SGA’s Stephens ups organization’s public relations

Taylor Harrison

What can the Student Government Association do for you?

That’s the question the SGA plans to ask as a part of a newly revamped public relations campaign.

“I want PR to be visible on campus,” said SGA President Billy Stephens. “New people don’t even hear about us until second semester.”

It is SGA’s hope that utilizing public relations more so than in the past will not only increase voter turnout for the senate elections, but encourage more people to run for elected office as well.

Katie Stillwell, chief of staff, said that SGA wants to have a contested election this fall and to let students know there is an opportunity to serve on the senate.

“A lot of the time, we don’t have a completely full senate and that’s silly,” Stillwell said. “There are enough students here that we should be filling those spots. I think having more participation is also going to let us know what issues there are.”

Stillwell said this is because students who run will bring up certain platforms that they would like to see addressed.

SGA is interested in doing more than just expanding. It would also like to reach a broader array of students as they do so.

“The kids that are here for Gatton Academy — their opinions are just as important and we want to make sure that we’re reaching out to them, and reaching out to our graduate students,” Stillwell said.

Aside from those students, Stillwell said that SGA is interested in reaching out to international students and making sure that they are being served as well as possible.

This year, the PR outreach will be different from before. PR director Jane Wood will be going out with the PR committee head and visiting Greek organizations and campus ministries, and asking “What can SGA do for you?”

Stillwell also said that SGA wants to have every senate spot filled this year. Their job is to represent the students and they want as many people doing that as possible.

There are 36 seats in the senate, most of which are filled, and the definite number of seats available will be revealed after GPA checks are complete. Senate elections will take place Sept. 20 and 21 on TopNet.

Administrative Vice President Devon Hilderbrandt said SGA wants to let the students know they’re here.

“We’re a big organization too, and the fact that we’re not as well known on campus as we should be is kind of ridiculous,” he said.