SGA election 2020: What you need to know about the candidates ahead of the Herald Town Hall

Provided by the SGA Candidates

Jacob Latimer

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Abbey Norvell’s SGA position. Norvell is currently the director of Academic and Student Affairs. The Herald regrets this error.

With SGA elections approaching, the presidential candidates have continued to voice their platforms throughout the week. 

The presidential election consists of MJ Mayo, the Senator for the Potter College of Arts and Letters, and a ticket consisting of Garrett Edmonds, the current Executive Vice President of SGA, and Abbey Norvell, Director of Academic and Student Affairs of SGA. 

The ticket previously consisted of Nathan Terrell, who was running for Executive Vice President, but recently dropped out after a video emerged of him using a racial slur. 

The Garrett-Abbey ticket recently released a statement on its Instagram account regarding the situation with Terrell. 

“This does not reflect the character or the values of Garrett or Abbey or the intentions of the GA ticket. We agreed with Nathan to remove himself on the ticket, effective immediately.”

The Garrett-Abbey Ticket

Edmonds and Norvell have put a focus on expanding and reshaping the role of SGA senators on-campus. They plan to transition office hours into service hours so that SGA members can be more involved in “connecting with students and hearing their concerns,” Edmonds said. 

On the issue of COVID-19, Edmonds and Norvell want to make sure that students are still connecting with one another while still keeping themselves and others safe. 

“With Covid-19 reshaping our interactions on campus, we want to ensure that students can still have recreational spaces and amenities across the campus to build friendships while also maintaining their health and safety,” Edmonds wrote in a text message. 

Along with this, Edmonds and Norvell have decided, if elected, to introduce an SGA outreach committee. Edmonds stated that this committee would expand connections between on-campus organizations and provide a direct source of input from multiple organizations. 

Edmonds also said that the ticket’s shared goal is to “promote a campus life that brings all students together to promote the family dynamic we share as students.” 

MJ Mayo

I’m running for SGA president because I want to give a voice back to the students. Somewhere, and somehow, SGA lost it’s way and became an exclusive group that wasn’t advocating for the entire student body,” Mayo said in an email. 

Mayo, who has been a member of SGA since 2019, is putting a heavy focus on providing for the student body. 

“I don’t work for the University. I will always work with them to ensure that student voices are loud enough so they can’t be ignored,” Mayo said.

When it comes to specific plans if elected, Mayo stated that within the first two weeks of the new senate, she will have a bill on the floor allocating funds to provide basic hygiene necessities, food, and cleaning supplies for students in the quarantine dorm. 

Mayo is also taking a strong stance on diversity and inclusion on-campus. 

“Our senate must be representative of the full make-up of the student body. And, throughout the year, I will host zoom town halls once a month to increase accountability and transparency with the office,” Mayo said. 

On top of her plans to assist students in quarantine, Mayo wants to make sure that everyone is getting the help they need during the pandemic. 

“We know this pandemic has taken a hit to our mental health and wallets, so we want to make sure every Hilltopper is taking care of themselves and that we can keep them here on the Hill,” Mayo said. 

The SGA Town Hall will be taking place Thursday night at 7:30 in the DSU auditorium, where these candidates will dive deeper into their platforms and on-campus issues. The election will be held on TopNet on Monday and Tuesday.

Jacob Latimer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jacoblatimer_.