Student Government presidential candidates discuss their platforms

Nathan Weaver

With election season for Georgia Southern University’s Student Government Association kicking off, the three students running to be GS’ new SGA president have shared their ideas, positions and proposals.

Each of the three candidates were asked to briefly describe their campaign’s platforms and why students should vote for them.

Voting began Monday at 12:01 a.m. and will remain open until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. Links for voting were sent via email to all GS students.   

Juwan Smith, junior civil engineering major and current SGA Executive Assistant, shared his vision for his campaign and, if elected, his presidency.

“The idea behind my campaign is Family Matters,” Smith said. “Family Matters is an American television sitcom revolving around the Winslow family and Steve Urkel. Just like the hit TV show Georgia Southern University was consolidated seems like overnight and was expanded from one campus to three. We have had our fair share of ups and downs along this journey and trust me we will have many more. While the combination of three different campuses with various values and traditions hasn’t been easy, we must understand families fight and disagree and that’s ok. It is my goal of becoming your next Student Government President to represent the voices of all students regardless of physical locations.”

“See, being a part of a family means you are a part of something wonderful and will love and be loved for the rest of your life,” Smith said. “Not every family is perfect but at the end of the day, they are one. Just like a family, we don’t get to choose who is and who isn’t a part of our family but we must adapt and love each other just the same. Little over a year ago we all were added to a unique but beautiful family. Consolidation might not have been what you asked for but it was what we were blessed with. As Student Government President I will tackle issues like consolidation, diversity, and inclusion, and campus safety to name a few. My goal of Student Government President is first identifying our why within Student Government Association. Our why is one of the most important steps in being able to bring about change for students. We must discover why we want to be a part of this family I previously talked about. Once we have developed our why we set forth a mission. This mission will be cultivated from student concerns from all three campus identifying what we can do as the Student Government Association to make sure students feel a part of this beautiful family. Our mission statement for the year will be used to tackle issues mentioned by the students to produce results for the university.”

“The last step of the plan is to execute,” Smith said. “Execution may seem like the easiest step but we must be able to adjust and adapt so we can carry out the goals in our mission. I should be elected to be the next Student Government Association president because of my previous leadership experience and my heart to serve the students. I believe in order to be a great leader you must first have the heart to serve to make sacrifices and take criticism to grow. With being a part of Student Government for the past two years I have had the honor to serve on committees and executive board. I had the opportunity to watch great leaders before me and I believe it’s my turn to serve the students in this capacity. I have the passion to make the sacrifices needed to bridge all three campuses to make one family. I will create intentional meeting spaces for all campus to come together and discuss concerns on all three campuses. It is my hope to show each student that family does matter!”

Zean Lopez, SGA Senator for the College of Engineering and Computing, also shared his platform as a candidate and goals as president with The George-Anne.

“The idea, or I should say platform, of my campaign and presidency is on renewed relationships and visible progress,” Lopez said. “Firstly, this platform takes on the issues of miscommunication between campuses, administrations, students, organizations, et cetera. It is because of these miscommunications that lead to distrust, misinterpretations and disassociation between people. Secondly, I believe students and administration are more willing to place their trust on an association that produces visible results. Hence, as a president I will advocate for more student-based projects and see to their completion and sustained success. In this way, students will feel engaged to improve the university for themselves and future eagles.”

“What separates me from the other candidates?” Lopez said. “Many things, not the least of which is my conviction to uphold the advancement of tangible goals as a result of collaboration between all Georgia Southern affiliates. Furthermore, through the years I have reached out to all strata of Georgia Southern society to gather input on what they enjoy and would like to see improved for the university.”

“I want to be elected simply to foster a new era of service, growth, and achievement, the likes of which Georgia Southern has not seen in a long time,” Lopez said.

Keyshawn Housey, SGA Senator At Large and the third candidate for the SGA presidency for the 2019-2020 academic year, also described his vision for student government next year and why students ought to vote for him.

“We are Southern,” Housey said. “In this campaign, I want to promote the ideals of inclusion, advocacy and stability for all three campuses, because whether you go to the campus in Statesboro, Savannah or Hinesville the role of the SGA President is the same, to facilitate student concerns, through legislation drafted by your senators to the highest level of administrators. My years of leadership have distinguished me from my competitors which include authoring legislation on diversity and working with Statesboro Mayor Johnathan McCollar before and after his election. My endeavors have been marked with charisma, dedication, and passion. I feel that I should be elected because as your president or not, I will continue to serve the students to best of my abilities because that is what this institution deserves.”

The candidates running for other SGA positions, both executive and legislative, are as follows:

Statesboro Campus: Executive Vice President

  • Kahria Hadley

Statesboro Campus: Vice President for Academic Affairs:

  • Dajah Jones

Statesboro Campus: Vice President for Auxiliary Affairs:

  • Nailah Mitnaul

Statesboro Campus: Senator At Large:

  • Tinashe Chitiyo
  • Nyla Hall
  • Dantrell Maeweather
  • Devin Stephens
  • JaMarian Walker

Statesboro Campus: Senator – College of Arts and Humanities:

  • Albani Berryhill
  • Ashley Cadely
  • Caryn Coquerel
  • Imani McGill
  • Tiffany Wells

Statesboro Campus: Senator – College of Behavioral and Social Sciences:

  • Asiyah Amador
  • Nathan Carpenter
  • Brandon J. Cornelius
  • Zakiya Daniel
  • Taylor Delgado
  • Andrew Eunice
  • Samuel E. Hobbs
  • Erykah Hoskins
  • Jansen Killian
  • Brett Kohler
  • Erika Love
  • Samora Ray
  • Kevin Ryan
  • Madeline Ryan Smith
  • Mark Traylor
  • Abigail Troutman

Statesboro Campus: Senator – College of Business:

  • Lauren Armstrong
  • Mark Donnell
  • Aaron Geter III
  • Nyla Hall
  • Ryan Harrington
  • Kameron Humphrey
  • Sequoya Mclendon
  • Kobe Stringer
  • Jordan Vaughn
  • Bridgette Wooden

Statesboro Campus: Senator – College of Graduate Studies:

  • Chimah Chiamaka
  • Quentin Smith

Statesboro Campus: Senator – College of Science and Mathematics:

  • Gwendolyn Brown
  • Deshae Deans
  • Klaishon Fambrough
  • Ayah Favors
  • Nia Gitau
  • Noah Osterhoudt
  • Lucia Sturges

Liberty Campus: Councilor:

  • DeMorris McGruder
  • Emmaline Menger
  • Dillon Minges
  • Parsa Torabi

Armstrong Campus: Executive Vice President:

  • Spencer DeMink

Armstrong Campus: Vice President of Finance:

  • Yilnette Morales Núñez

Armstrong Campus: Senator At Large:

  • Erica Cribbs
  • Megan Evans
  • Beverly Leitelt
  • Elizabeth Ossi
  • Jacquie Reis
  • Jordan Stevenson
  • Katie Sparks
  • Tyler Tyack

Armstrong Campus: Senator – College of Education:

  • Mohamed Elshahahwy
  • Sophia Lopez

Armstrong Campus: Senator – College of Health Professions:

  • Makenzie Bunton
  • Jade Reynolds
  • Nick Wright