Tomorrow, students will elect the SGA Student Body President and Vice President for the 2017-18 school year. The primary, which took place on Feb. 10, resulted in a race between pairs Mitchell Stacy and Olanike Onimole and Hamilton Smith and Victor Mweu.
Both duos envision their time in office as a time to improve communication from Administration to the student body.
Stacy and Onimole hope to improve communication through a holistic leadership method.
“Mitchell and I both are passionate about holistic leadership,” said Onimole. “AU has had a lot of big changes in the past couple of years, but I think that small, sometimes overlooked changes are equally as important. Holistic leadership involves looking at all of the pieces that make up the big picture and strengthening them to improve the overall outcome.”
According to Stacy, those pieces include addressing issues that students “have struggled with during their time at AU.”
“I would like to look into things like Wi-Fi speed, parking and communication between different groups,” said Stacy. “Some of the groups that I would like to bring into closer communication with each other are individuals from different departments and fields of study, and faculty and staff and the student body.”
Smith and Mweu also hope to address what students perceive as poor communication from Administration.
Their platform for change first starts with approaching students and hearing their concerns. For several weeks before the primaries, Smith and Mweu visited dorms and asked for feedback about campus.
“Through the process of talking with as many students as we can, Victor and I have heard many concerns,” said Smith. “We heard concerns such as inconsistent hot water in Martin Hall, poor parking behind Myers Hall, poor water quality in Morrison Hall and the need for stronger Wi-Fi.”
“The problem is not that the issues are difficult to solve—the problem is we need to communicate the problem to the right people,” Smith said. “Victor and I know the right people. We’ll go out of our way to hear you and proactively respond and address concerns quickly.”
Smith and Mweu hold an advantage over their opponents when it comes to experience. While they have been involved in SGA as senators for nearly two years, Stacy and Onimole have not been involved in student government at the college level.
“We are familiar with the processes of SGA,” said Smith. “We know how it works. Victor and I hear the concerns that come across the table every week, and we have a plan to fix it.”
“I have not been involved with student government before,” said Stacy. However, he has held three different leadership positions.
“Last year, I was honored and privileged to be both a discipleship coordinator for the second floor of Dunn Hall, as well as a Peer Mentor for a great group of freshmen,” said Stacy. “This year, I was excited to tackle a new position, peer mentor leader, where I’ve worked closely with Lisa Horst, the director of the First Year Experience Program, and the FYE leadership staff to organize and execute FYE events, as well as led a small group for a handful of the Peer Mentors.”
Onimole was a peer mentor last year and is currently serving as an RA in Fair Commons.
Ultimately, both pairs of candidates hope for continued improvement to AU.
“Communities like Anderson’s don’t become what they are, and don’t realize what they could be, by chance,” said Stacy. “They take work, dedication and willingness by community members to be involved and contribute instead of being content to simply criticize.”
“I want to make AU a place people are proud to attend,” said Mweu. “We have a vision for this campus that can only be attained with students’ help.”
The general election will take place tomorrow after chapel.