TCU students without experience in student government will be able to run for officer positions for the first time next month.
Last semester, the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a bill that removed the requirement that students needed a least one semester experience in SGA to run for office.
Now, students outside of SGA can run for positions that include student body president, vice president and treasurer.
Jack Leonhard, current chief of staff and a co-author of the bill, hopes that fresh eyes can be brought to SGA.
“There are incredible strengths from being led by a leader that comes from another organization, because you have the ability to look at things with fresh eyes,” he said. “They can bring an outsider’s view and force the organization to move in a direction that better serves students.”
SGA Finance Chair Austin Shively also co-authored the bill and hopes the erasing of the requirement makes student government more inclusive.
“We wanted to make SGA as inclusive as possible,” he said. “We want people coming from all across campus to be a part of SGA, in order to get the best representation possible.”
Planning for the future
Current Student Body President Paige Shiring expects more candidates this election than in the past because of the new rules.
If more students run for office, a more diverse voting population is also expected.
Shiring co-sponsored the bill with Shively and Leonhard and is prepared to help whoever gets elected in April.
“It is my job as standing president to get them (new SGA officers) ready for that role, to transition them effectively,” she said.
Shiring plans to take on a leadership role to ensure that every new officer has a smooth transition into office.
Elections will be held on April 16. To be eligible, undergraduate students must be enrolled full-time, have a cumulative GPA of 2.5, and be in good standing with the university.
The deadline for students to file their intent to run is Mar. 25.