SGA presidential candidates prepare for election
On March 7 and 9, students can cast their vote for SGA president for the 2017 – 2018 academic year.
Sophomore Cameron Cloud and senior Jesse Robinson are running against one another for the job to replace current SGA President Caroline Bradley.
Sophomore biological sciences and communication studies double major Cameron Cloud said he feels the need to give back to the university after living in Hattiesburg for 20 years.
“I knew when I was choosing colleges, I wanted to be somewhere I could go to make a difference,” Cloud said. “Southern Miss takes ordinary people and allows them to do extraordinary things. The famous quote by Dr. Joe Paul says, ‘Leave Southern Miss better than you found it,’ but in the end, I truly believe that Southern Miss has left me better than it found me.”
Cloud has been an active member in several on-campus clubs and organizations during his two years at the university, including SGA Eaglepalooza as assistant director, SGA Freshman Forum, the Luckyday scholarship program, the Honors College where he serves as an ambassador, Lambda Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, former Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Miss and a 2016 GEWW Crew leader. USM awarded Cloud Most Outstanding Freshman Male of the Year in 2016.
Cloud’s campaign has four main points: relationships, inclusivity, transparency and community.
Regarding relationships, Cloud said he would like to advertise the Speak Up Southern Miss website, so that more students will be encouraged to make appointments with representatives from SGA Senate members since many students feel the SGA office is intimidating.
In another attempt to make the SGA office more approachable as well as assure fairness in the Cabinet appointment process, Cloud is in the process of writing and proposing a bill to the SGA Senate to ensure inclusivity is a priority.
“Each student – whether transfer, international, scholar, athlete, artist, Greek, graduate or undergraduate – needs to have representation within SGA,” Cloud said.
In addition to the lack of representation in SGA, Cloud has noticed that most students do not recognize the power of SGA. Cloud said, “I have personally asked many students, ‘What can SGA do to improve your experience here on campus?’ The number one response is: ‘What is SGA, and what has it done for me?’ “
To provide transparency between the student body and SGA, Cloud said he wants to post in monthly update videos on social media as well as the SGA website for all USM students to see. He said he is also planning on sending bi-weekly updates to the SGA branches to ensure proper communication.
For his final point, community, Cloud would like to partner with local businesses to provide students with discounts and advertise those discounts on the SGA website.
Senior Jesse Robinson also has a list of achievements and plans for the university if elected. Robinson, a mathematics major and economics minor from Florence, Miss., has been a member of SGA Freshman Associates and SGA Senate. He has also served as SGA Vice President this past year.
Robinson’s early membership in SGA and continued involvement inspired him to run for president.
“My term as a senator taught me to seek out the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of my fellow students and always remember that I am representing more than just myself for as long as I serve a role in SGA. This past year, being the Vice President allowed me to play an even larger role in ensuring that student voices were being heard and that we were striving to push the university forward.”
Robinson has also held membership in Southern Style, Honors College, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Lambda Sigma Honor Society, Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, Kappa Mu Epilson Mathematic Honor Society, National Society of Leadership and Success, Student Support Services as a tutor, and the Interfraternity Council.
His campaign relies on the belief that the college experience is two- fold: academic and student life, both of which Robinson believes are equally important. He has divided his initiatives into the two categories.
His academic plan includes four main points. First, Robinson wants to be a part of the development of the Academic Reorganization Plan, which strives to better use academic resources, and communicate the effect to students. He would also like for the SGA to partner with the Finish in 4 campaign.
Robinson aims to reinforce the Relief/”Dead Days” policy after multiple complaints from the student body concerning professors giving tests on the Thursday or Friday prior to final exams. He would also like to modify academic advisement so that students feel prepared to take advised classes.
In regard to student life, Robinson’s priorities are to educate students on new parking plans as well as alternative transit systems, continue refining the relationship between Aramark and SGA, and make a conscious effort to have SGA effectively represent and reach out to the entirety of the student body.
Robinson emphasized his connection to the student body when he said, “The first word of the organization, student, explains our entire reason for existing. SGA exists to govern and represent all of the students at the university. However, without branching out and having discussions with students from all walks of life, how can we claim to represent them?”
Students will be able to cast their vote for SGA president on March 7 and 9 in the Thad Cochran Center.