Students meet the candidates in the upcoming SGA election

The UTM Student Government Association hosted a “Meet The Candidates” forum in the University Center’s legislative chamber Monday evening.

The event was scheduled to give students a chance to meet SGA candidates prior to this year’s elections, which will take place on Tuesday, April 5 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

There are two political parties running this semester. The Tri-Star Party executive candidates include Josh Diltz, who is running for president, as well as Ryan Leatherbarrow for vice president and Marabeth Kennedy as secretary general.

The Flight 1900 Party consists of candidates Ashley Shores for president, Rikki Erwin for vice president and Hailey Williford for secretary general.

The Tri-Star Party’s candidates have a vast amount of experience, and are growing in their knowledge with their respective majors. Diltz is a junior biology major with two minors in chemistry and English, is currently serving as SGA vice president. Leatherbarrow is a junior management major with a minor in criminal justice, and is currently serving as the chief of staff for SGA. Kennedy is a junior political science major with a minor in marketing, and is currently serving as the chair of the procedures committee.

The Tri-Star Party boasts an extensive platform centered around the core principles that each star represents. Diltz says those stars represent being: “Unified in our efforts with the students, faculty and administrators; Transparent in how we approach the concerns of our constituents; and Motivated in the ways in which we proactively seek to achieve goals as a Student Government for those we represent and hope to lead.” The initials for each key word in the platform spell out UTM.

The Flight 1900 Party’s candidates have an undying dedication to hearing student voices and reaching out to people using their respective skills. Ashley Shores is a sophomore communications major with a minor in sociology, and is currently the academic affairs committee chair. Rikki Erwin is a sophomore communications major with a minor in political science who currently serves as the multicultural affairs committee chair. Hailey Williford is a sophomore social work major, and currently serves as the student affairs committee chair.

The Flight 1900 Party has a detailed platform which was essentially “written to encompass what [they] felt the wants and needs of the student body included. [They] wanted to make sure [they] covered most issues cared about while [they] still look for new ways to better this campus and the college experience for students,” says vice presidential candidate Erwin.

Shores says it is important for the party to be completely transparent and help spread awareness about SGA as an organization for the student body.

Both of these dedicated parties have Twitter and Facebook pages which are regularly updated and will respond to questions.

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Student Government Association will be hosting a candidate’s debate on Monday, March 28, at 7 p.m. in the UC Ballroom. Elections will be held on Tuesday, April 5. from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. All students are welcomed and encouraged to vote.

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