rho Alpha
Why are you running for attorney general: I am running for this position because I am confident that I have the skills and experience to continue the success of carrying out fair & just elections on campus. I fully understand the elections process and inter working of the justice department. It is this understanding that allows me to believe that I can dismantle barriers to create more transparency in the Associated Student Body, increase voter turn out across the board, and make campaigning and Election Day more enjoyable for every student.
What would be your main goal if elected? My main goal if elected is to increase voter turnout on campus. Voter turnout is the result of student participation. When students participate it shows that they care. It shows that students care about their Associated Student Body and what happens within it. Tangible goals include: making it easier to vote from your phone.
Judicial Chair Candidate: Joe Curry
Major: Accounting Minor: Real Estate
Hometown: Stringer, Mississippi
Slogan: Vote Joe Curry For Judicial Chair / #JC4JC
Campus Accomplishments: Orientation Leader (2 Years), Columns Society Member, ASB Judicial Council (2 Years), National Pan-Hellenic Council President, Black Student Union Chief of Staff, Member of the Sally McDonald Barksdale Honors College, Freshman Council Mentor, KPMG Future Diversity Leaders Intern at the Miami, Florida office.
Why are you running for judicial chair? I am running for Judicial Chair, because I feel that the Judicial Council is so important for the Ole Miss student body. Since joining the council in the early parts of 2013, I have become very passionate and serious about all aspects of the council. The council helps to correct actions that go against our creed, while also teaching educational lessons to the parties involved. There are very few other organizations that give an opportunity to experience something such as that! Having an influential part in creating that experience is something I would love to do!
What would be your main goal if elected? I have a few goals if elected to be the Judicial Chair. First, I would like to continue to help make sure that the council’s actions are centered on the well being of the students. All students are here to receive a great education, develop as an individual, and have a good experience! The council has the potential to make sure this happens, and I want to push to make this a definite action. Second, I want the student body to know and understand exactly what the Judicial Council does. Lastly, I want to work on the diversity of the council. The Judicial is already comprised of a diverse group of students, but I want every individual to have knowledge on every aspect of this University. If this happens, I feel that the council will be ultimately versatile on any case that may appear!
Judicial chair candidate: William Fisher
Major: Liberal Studies (Public Policy, History, Journalism)
Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi
Campus Accomplishments: Greek President and Recruitment Chair, 2 years on Judicial Council (30 + Hearings), Office of Admissions Intern, Student Alumni Council, Cru Leadership Team, LuckyDay Scholar, Cardinal Club
Why are you running for judicial chair? I have served on Judicial Council for 2 years and have enjoyed every second of it. I wanted to get involved on campus and find a place where I could serve the school that I have loved for my entire life. I quickly found a passion for Judicial Council because I felt like I was truly benefitting the Ole Miss community and students.
What would be your main goal if elected? One of the main points of my platform is restorative justice. Restorative justice focuses on educational consequences as opposed to punitive consequences, and I believe that is very important for a university judicial body. Students come to college to learn, not to be treated as if they are in a courtroom. My plan if elected, would be to implement as many educational programs for consequences of students and organizations found in violation of Ole Miss’ Creed.
Treasurer candidate: Kate Aspinwall
Major: Public Policy and Accounting
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Campus Accomplishments: ASB Comptroller, ASB Senate Student Life Committee Chairman, Alexander Hamilton Society President, Order of Omega, Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Patterson School of Accountancy McCarty Scholarship, Trent Lott Leadership Institute, Sorority Member Development Chair and Area Recruiter, Adopt-A-Basketball Logistics Committee Chair, Big Event, LeapFrog Mentor, Chancellors and Deans Honors Rolls, Gamma Beta Phi, National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Why are you running for treasurer? Throughout my time at Ole Miss, I have developed a passion for student organizations and also the ASB. I would love to have the opportunity to be able to continue to serve the ASB, as well as be able to be an advocate for student organizations especially with regards to ASB funding.
What would be your main goal if elected? I want to be more open about the budgeting process, both with the Senate and the organizations. I plan to better utilize the ASB Appropriations committee in order to allow a more direct voice of the constituents to have a say in the ASB funding allocations, especially for student organizations. In addition, I plan to provide all of the organizations that apply for funding with finalized funding timeline, as well as with the total allotted amount of money available and the total number of organizations applying.
Secretary candidate: Amy Hall
Major: Public Policy Leadership and Economics
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Campus Accomplishments: ASB Senator, ASB Legislative Council, Ole Miss Ambassador, Lambda Sigma
Why are you running for secretary? I’m running for ASB Secretary because I’ve been involved with ASB since I got to Ole Miss, and being elected, as Secretary would be a great way for me to continue serving the university.
Skyler Flowers is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at email@example.com.