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McMillan: "The biggest thing I’ve learned is it’s not about me"

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Presidential candidate Graham McMillan. Photo by Samantha Ehlinger.

Presidential candidate Graham McMillan. Photo by Samantha Ehlinger.

Current Vice President for External Affairs Graham McMillan, who said he has been involved with Student Government Association for three years, is running against current Student Body Treasurer Cody Westphal for student body president.

Platform

If he gets elected, McMillan said he hopes to focus on diversifying campus both in the student body and faculty while also working towards improving on campus dining, tailgating and ensuring that facilities like the new multi-purpose building are being used to fulfill the students’ needs.

"Diversity is one of the hottest topics this election," McMillan said. "I really want to see administration push forward, but we need more student backing. I want to leverage relationships that I've built over the years with administration to focus on student want and student need, and diversity is one of those wants and needs." 

McMillan also said while there will be kinks when it comes to improving tailgating and campus dining, he would try to make improvements quickly.

“There are a lot of tangible and intangible things that need to happen. TCU is like a giant machine, and sometimes those cogs fitting together can be a really slow process, but sometimes goals can be reached quickly and smoothly,” he said.

McMillan said he plans on moving forward with the values installed in SGA by current Student Body President Josh Simpson. McMillan referenced passion, collaboration, progression and servant leadership as some of the core values he hopes to spread through SGA to create a stronger community.

Campaign Strategy

As far as campaigning goes, you may have seen the McMillan signs around campus with the slogan “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly” or the online ‘Pep Talk’ video where he encourage TCU students to stop doing nothing and chose the path that "leads to awesome."

Brock Boren, McMillan’s campaign manager, said the biggest focus of the campaign is the student.

“Graham knows he works for the students because they are the ones who give TCU its name and reputation, and he wants to make TCU as great as its students,” Boren said.

Because McMillan cares about students, Boren said Graham set up an email address called ihaveanidea@tcu.edu for students to comment with ideas for improvement.

Boren said he supports Graham because of the time he spent with him in House the last two semesters.

“Graham is truly the most passionate and enthusiastic leader we have in our student body,” he said. “There is nobody I would like to see as president more than Graham. I’ve never seen somebody work so hard at serving others. He is truly the epitome of servant-based leadership.”

McMillan says he also plans on visiting many different student organizations, fraternities and sororities in an effort to meet and get in contact with students he would not regularly see.

Experience

From Colleyville, Texas, McMillan is a junior political science major who has been in SGA since his freshman year at TCU. Within SGA he has held the positions of chaplain, Chief of Staff, AddRan representative, Dining Services chair and is currently serving as the vice president for external affairs. Needless to say, student politics is nothing new for McMillan.

"As Dining Services chair, I was able to help create innovative things like the employee appreciation board," McMillan said. "And chaplain was my first position to really bring House together as a family, because cohesiveness among SGA was and is critical."  

McMillan said he has sat on three Cabinets and has gotten the opportunity to see how the position of president works and work closely with presidents. 

McMillan also sat on the Board of Trustees this semester and developed relationships with members, which he said is necessary to be able to ask the hard questions that need to be asked. 

Outside of SGA, McMillan is involved in the Chancellor's Leadership Program, the Honors College, director of Camp Exodus, SouthCliff Bible Study and Frogs First, according to the SGA official website.

Slogan: Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

"It's a Bible verse, it explains leadership well and it kind of explains what God calls us to act on," McMillan said. "It's a great verse to show my heart and what leads it and guides it."

McMillan said his slogan describes the ideal leader. 

"I'm not perfect, and I hope to embody those characteristics in everything I do," he said. "We all need a leader who will do those things. It shows how a leader should act and be and run operations."

Why is he running?

McMillan said he has wanted to be president ever since his first year in SGA. In the three years since, he has grown professionally and has learned that everything is for the student body, he said.

“I enjoy serving the students, and the biggest thing I’ve learned is it’s not about me," McMillan said. “None of the initiatives or projects that I start are about me. They are about the student body.”

Why should the student body vote for him?

McMillan said he feels he has been in the game a long time and hopes that his experience helps him to stand apart from his competition.

Above all, McMillan said he wants SGA to be as effective as possible in producing for TCU what the student body wants, he said. Citing 1 Peter 5:3, McMillan said that he hopes to be a leader to the flock if elected.

“I hope that students can see my heart behind TCU and the passion I have to serve the student body whether I have the title of president or not,” he said.

Voting opens at 8 a.m. on April 23 and extends through 8 a.m. on April 24 via my.tcu.edu.

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