Tuesday, a new slate of SGA candidates was elected into office. The results were expected, but how could they not be? Six of the seven candidates ran unopposed, but even if they had not, they were Machine candidates. They were destined to win from the beginning.
The saying floats around that the SGA is just kids playing kid games. In the opinion of many on campus, SGA doesn’t mean anything. To a certain extent, I have to agree. In many ways, SGA is simply an extension of the established greek system. They host events, do their good deed and occasionally install new bike racks. What power does the SGA truly have? Just kids playing kid games.
However corrupt or useless the system may be, the fact still remains that we as a student body elected these students to represent us. I say represent because Jimmy Taylor, as SGA president, has a particularly special role. Taylor will be the only UA student represented at Board of Trustees meetings. The only UA student. Out of 33,600 students, Taylor will be the only one represented in front of this board. Obviously, the Board of Trustees is not a bunch of kids playing kid games. They determine our tuition, the future of three campuses in the UA system and make other major decisions. And Taylor will be our voice in those meetings. That’s a powerful position, and not one to be taken for granted.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to sit in on ex-president Guy Bailey’s Board of Trustee interview. At the table in front of the audience sat every Board of Trustee member and chancellor Robert Witt. There was one seat empty, however. Toward the front of the table was a nameplate that read: “Matt Calderone, SGA President.” Not to condemn Calderone, but helping choose the future UA president is not something the only student representative on the board should skip.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor and the rest of the executive branch candidates as a part of The Crimson White editorial board. Each one appeared to be a great person and fully capable of leading us in the executive branch. Tuesday morning I saw Hamilton Bloom, and he said he remembered me and made sure to chat with me. Allison Montgomery is new to a high position within the SGA but said she was eager to learn. Will Pylant was polished and insisted that student opinion comes first. Chris Willis answered each of our questions fully and said he will handle the SGA’s finances properly. Parker Graham recognized problems in the SGA and said he will be a great resource to fix the corruption. Finally, Taylor was friendly, open and said he will serve as a great president.
During our interview, we talked about the fact that running unopposed means they are under a greater obligation to prove themselves as the best candidates. I believe they are worthy candidates.
I just ask them, however, not to take advantage of their positions. I ask them to work hard and represent the entire student body and not just certain parts. Regardless of how the student body may see the SGA, they do have an important role on campus and can make a difference. At the same time, they can do great harm.
It’s our responsibility as voters and the students they represent to make sure they do work for the betterment of the University. It’s the duty of The Crimson White editorial board to make sure they stay in line and are held accountable for their actions.
I look forward to working with this group of students. The executive branch for this next year consists of worthy candidates and great people. I believe that with hard work and the desire to serve, they hold the potential to be more than just kids playing kid games.
Mackenzie Brown is the Visuals Editor of The Crimson White.