Two candidates debated their 2018-2019 student government presidential platforms on April 18.
Campus Current hosted the debate, which newsroom manager Michael Garvey moderated. Campus Current’s editor-in-chief Roxanne Ready and photography editor Raquel Hamner made up a two-person questioning panel.
“I want to make it so that every student … if they come to AACC and they have this feeling of I don’t belong here, I want to change that,” Jacob Smith, a first-year business management student, said in his opening statement. “I want to make them feel a part of the community here and feel like they belong. I want to give them a voice.”
“As president, I personally would like to bridge the gap between SGA and the students,” Jesseca Greene, a third-year visual design student, said in her opening statement. “There has always been this thing where people have been a little bit afraid to go to [the Student Government Association] … I want that to be gone. I want to be a friend to the students.”
During the debate, the questioning panel asked the candidates to respond to the same five questions, including why they were running and what they would do differently than past presidents.
Greene said she choose to run so she could do more for the students and more for SGA, while Smith said as president he wants to really focus on the long-term solution of helping students feel like they are a part of the AACC community.
Smith said he will be different from previous presidents because of his ideas to get students more involved and the drive to implement these ideas, while Greene said she wants to build the SGA community and make it so that students are not nervous to come and join them.
In the next portion of the debate, the panel asked candidates questions about their individual platforms.
Ready asked Greene to clarify a statement she previously made that events on campus need more diversity.
“I would like to see more musically diverse events on campus, more diverse plays on campus,” Greene said. “Things that will let the students know, oh this is about me, I should go see this, I should go tell people about this.”
Smith countered the point by saying simply having more events is not enough and is too much like previous SGA administrations to create change. Instead, he said, he wants to create a new diversity officer within SGA.
Smith also said he wants to continue outgoing President Johnathan O’Dea’s legacy of “truly caring about the students,” and build on it by using social media to reach out to more of the student body.
Greene said To help students, she wants to create video tutorials and instructions on The Nest to help clubs find the information they need if they can’t get ahold of a senator in time.
Voting for SGA president started on April 30 and will end May 4. Students can vote online on The Nest at nest.aacc.edu and at all events hosted this week by the Campus Activities Board – a student club that hosts events on behalf of the SGA.