Beginning on Thursday, March 5, students will have the opportunity to vote for AU’s next SGA president and vice president. Two duos have announced their candidacy: Bryson Sleppy and Elli Brooks, as well as Daniel Gaines and Maddie Rastetter.
Sleppy, junior national security major, and Brooks, junior social work major, announced their candidacy in February.
“We have a strong love for this place and this community,” said Sleppy. “We love this place, and we want to see it flourish.”
Sleppy explained that he and Brooks come from different backgrounds and majors, and he believes that will help them connect with the student body.
“I really enjoy working with her and seeing her perspective on things,” Sleppy said. “She’s very involved. She has a very diverse background and things that I don’t, so she helps me understand other people’s backgrounds and how everybody’s situation is different.”
According to Sleppy, the duo first and foremost wants to listen to the student body, placing an emphasis on being “open to ideas.” Additionally, Sleppy and Brooks explained the campus improvements they would work toward if elected.
“We want to continue the green initiative,” Sleppy said. “I also think a big thing for us is safety and continuing the implementation of more safety devices and lights in the valley, providing a safe and comfortable environment for students, whether it’s in the classroom or outside.”
“It’s not just physical safety—it’s also emotional safety,” Brooks added. “We want students to feel like they belong here.”
Brooks explained that both she and Sleppy are Legacy students, which she feels helps them better appreciate AU’s history and community.
“We both know the school well,” said Brooks. “We’re both RAs, so that gives us a little more insight of what the world of AU has to offer.”
Running against Sleppy and Brooks are Daniel Gaines, junior national security, political science, history and mathematics major, and Maddie Rastetter, junior political science major.
“I reached out to Maddie last fall,” Gaines said. “We both had an interest in student government, and we’re both good candidates for the position. So, I reached out to Maddie last fall to gauge her interest, and she was ready to get on board.”
Since deciding to run together, Gaines and Rastetter have been developing their platform and deciding on issues they would like to tackle.
“What I really love about our platform is that it takes into account several different aspects of campus into one theme,” said Gaines. “So, our main theme is building community together. Basically, we’re interested in enhancing community here on campus.”
Gaines explained that their campaign theme has several different facets. Among the initivates is Mocha Joe’s renovations, community engagement —both in Madison County and at AU—continuing green initiatives, security and recreation.
According to Gaines, the duo’s friendship has spanned many years, and they have had the opportunity to work with one another in multiple contexts.
“We actually work together, and we have known each other since high school,” said Gaines. “We’ve known each other for a long time, and she has demonstrated hard work and leadership skills.”
“I’ve been in student senate since my freshman year,” said Rastetter. “I’ve worked on different committees, and Daniel has been on student senate for two years now. He’s a great leader and wants to make sure everything is done right.”
Both campaigns encourage students to attend the SGA chapel held on Thursday, March 5 in Reardon Auditorium. Voting opens after chapel and will remain open until the following Monday.