It would be all too easy for me to write an impassioned letter about why Conner Hounshell, Kara Lowry and Savannah Molyneaux are an amazing ticket, one capable of steering our campus community in a positive direction. I could tell you all about their experience, their commitment to diversity and their compassion for others.
Those are all important factors in deciding who to support, but, to be quite frank, there are infinitely more compelling reasons to not vote for any of the other candidates for these positions.
Kenan Mujkanovic has been in SGA for the past two years, which is more experience than Garrett Edmonds or Harper Anderson have at least. However, in his time as a Senator, he has not once proven himself capable of having a firm opinion on any topic or capable of even trying to make substantial change.
He claims he wants to “reclaim” student voice and has been working on a dedicated plan, but he has no ground to stand on. He has had the ability for two years to “reclaim” student voice; instead, he abstains on anything that would require him taking a stance a majority of the time, and when another student expressed homophobic views in a meeting, he responded by saying that he “probably” did not agree. Kenan does not inspire change, and if he were to win, I would not have any faith whatsoever in the future of SGA to be a place of inspiration for students.
The MEA ticket that includes Stephen Mayer, Garrett Edmonds and Harper Anderson is troubling for some similar reasons, as well as even more disturbing ones. I have been involved with SGA since I was a freshman. I joined my first semester as a Senator, and I have steadily moved up to my current position of Director of Academic and Student Affairs. I used to love SGA. It had its issues at times, but, overall, it was a positive place where I felt I could grow as a student leader.
Garrett Edmonds and Harper Anderson are running for positions typically held by juniors and seniors, and they do not even have the proven capability of being able to hold those positions. If you played me recordings of ten female voices, I could not pick out which one was Harper because I have heard her speak a handful of times, if that.
Garrett Edmonds is the most concerning member of the ticket, and he is also the reason I find myself adamantly opposed to Stephen’s candidacy (apart from his own track record of rarely writing legislation). Garrett has been a negative voice in Senate this entire year. He has opposed legislation to support underrepresented members of our campus community, such as the LGBTQ+ community, international students and students of color.
He has continually proven his disrespect for women, his incapability of handling money and his lack of a spine. He will make pointed attacks in Senate, but face-to-face, he refuses to own up to any opinion. SGA does not need a leader who will allow hatred and bigotry to spread, and they certainly do not need the inexperience that characterizes every single candidate other than the Hounshell, Lowry and Molyneaux ticket.
They portray themselves as having ideas or experience, but it takes a minute of digging into their involvement to realize that is all blatantly false. SGA should not be defined by students who only want the glory of having a title, and I sincerely doubt they would have any chance of success if they were elected. I encourage you all to dig a little. Ask questions. Challenge the lies they spread. And, please, do not allow people who have wasted opportunities to lead as senators lead the entire student body in executive positions.