Voter’s Guide to the 2012 SGA elections

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    The elections for Student Government Association are around the corner. This year's candidates participated in a TCU 360 questionnaire that highlighted their issues and concerns for the student body and their future plans for the positions for which they are running.

    The candidates elected will only be in office for the spring semester. After this semester, positions will be held for the academic year instead of the current calendar year. 

    Students can vote starting on Nov. 13 at 8 a.m. through the my.tcu.edu "Helpful Links" page. 

     

    President

    Name: Brent Folan

    Major: Finance

    Hometown: Austin, TX

    What campus organizations are you involved with? 

    Frog Camp Facilitator, Chancellor's Leadership Program, Student Foundation, Frogs First Group Leader, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Student Government Association, and Financial Management Association

    What do you see as the most important role of the position for which you have applied and what qualities do you possess to fulfill this role? 

    The most important role is representing the Student Body and addressing their needs, by representing the students at meetings with the administration, Board of Trustees and other Big 12 schools.

    What issues within the TCU community would you like to focus or work on during your time in this position next semester if elected? 

    I will focus on communication between SGA and all other organizations. We allocate $100,000 to organizations on campus, and a majority of the organizations don't realize they can apply. 

    What previous SGA experience and/or other related experience do you have?

    Student Body President, Student Body Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, Sophomore Class Representative, Freshman Class Representative, Frog Aides Member and authored over 20 pieces of legislation.

    What do you believe the purpose of SGA is? 

    The purpose of SGA is to serve the student body. This is completed by listening to the students and addressing their needs. SGA is responsible for making the student experience the best possible.

    Do you believe that SGA needs to be changed, and if you believe there should be a change, what is it going to be? 

    I think the communication between other organizations can improve. Each representative should be assigned to organizations which they represent in addition to their college or class.

    What would you do to get non-traditional students more active on campus, and how would you be a voice for them? 

    I think the most important thing is to make sure the students know that SGA exists. They need to know that we are here for them and want their voices heard.

     

    Name: Joshua Simpson

    Major: Entrepreneurial Management and Political Science

    Hometown: Sherman, TX

    What campus organizations are you involved with? 

    BYX, Honors College, Neeley Fellows, NFSO, L4L/Unity Park

    What do you see as the most important role of the position for which you have applied and what qualities do you possess to fulfill this role? 

    The president should be a leader, a visionary, with a keen eye for solving emerging problems on campus. I'm a thoughtful, inclusive and consultative leader who motivates people towards big goals.

    What issues within the TCU community would you like to focus or work on during your time in this position next semester if elected? 

    TCU is changing, yet SGA has done a poor job of including the increasingly diverse interests on campus. SGA can build a more deeply-connected TCU culture by providing a place for serious discussion.

    What previous SGA experience and/or other related experience do you have? 

    I've served this past year as Student Body Vice President of Operations. Prior to that, I chaired the Student Relations Committee, served on four other House committees, and represented JVR Honors.

    What do you believe the purpose of SGA is? 

    SGA exists to solve problems and to fulfill student aspirations for the university. We represent the Student Body and, accordingly, must focus on issues that matter most to students.

    Do you believe that SGA needs to be changed, and if you believe there should be a change, what is it going to be? 

    Yes. We have to start by defining our purpose and deciding what we want to become. With a vision in mind, SGA can transform into a transparent, purposeful, inclusive and effective body.

    What would you do to get non-traditional students more active on campus, and how would you be a voice for them? 

    I will speak to their organizations (I already have) and look for ways to be inclusive in SGA's operations and programming. I will intentionally seek out their feedback and opinions on decisions.

     

    Vice President for External Affairs

    Name: Evan Folan

    Major: Broadcast Journalism

    Hometown: Austin, Texas

    What campus organizations are you involved with? 

    Student Government Association

    What do you see as the most important role of the position for which you have applied and what qualities do you possess to fulfill this role? 

    The most important role for the position I am running for is to connect the student body. I love working with people and will work with every organization to build a stronger community at TCU.

    What issues within the TCU community would you like to focus or work on during your time in this position next semester if elected?

    I would definitely like to see everyone at TCU become more supportive of one another. There should be no separation due to organizations; we are all Frogs. We should all care about the greater good.

    What previous SGA experience and/or other related experience do you have?

    I have served as the Freshman Class Representative. I now represent the College of Communication. I have served on Academic Affairs and Dining Services. Right now I am serving as Chief of Staff.

    What do you believe the purpose of SGA is? 

    We hold the funds for every organization. Our purpose is to distribute those funds to provide a better experience for TCU organizations. We are trying to better our school for every student.

    Do you believe that SGA needs to be changed, and if you believe there should be a change, what is it going to be?

    I would definitely like to see every representative of Student Government be more active on campus. We represent the student body, the students should know us and be able to approach us for help.

    What would you do to get non-traditional students more active on campus, and how would you be a voice for them?

    I would talk with them and help guide them to find their passion in an organization. If you are not active with something at TCU you are not helping to improve this campus.

     

    Name: "Teddy" Graham McMillan

    Major: Political Science

    Hometown: Colleyville, TX

    What campus organizations are you involved with? 

    Exodus Co-Director, Chancellor's Leadership Program, Pi Kappa Phi, current Student Body Vice President of External Affairs

    What do you see as the most important role of the position for which you have applied and what qualities do you possess to fulfill this role? 

    The main role of this position is to be a liaison between the student organizations, SGA, the administration and the city of Fort Worth.  Over the past year, I feel that I have been successful in this role.

    What issues within the TCU community would you like to focus or work on during your time in this position next semester if elected? 

    Issues include better connecting the student orgs to SGA and pushing forward into the city to ensure that the student voice is heard clearly both within the student government and the city.

    What previous SGA experience and/or other related experience do you have?

    I have served in SGA as the Chaplain, Chief of Staff, Add-Ran representative, Dining Services Committee chair, and Student Body Vice President. I have served on two committees and two terms of cabinet.

    What do you believe the purpose of SGA is? 

    The purpose of SGA is to ensure that the student voice is heard loud and clear. "Serve" is the word that comes to mind when I think about SGA. We are here to serve the students and do so justly.

    Do you believe that SGA needs to be changed, and if you believe there should be a change, what is it going to be? 

    Within house and SGA as a whole, I believe that we need a culture change, rather than a structural change. We need leaders who care, leaders who serve, and leaders who want to work together.

    What would you do to get non-traditional students more active on campus, and how would you be a voice for them?

    I see value in every student voice. The channel that these voices can be most clearly heard in is the student organizations. I will personally see to it that they are heard and respected.

     

    Vice President for Operations

    Name: David Belpedio

    Major: Finance

    Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas

    What campus organizations are you involved with? 

    Student Government Association, Student Foundation, Sigma Phi Epsilon

    What do you see as the most important role of the position for which you have applied and what qualities do you possess to fulfill this role? 

    As VP of Operations, I believe it is my job to inform students of the presence of SGA. Serving on Cabinet for the past year, I have developed relationships that will allow me to do just that.

    What issues within the TCU community would you like to focus or work on during your time in this position next semester if elected? 

    Many students are unaware that SGA even exists at TCU. I plan to focus much of my efforts on A) informing students that there is an SGA, and B) informing students of the purpose and resources of SGA.

    What previous SGA experience and/or other related experience do you have?

    I have been involved in SGA for the past five semesters gaining the skills, experiences, and knowledge that makes me the best candidate for this position. I am the current Student Body Treasurer.

    What do you believe the purpose of SGA is? 

    I believe the purpose of SGA is to improve and enhance the TCU experience leaving TCU a better place for the next generation of Horned Frogs. It is an organization that strives to serve TCU students.

    Do you believe that SGA needs to be changed, and if you believe there should be a change, what is it going to be? 

    There is always room for change as we work to better our organization. I plan to bridge the gap between SGA and the student body by requiring SGA members to reach out to their constituents.

    What would you do to get non-traditional students more active on campus, and how would you be a voice for them? 

    A non-traditional student can have their voice heard each week in House, on the SGA website, and by contacting their Student Body Officers. I plan to inform students of these opportunities.

     

    Name: Lauren Sharp

    Major: Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management double major

    Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

    What campus organizations are you involved with?

    Besides SGA, I am involved in the Neeley Fellows Program, Chi Omega, Student Foundations, and the Honors College Ambassador Program. I am also a Frog Camp Facilitator and Frogs First Facilitator.

    What do you see as the most important role of the position for which you have applied and what qualities do you possess to fulfill these role? 

    To communicate with students and put their needs first. My experience in SGA, approachable personality and caring nature for the student body qualifies me to listen to and implement their desires.

    What issues within the TCU community would you like to focus or work on during your time in this position next semester if elected? 

    TCU's top issue is unification. Everyone knows there are stereotypes that hinder campus growth. I desire to see TCU come together next semester, & strive to become the university we expect it to be.

    What previous SGA experience and/or other related experience do you have? 

    Honors College Rep. in House for 3 semesters, Student Relations Committee Chair, merged 2 committees to form Student Experience Committee (Chair), created Improve TCU Survey, Marketing major.

    What do you believe the purpose of SGA is? 

    The purpose of SGA is to serve the student body. This is done by soliciting feedback, generating a dialogue and working with students to create the SGA and TCU that they desire and deserve.

    Do you believe that SGA needs to be changed, and if you believe there should be a change, what is it going to be? 

    There needs to be stronger & more transparent communication among the three branches: Cabinet, House & theCrew. Once there is transparency, a unified purpose for SGA can be created, and we can progress.

    What would you do to get non-traditional students more active on campus, and how would you be a voice for them? 

    For non-traditional students, I plan to go to them, hear their concerns and find ways to get them active. I want to be a facilitator to find them the right activities to help make TCU a better place.

     

    Treasurer

    Name: Cody Westphal

    Major: Business/Economics

    Hometown: Friendswood, Texas

    What campus organizations are you involved with?

    Beta Theta Pi, SGA, Chancellor's Leadership Program, SAICA, opinion writer for the Skiff.

    What do you see as the most important role of the position for which you have applied and what qualities do you possess to fulfill this role?

    The treasurer's most important job is to oversee the allocation of $700,000 collected from student body fees. I am a skilled communicator and am good with budgets.

    What issues within the TCU community would you like to focus or work on during your time in this position next semester if elected?

    I want to ask the TCU student body the basic question: "How do you want to spend your $700,000?" Once I find answers to this question, I will work tirelessly to make the student opinion a reality.

    What previous SGA experience and/or other related experience do you have? 

    I have been a representative of Neeley and JVR Honors College for a semester each and served on the SGA Finance Committee.

    What do you believe the purpose of SGA is? 

    SGA should represent the students, pursuing their vision and voicing their opinions. With the student body fee, SGA is also a huge funding body whose job is to use student funds constructively.

    Do you believe that SGA needs to be changed, and if you believe there should be a change, what is it going to be? 

    There needs to be more student input in what SGA does and the way it allocates TCU funds. This requires cooperation on every level- from officers to representatives to students.

    What would you do to get non-traditional students more active on campus, and how would you be a voice for them? 

    One cannot force someone to be more active, but I would work to show them what TCU has to offer for every type of student. I would be a voice by making myself available and asking for their input.