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Nunnery secures SGA bid

By Kelly Mayo; Noah Clark
News Editor; Copy Editor

April 19, 2012


The Student Government Association held its general elections on March 28-29. Sophomore senator Robert Nunnery won the presidency, and current vice president Hillary Coleman won a second term.

Nunnery and Coleman ran unopposed in the election. Some 436 students, or 7 percent of the student population, voted online in the two-day voting period.

SGA adviser Preston Ramsey said that voter turnout was "up quite a bit from last year and the year before that."

He also said that all 12 candidates for sophomore, junior and senior senators won a position.

"There weren't enough people in each category for it to be a competitive race," Ramsey said.

Knowledge of SGA

Resident Adviser and UNCP senior Bakari Nixon said he was mostly unaware of SGA's elections.

"I've seen little flyers, but this is the first I've heard that voting's coming up," Nixon said on March 22.

According to junior Dan Garten, "Everyone still thinks Arjay [Quizon]'s in charge."

Quizon was SGA's president from 2009 to 2011. He is currently SGA's treasurer.

"I did not even know we had one until they sent me an email or something," freshman Gabby Radcliffe said.

Media

SGA's website contains the group's Constitution and an up-to-date list of current senators and the executive branch.

The website also contains the agendas and minutes of meetings dating back to 2002-03. From the current school year, readers can view one set of minutes from August 2011 and six sets from February 2012.

SGA has its own Facebook page and Twitter feed, which shows a respective 519 "likes" and 178 "followers."

However, the "Extended Info" page on Facebook lists the senators, staff members and committee members from the 2010-11 school year.

SGA's perspective

Ramsey said that much of its marketing has focused on its programs, where members "plug" the weekly meetings.

Ramsey said that SGA is an important organization because it can influence change on campus.

"SGA is a conduit to connect to other campuses to see what's going on...It's an opportunity to meet the staff and host student issue programs. Overall, it's just an opportunity to be involved in the experience of being a college student and having a voice," Ramsey said.

Outgoing SGA President Brian McCormick said that SGA regularly invites students to its meetings and to follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and its University webpage.

"Every student is a member of SGA," McCormick said.

However, he said that having a "personal involvement" with students creates a better relationship than electronic advertising.

McCormick said SGA will start appearing at freshman orientation in fall 2012.

He said this will make new students aware of how to get involved on campus in time for freshman elections in September.

Some SGA senators agree that its visibility needs work.

At-large senator Carson Cone said that SGA's advertising is "not what it should be."

His ideas for improvement included sponsoring more events and having a presence in freshman seminar classes and the Career Center.

"The majority of students don't know SGA exists," Cone said.

SGA sponsors events on campus like its annual Spring Carnival. This past year, it has also held several student forums on topics like financial aid and dining options.

SGA holds meetings every Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. in UC room 213. They are open for all students to attend.

However, some students said SGA needs to go further to make itself better known to the student body it represents.

Junior Robert Shipley said it should "just yell loudly" and hold more programs in the UC.

Junior Sahira Treadwell said that SGA should go to freshman seminar classes at the beginning of each semester and co-sponsor other organizations.

Nixon said that the more students know about SGA, the more likely they will be to participate in it.

"If every student would just take the time to sit in a meeting and...learn something they do to help everyone out," Nixon said.

McCormick said that increased focus and participation in student forums, as well as successfully advocating for more work-study money and preventing a student fee increase are examples of what he has achieved as SGA president.

He said his job has been to serve the student body.

"I think I've been able to accomplish that," McCormick said.

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Updated: Saturday, May 5, 2012
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