SGA president announces executive candidates

Anna Lawson

Next week, WKU students will have the opportunity to cast their ballots to elect a new group of students to run the Student Government Association.

SGA executive officer candidates were announced by President Nicki Taylor at their previous meeting. Jay Todd Richey, speaker of the senate, and senator Brian Chism are both running for president.

Senator William Berry and Liz Kohler, the current administrative vice president, are running for administrative vice president.

Nolan Miles, executive vice president, is seeking another term and is running unopposed.

Taylor said she isn’t worried about who the executives in SGA will be next year. 

“I think I can say with confidence, no matter how that turns out, it looks like we’re going to have a good big three in executive body next year,” said Taylor. 

Each candidate has their own set of reasons for wanting to run and what they would like to change. 

Richey said when he first came to WKU he knew that he wanted to be involved with student government. 

“I sat in on a meeting and thought it was incredibly interesting,” he said.

He later ran for senator. After he was elected, he was nominated and elected for speaker of the senate. He said that his past experience with SGA has given him many contacts that would be beneficial if he was to be elected president.

“I am constantly in contact with various individuals in the WKU community,” he said. “You aren’t doing this alone. I have had the privilege of speaking to so many people.”

Richey said one of the first things he would want to work on is making SGA more diverse. 

 “There is a significant lack of diversity and lack of student representation,” he said.

Richey said he wants to reach out to other minorities on campus so that everyone who goes to WKU is represented in SGA. He also said this includes students at all of WKU’s campuses as well as those who are taking online courses. 

Richey has many other ideas such as expanding funds to make it easier for students to study abroad. 

“I’d love to see more people study abroad,” he said. “My entire platform is a better WKU experience.”

Richey said he just wants what is best for the student body. 

“I don’t believe that a vast majority of students will ever care about student government,” he said. “But you can show them how much you care. I truly care about anything SGA can do on behalf of the student body.”

Chism, who was elected as senator last spring, also has many ideas of what he would like to do if elected president. Chism said he has outside experience that would help him if he were to become elected. 

“I want to serve people and help people,” he said. “I want to help make our campus even better than it could possibly be. I want to make our home on the hill a better place to be.”

He said he also cares about involving regional campuses.

“I want to make all other campuses better,” he said. “We are all a part of WKU no matter where we are.”

One of Chism’s ideas is to create a program in which students are able to plan their courses. 

“Students would pick a subject they’re interested in and work with faculty to design course work,” he said. “A faculty member would help guide them in that process and they could earn credit. This would be beneficial because students would get more out of it, and enjoy it. It would improve retention rates.”

He also said he wants to change the fees for online classes and add stations that would allow students to swipe their WKU ID cards when they attend an event.

Chism said he wants to be a voice for students on the Board of Regents.

Miles, unopposed,  is in his fifth year at WKU and as a member of SGA. 

“I have been thoroughly involved,” he said. “I worked my way up. I started as senator and have served as two different chairs.”

Miles said that his experience will allow him to give advice to students when they are first introduced to SGA.

He also wants to make SGA more diverse. 

“One of the things we are working on is cultural diversity,” he said. “I want to promote diversity on campus from minority groups. I want to accommodate for all students.”

He also wants to create a more connected university. 

“I am a PR major, so I want to integrate media,” he said. “My role is to serve as a liaison for students and teachers.”

Miles said that he wants what is in the best interest of WKU. 

“I love this university,” he said. “I have a passion for all things WKU.”

SGA elections will be held March 31 through April 1 on TopNet.