SGA officer elections held today
Published: Monday, February 11, 2008
Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:05
Beginning at 8:30 a.m. today, students will be able to vote for Student Government Association executive officers in the Liberal Arts Building, Thad Cochran Center lobby and Payne Center. Polls close at 4:00 p.m.
Presidential candidates include Melissa Cirino and Omari Pittman. Cirino believes she will make a great SGA president if elected because she is able to see the "big vision" of what Southern Miss students want.
"I love Southern Miss," she said. "I am crazy about this university and couldn't imagine myself any place else."
Cirino hopes to extend campus hours, specifically in the dorms and library.
"We are college students - we don't shut down at 10 p.m., and our campus shouldn't either," she said.
Omari Pittman thinks he would make a great SGA president because he is involved in many campus organizations and has already served in the SGA as elections commissioner.
"I am a proven leader around campus," he said. "I promised to raise voter turnout by 500 votes as elections commissioner, and I got it done. I always get things done."
The three vice presidential candidates are Stephen McCay, Luke Smitherman and Deborah Quave.
Smitherman wants to create four new senate positions and diversify the senate. He believes he stands out from the other two candidates because he is able to relate more to students and knows their needs.
"I am the only candidate who is a transfer," he said. "I have been involved in college athletics and I am involved in more organizations than any other vice presidential candidate."
Quave believes she will bring energy to the position.
"I will bring a life to the senate," she said. "I hope to increase student education about student senate."
McCay said he stands out from the other two vice presidential candidates because he has been a SGA senator for the past three years. He wants students and senators to communicate so senators will be able to know student needs and pump out legislation.
Jayson Newell and Sean Peters are running for attorney general.
Newell wants to teach students more about the appeals process in getting parking management tickets revoked.
"I don't know about you, but I don't have an extra $50 to spend on parking tickets," he said.
If elected, Peters plans to address campus parking needs because he said ongoing construction is taking away from much needed parking. Peters wants to relieve problems by supporting a parking garage and a shuttle system once student housing is moved to the perimeters of campus as planned.
Both J.R. Robinson and Gail Sims are running for election commissioner.
Robinson said he wants to implement an electronic tabulation system, called PenVote, to cut down on the wait time after polls have closed.
"I have already had a leadership position as the Freshman Association adviser, and I know how to run organizations," he said. "I am already equipped with the skills to lead and get the job done."
Sims plans to start an incentive program to increase voter turnout during elections by working with Barnes and Noble, Ashley's, and the Powerhouse to donate free items to students who vote. She also wants to publicize the election process more by publishing biographies and debates on the USM Web site before elections.
All candidates are encouraging students to vote in the elections.
"The student body doesn't understand what potential the SGA has to make a difference on this campus, but that begins with them choosing a representative who will actively pursue finding out what their needs are and going to any means necessary in order to meet those needs," Cirino said.