Administrative VP candidates

Josh Collins

Josh Collins once helped students through their history classes when he served as a tutor for the university. Now he wants to help students by serving as the administrative vice president of their Student Government Association.

He said he wants to increase student awareness and cites the low turnout in last week’s constitution election – 132 students voted – as part of the problem.

“I’ve been strongly urging everyone I meet just to go out and vote …” Collins said. “If there are thousands of students backing us up, I think we have a much stronger and louder voice.”

He said he wants to make sure student opinion is heard about plus/minus grading.

He said the grading system will hurt some students if it is implemented.

“I think plus/minus grading is a band-aid for a cold,” he said. “I have not seen conclusive evidence that plus/minus will solve anything.”

He said there are problems with academic quality and the culture of Western. But he said he does not think that the plus/minus grading system will solve such problems.

Collins has been in SGA for one year. He said he realizes that he hasn’t been a member of SGA for as long as some candidates.

“I feel in that year I’ve gotten a lot accomplished and been very active,” Collins said.

Collins cited other leadership positions and jobs he has held during his college career as preparation for the office of administrative vice president.

“I feel that I’ve been helpful this past year in bringing new ideas to the forefront and representing students’ interest in university committees, ” he said.

He said he wants to continue working against plus/minus and for freshman seminar.

“I want to continue these things and help be part of that and I believe that I can be instrumental,” he said.

He has served on the judicial council, academic quality committee and the University Senate. He also worked as a tutor for the Peer Assisted Study Session program. He also previously served on the Rodes-Harlin Hall Council.

“When I do something I give absolutely 110 percent …” Collins said. “When I do something I put my heart and soul behind it and I will be absolutely dedicated to this position.”

He said he wants to help students and be totally dedicated to presenting student opinion.

He is a junior geography and Spanish major from Jackson.

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]

Evelina Petkova

Making next year run smoothly for students is just one thing Evelina Petkova wants to accomplish if she becomes Student Government Association administrative vice president.

“We have major changes for next year such as budget cuts, plus/minus grading,” said Petkova, a junior from Sofia, Bulgaria.

Petkova said she wants to help make the trial plan proposed by the ad hoc committee for academic quality on plus/minus grading work well for students.

She has been in SGA for three years and started her career as secretary of the public relations committee.

Petkova is also involved with Campus Activity Board, the International Club and Omega Phi Alpha service sorority.

“Slowly moving up in student government showed me there is a lot more than just a bunch of leaders who are trying to tell you what to do,” Petkova said.

Petkova said her main reason for running is to help students, because it is an opportunity for her to give more of herself and to share her experience from the last three years. She also wants to be sure she can make changes.

And one change Petkova would like to see is with plus/minus grading and how the administration treats students.

“The administrators don’t listen to the students’ opinions, which is very disappointing.” she said. “We’re the reason why everything is happening here.”

Campus security is an issue that Petkova feels the administration has handled well.

“It’s part of their job to provide security on campus,” Petkova said.

Petkova said there was some confusion within SGA about the new bylaws that made her believe that the legislation branch needed to have more communication with the officers.

“We have to start working together, and the whole new plan has to be a way to make the student government officers and legislative branch be together, communicate better,” she said.

But along with communication in SGA, students need to become more involved with the organization, Petkova said.

Petkova said students need to come to SGA, even if it is to complain.

“If they have any suggestions, SGA is open for any,” she said.

Petkova would also like to reward students for doing well in school.

“I’m sure the student government can form a scholarship fund for those who deserve it,” she said.

Petkova said she feels strongly about SGA and working in student government.

“I’m very passionate about Western,” she said.

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]