SGA executive candidates debate at ‘Herald Town Hall’

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association’s executive candidates discussed their policy ideas and issues facing WKU students during the Herald Town Hall debate on Monday night.

Presidential candidate Andi Dahmer started off the debate and said one of the main issues WKU currently faces is retention.

Opposing presidential candidate Lily Nellans said her campaign will focus on helping marginalized students on campus, improving student diversity and turning WKU’s focus away from only “rich, white students.”

The final presidential candidate Kenan Mujkanovic said increased tuition costs is the most important issue students face.

Dahmer said the most important part of her platform was being a dependable president for students by taking their feedback and promoting collaboration between students and faculty.

“If this means standing up to the [Board of Regents] when there’s a majority in favor of a resolution that doesn’t benefit students, I’m very much prepared to do that,” Dahmer said.

Dahmer also said as president, she would continue and expand SGA committee efforts. Her her running mate for executive vice president, Savannah Molyneaux, echoed these sentiments and said expanding sustainability efforts was one of her priorities.

Nellans and her EVP running mate, Brian Anderson, detailed several initiatives important to their campaign including allowing students to pay off parking ticket debt by volunteering on campus.

She also said she wanted to make SGA committees more active and actually implement effective measures instead of just discussing them.

Mujkanovic said he would like to implement an initiative where all SGA senators dedicate one hour per week to community service in order to better understand the community they represent.

He also echoed Nellans’ sentiments and said he is a firm believer in taking action and would like to do more with SGA committees — specifically MyCampusToo, which strives to improve campus diversity.

“Nothing’s perfect,” Mujkanovic said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

Nellans said as student regent she would strive to represent students as opposed to corporate interests while continuing to form relationships with faculty members, as she is already doing.

Mujkanovic said as student regent he would put his foot down for what’s best for students.

The candidates also discussed legislation they had worked on during SGA, with Molyneaux brining up sustainability initiatives such as getting more vegetarian dining options and Nellans discussing her work on a recent non-discrimination bill and a bill to lower the SGA’s GPA requirement.

Mujkanovic said while he has not authored any SGA legislation during his time in senate, he has worked extensively on local community projects through a non-profit organization which he co-founded.

Candidates also discussed how they would deal with the time commitments of being a president since Dahmer is involved in numerous on-campus organizations, Nellans is a member of the WKU Forensics Team and Mujkanovic works multiple jobs in addition to his non-profit work.

Dahmer said she was ready for the commitment after being in the SGA for the past two years. Nellans said while she does have many events for Forensics, SGA would become her main priority.

“[Forensics] teaches you how to be an advocate and how to argue,” Nellans said. “I think those are the two most important skills as SGA president.”

Mujkanovic said while he already has a full plate, he would be committed to resigning from his other duties so he could devote all his time to serving students.