Candidates take part in forum

Adriane Hardin

Promises were made, platforms discussed and lines clearly drawn.

Student Government Association candidates participated in a forum Monday in the lobby of Pearce-Ford Tower to discuss the election and other issues.

Mandatory meal plans for incoming freshmen, South Campus’ representation on Western’s main campus and unification of students through SGA were some of the topics discussed by the seven candidates.

Paducah junior John Bradley, the only candidate for president, plans to address several issues next year.

“The parking situation is not equitable,” Bradley said. “The average student is a commuter.”

Bradley said Hilltopper Athletic Foundation’s parking privileges should be limited and he will also address campus’ compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Basically right now we’re getting a ‘D’ in ADA compliance,” Bradley said.

Bradley cited the buildings around campus that do not have automatic doors for handicapped students as one of the major problems.

Patti Johnson, a Marion junior, is running for executive vice president and said she will address the snow policy and enrollment growth and work to make SGA more culturally diverse. Johnson also said she will maintain an open-door policy for all students.

“I want to be available to all students,” she said.

Her opponent, Dana Lockhart, a junior from Hendersonville, Tenn., said he will work for fair prices at the University Bookstore, work closely with the community college to develop representation within SGA and review the academic technology privacy policy for students. He also plans to address the current grade appeal process which he feels is not as fair as it should be.

Bulan sophomore Jessica Martin and Monticello sophomore Shawn Peavie are both vying for the office of vice president of Administration.

Martin and Peavey both support mandatory meal plans for freshmen.

Martin said her experience as a MASTER Plan ambassador this fall showed her that meal plans were beneficial because they brought students out of their rooms and onto campus.

Peavey said meal plans offered a variety of dining options and the money made from the purchase of meal plans would benefit Western.

Peavey said he will work to connect students to SGA and increase awareness of the organizational aid program SGA has implemented to give money to organizations across campus after they have been through an application process. He said he hopes to maintain the excellent archive that the current vice president of Administration, Brandon Copeland, has developed.

Martin will work to increase awareness of SGA and develop SGA’s ambassador program. She will also work to increase freshmen retention.

Henderson sophomore Nick Todd and Abby Lovan, a sophomore from Jeffersonville, Ind., are both running in uncontested races.

Lovan is running for the office of vice president of Public Relations and Todd is vying for the office of vice president of Finance. Both were present Monday to discuss their goals.

Lovan said she will continue to work to improve public relations and make students aware of SGA.

Todd will work to make all of SGA’s financial records easily accessible for Western’s community, especially students.

Heather Parker, a Hopkinsville senior, was one of about 40 students who came to hear the candidates speak.

“I came to support Patti Johnson,” Parker said. “I thought it was beneficial.”

The staff of PFT hosted the forum and Greensburg senior Jacy Wooley served as moderator.

Mary DeGraw, the director of PFT, said the staff wanted to host the forum to support Lockhart, a PFT resident assistant. DeGraw also said the forum was very important for PFT because such a large number of Western’s students are residents there.

Internet polling for SGA elections will end tonight at 11:59 p.m. Students can vote by logging on to topnet.wku.edu.

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]