President candidates

Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin isn’t afraid of controversy and she realizes that what is right isn’t always popular.

Martin, a Bulan junior and candidate for president of the Student Government Association, said she wants students to know she will fight for their rights.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that students are heard and not ignored,” she said. “There are times when you’re gonna be at odds with people and you just have to stand up for what you believe in.”

Controversy may loom ahead for the student body as the fight over the plus/minus grading system continues. Martin said she is not opposed to a grading system change, but thinks that the proposed system would not cause any significant changes to the student body’s grades.

She is certain of one thing -if changes are made to the grading system at Western, students should have input about it.

“I mean this is our university, too,” she said.

SGA will continue to research the pros and cons of proposed plus/minus grading systems, Martin said.

Students should be concerned about such topics as plus/minus grading because it is an issue that may affect the university for years to come, she said.

SGA needs to improve its recruitment tactics and make recruitment a bigger priority than it is now, she said.

“We have to recruit quality people that are concerned and want to be involved, and we have to find a way to keep them,” she said.

Student awareness is something that Martin said she is striving to improve. One of her goals for the upcoming year is to educate students about the upcoming United States presidential election in November.

Martin was a resident assistant at Northeast Hall for a year and a half.

She said being an RA was both the “best and worst” experience of her life. It was a leadership position she found challenging and rewarding.

She said the position gave her the chance to interact with students and hear first hand some of the complaints that have surfaced because of the more strict rules that now govern students’ access to dorms.

Martin currently serves as administrative vice president and has been a member of SGA since her freshman year. She said she has missed only two meetings over the course of three years.

Martin said she wants to make SGA more visible to students.

“I’ve got a lot of experience behind me and I know how the organization works …” Martin said. “I want to see the organization succeed and I know that I can help it reach the point that we’ve been striving for.”

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]

Nick Todd

A black and white photo of a small building rests in a silver photo album cover in Nick Todd’s office in Downing University Center.

A painted “Nick’s Shaved Ice” sign hangs across the side of the establishment.

Todd, a Henderson junior, has owned the shaved ice business since he was 12.

He said this is where he first learned how to listen, handle and deal with many different types of people.

“This right here has enhanced my people skills and responsibility,” said Todd, who is currently vice president of finance for the Student Government Association.

Todd said being a people person and an enthusiastic student will help him in his campaign for SGA president.

“I don’t have a problem standing up for the way students feel,” he said.

Todd said if he is elected, he would like to make sure the thoughts of students are heard by faculty and administrators.

“I feel like I can be the major connector between students and faculty, students and administration,” he said.

Todd, a marketing major, also plans on helping SGA transition smoothly into the new constitution.

Todd’s other focuses include improving Western’s student recruitment and implementing an SGA ambassador program.

SGA members involved in the program would speak to one or two organizations a week about SGA events.

“By getting students aware of SGA it kind of gets rid of the negative tone,” he said.

Todd said he wants to reach both current and potential students.

It is important to continue to recruit more “high quality” students to the university, he said.

He also said parking on the Hill needs to continue to be addressed.

“I think that needs to be a focus that we’re hitting or targeting,” he said.

Todd said his current position as president of Kappa Sigma fraternity would help him if he is elected president.

He has also been involved in SGA for six semesters. He has been chair of the financial review, campus improvements and disaster relief committees.

Todd has served on the athletic committee, budget council and Gordon Ford College of Business curriculum and complaints committees.

“It prepares you for the issues that are at hand,” he said.

Todd said his personality would also prepare him if he is elected president.

“I think that I’ve got a really, really good presence with the students,” he said.

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected]