SGA candidates plan to bring change to campus
Three students who serve higher roles in Student Government Association are hoping to take the next step in the organization.
Midland junior Anna Owens, Palms junior Luke Anderson and Belding senior Cody Van Buren are running to be student body president for the 2017-18 academic year.
Owens, the current SGA vice president, has sophomore Derek Sturvist as her running mate. Sophomore Galen Miller will serve as Anderson’s vice presidential candidate, while senior and Senate Leader Emilee Madison will run with Van Buren, the current House leader.
The winner will succeed current SGA president Jazmin Biernat.
Students can vote for the sole treasurer candidate, junior Mike DeGregory in the election, or cast a vote of no confidence. Fifteen senators are also on the ballot.
Voting is accessible on OrgSync and is open to the entire student body. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, April 4.
If elected, Owens and Sturvist want to change what SGA means on campus.
“We just want to transform the culture and make it so that it really is an organization that represents the students,” Owens said. “We want to make sure that any concerns students have, they can come to us and vice-versa.”
Owens said she not only promises dedication to help students and pass legislation on Monday nights, but to be active in the Mount Pleasant community and to volunteer.
“We are one of the largest (registered student organizations) on campus and there’s a lot more that we can do to volunteer,” Owens said. “On Monday nights we have so many people in a room that we can do little projects and still accomplish big things.”
Owens said she wants to make sure SGA reaches out to every RSO on campus. Not all RSOs are represented by SGA, and Owens said it is important every group has an opportunity to be involved.
“Derek and I really can reach out to the student body effectively and we know what can be done,” Owens said. “It is really easy to come up with a big idea that you want to change on campus. It’s really difficult to break it down into manageable steps. That is something that Derek and I are really good at doing and have experience doing.”
Owens is studying political science with a concentration in foreign relations and cultural and global studies.
Additionally, Owens has been a house representative, house clerk, house pro tempore, Senator, Senate Leader and the governmental affairs committee chair. She is also the founding president of the Mock Trial Association.
Anderson, the current SGA treasurer, said students should vote for him because he is an executor and gets things done.
“I want what (students) want and I would like to execute for whatever that is,” Anderson said.
There are three priorities Anderson and Miller would like to establish — a Gender and Sexuality Center, an on-campus polling station and a bike-sharing program using bikes that are confiscated by police.
“Being able to do a ridesharing company would not only cut down on carbon missions, but maybe even help students at Central Michigan be a little more active,” Anderson said.
Anderson added a lot of legislation is passed by SGA, but the results are not seen by the campus community.
“(I’m) not saying that legislation has never made an impact here because it definitely does,” Anderson said. “But sometimes I have talked to a lot of senators and they are just like well nothing ever came of it, so I would like to change that.”
Anderson is studying Economics and Applied Mathematics. He has been a senator for the College of Business Administration and college program fund chairperson, runs for Central Michigan’s Track and Cross Country team, is a member of Fortify Capital Management, Financial Management Association and Phi Alpha Delta.
Van Buren’s platform calls for inclusion, leadership and community.
“When I have a driven desire to accomplish something I get it done, and that’s something I think makes me different than my competitors,” Van Buren said.
A main platform of Van Buren and Madison’s campaign is to enhance school spirit and foster relationships between Mount Pleasant and Central Michigan University.
“We talk about school spirit and having a sense of pride for this institution because ultimately, what we do here for the four years reflects the next forty years of our life. That’s something that we want to advocate here at (CMU),” Van Buren said.
Van Buren also thinks CMU can improve their relationship with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe.
“I don’t think we have really reached out to them enough as students and that’s something that I would like to do with our administration,” Van Buren said.
Listening to the concerns of the student body is another area Van Buren would like to work on.
“People have these ideas and ideas are great but it’s like, how do you get the idea on paper? That’s where I strive at,” Van Buren said.
Van Buren is double-majoring in International Politics and Comparative Governments with a minor in Military Science and Leadership. He is also involved in the ROTC, Model United Nations and is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He was previously a Senator for the College of Education and Human Services.