2016-17 student body officer endorsements

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The Daily Campus Editorial Board met as a group to review the candidates running for Student Body President, Vice President and Secretary. After studying each candidate’s platform and attending the Student Senate Student Body Officers (SBO) Debate, we have come to a unanimous decision and clear endorsement of a candidate for each position.

PRESIDENT: Blake Rainey

Blake Rainey is running for Student Body President. Photo credit: Blake Rainey
Blake Rainey is running for Student Body President. Photo credit: Blake Rainey

Blake Rainey won our endorsement for President with his direct, tangible platform points as well as his prior experience within Student Senate. His experience in both serving Student Senate and passing successful legislation highlights his preparedness for this role. Within senate, he has served as Cox Senator, Chair of the Organizations Committee and on the Finance Committee.

He is the only candidate to successfully co-author legislation for the Student Senate: S-101-10: A Resolution on Lighting on McFarlin Boulevard; S-102-5: A Resolution on Increasing Safety and Awareness in SMU Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports; S-102-14: A Resolution Strongly Recommending the Extension of Course Drop Dates. These resolutions extended the add/drop date from five days to 10 days, increased safety at Dedman Recreational Center and improved lighting on McFarlin Boulevard.

Rainey’s three-part platform (Reform, Empower and Deliver) offers realistic solutions to campus problems ranging from dining and library hours to legislation committees and student funding. He knows the campus administrators in charge by name and who to report to in order to have a dialogue and enact change.

We are also choosing to endorse Rainey because he was the sole candidate to have a feasible solution to the problem of campus diversity, a hot-topic at the SBO Debate. Rainey suggested that a big aspect SMU needs to change is its image in order to make the school more welcoming place for all prospective students. He plans to work with Evelyn Ashley, assistant dean of student life and director of student conduct and community standards, to create consequences for those individuals or organizations that are racially insensitive.

We would like to note that his opponent, Vivian Frederick, was a strong contender. Frederick also has prior experience within Student Senate as Speaker; however, we believe she needs more experience as a leader within the senate in order to successfully tackle the issues and ideas stated in her platform.

VICE PRESIDENT: Nicki Fletcher

Nicki Fletcher is running for Student Body Vice President. Photo credit: Nicki Fletcher
Nicki Fletcher is running for Student Body Vice President. Photo credit: Nicki Fletcher

Nicki Fletcher won our endorsement for Vice President with her prior experience on Student Senate and her involvement in several different areas of campus life. Fletcher has direct connections to the student body as a prior Mustang Corral Guide and Mustang Corral Director, as well as a Resident Assistant and Commons Council President. She is also a member of varsity athletics as a member of the SMU Women’s Rowing Team. We feel as though these groups are often the ones that fall through the cracks, in terms of representation and voice, and Fletcher’s knowledge of these experiences will be an asset to the 103rd Student Senate.

Fletcher’s dedication to students’ needs and desire to make opportunities known was apparent in her responses during the Student Senate SBO Debate. She is running on a platform of “Student Success Through Senate Service,” which is a new perspective on the role of Student Senate and connecting them to administrative services like the Hegi Family Career Development Center.

Her prior Student Senate experience includes serving as the Simmons Senator, on the Communications Committee and as the Ad Hoc Committee Chair of the Entertainment Fund and New SMU Calendar Site.

SECRETARY: Will Jones

Will Jones is running unopposed for Student Body Secretary. Photo credit: Will Jones
Will Jones is running unopposed for Student Body Secretary. Photo credit: Will Jones

We endorse Will Jones for Secretary because of his sincerity in improving the state of Student Senate and his prior experience serving in the same position as Interim Student Senate Secretary since January. It also helps that he is running unopposed for his term.

Even if he was opposed, Jones is the clear choice. He has worked to organize the chamber internally, specifically on handling absences and office hours. He has served in senate as a pre-major senator on the Finance Committee and the Finance Reforms process.

Jones plans to focus on the large issues like dining and parking, but also the smaller issues around campus that often get overlooked. His major acts of legislation are creating a Queer Student Senate Seat, a Military Veterans Student Senate Seat, and an Athletic Student Senate Seat. We find his addition of these seats not only refreshing, but also necessary for Student Senate to fairly represent SMU’s campus as a whole.

Opinions expressed in each unsigned editorial represent a consensus decision of the editorial board. All other columns reflect the views of individual authors and not necessarily those of the editorial staff.

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