SGA candidates close out campaign season


    Candidates running for SGA positions made last-minute campaign efforts Tuesday night to encourage votes by meeting face-to-face with organizations and students as this year’s election season drew to a close.

    The results are to be announced Wednesday at noon.

    The student body elected officers for the upcoming spring semester. The positions  voted on were: Student Body President, Vice President for External Affairs, Vice President for Operations and Treasurer.

    Each candidate emphasized the importance of speaking with groups on campus and addressed the key role of social media in the last days of their campaigns.

    Candidates for Student Body President:

    Current Student Body President Brent Folan said he gave many speeches while campaigning, recently mostly for Greek organizations.

    “I’m really banking on the Greek vote this election,” Folan said. “I think it’s important for Greeks to stand together and support one of their own.”

    Along with delivering speeches, Folan said the social media aspect of his campaign has been beneficial.

    “The biggest thing has been my campaign videos,” Folan said. “Members of Senseless Acts of Comedy will be releasing another video here pretty soon, so that’s pretty exciting.”

    Folan’s opponent, Joshua Simpson, said he spoke with students and campus organizations and also used social media as part of his late campaign push.

    Simpson, current SGA vice president for operations, said he spoke with students at several game-day tailgates this past weekend to learn about their concerns.

    “I just want to get to know the students, the ones that I don’t know, and say 'hi' to the ones I do know,” Simpson said. “I want to talk to them about what they think about and what’s going on, what are their opinions and what are the most important issues.”

    Aside from visiting tailgates, Simpson said he campaigned Sunday night because it “is a big night for organization speeches.”

    He also said his Facebook page has been used for events and cover photos that express some of his political stances and focus on his campaign.

    “The videos are about what the SGA should be doing and what students want from the SGA,” Simpson said. “To me, it’s fortunate to have some people who are in it and who support me.”

    Simpson, like Folan, said he also had some last-minute campaign plans before Election Day.

    “My campaign team is working on some stuff for Monday and Tuesday,” Simpson said. “Nothing off the wall.”

    Candidates for Student Body Vice President for External Affairs:

    Evan Folan, a sophomore broadcast journalism major, said he would be speaking with students and student groups throughout the weekend and up until the election.

    “I’ve been hitting every organization, as well as sending out mass emails to all of the presidents of organizations,” Evan Folan said.

    Evan Folan, like other candidates, identified Sunday night as a big opportunity to attract more voters.

    “Sunday is the big chapter day for a lot of fraternities and sororities,” Evan Folan said. “I am going to talk to as many as I can.”

    Evan Folan said his recent campaign efforts have been hectic and beneficial at the same time.

    “This past week I’ve had over 15 speeches, so it’s been really successful,” he said.

    Evan Folan said he plans to campaign up until the last minute.

    “I’m going to throw out more signs around campus,” Evan Folan said. “Putting out some more signs and just shaking more hands.”

    Graham McMillan, a junior political science major, said he has a catchy name that makes him more identifiable to students.

    “Teddy Graham,” McMillan said. “I wanted something to stick in people’s heads.”

    McMillan said he would continue to campaign in a memorable way by passing out free Teddy Grahams snacks outside the library.

    McMillan said Sunday and Monday was devoted to speaking with student groups.

    “I think it’s just about finishing up the list and seeing who I haven’t gotten to yet," McMillan said.

    In addition to having his campaign team walk around campus encouraging votes, McMillan said he still has a few campaign ideas he is excited for.

    “We’ve got a couple of extra tricks up our sleeves,” McMillan said. “We’ll save them for later.”

    Candidates for Student Body Vice President for Operations:

    David Belpedio, a junior finance major and current SGA treasurer, said he did not want to campaign at Saturday's football game. Instead, he said he wanted to cheer on the team as a regular student.

    “I planned to be a TCU student and was pumped to show my TCU support,” he said.

    Belpedio, like other candidates, has a Facebook page in support of his campaign. He also emphasized the need to speak with student groups in hopes of gathering multiple votes in one setting.

    "I know I will have a few more visits this weekend,” Belpedio said. “I just want to continue to go around and speak to different student organizations.”

    Belpedio said he was excited for Tuesday and continued to praise his campaign team.

    "I’ve had a strong support team and I really am thankful for the members of my campaign team,” Belpedio said. “I just plan to keep getting my name out there and keep showing my face.”

    Lauren Sharp, a junior entrepreneurial management and marketing double major, said her biggest campaign push has been on social media.

    “I’ve utilized a Facebook page that’s dedicated to my platform and talking to students,” Sharp said. “I’m just going to keep relating to the students and keep letting them know why I am qualified.”

    Sharp said social media would not only enable her to present her position on political issues, but also help students learn how simple the voting process is.

    “I know there will be a lot of social media push for voting, because we can talk to student organizations all the time for two weeks straight, but until the people actually go out and vote – that’s when it really matters,” Sharp said.

    Sharp said social media has helped her campaign a great deal, but that she also has other plans.

    “[Social media] has been the strongest effort thus far,” Sharp said. “But I’m going to be doing a lot of groundwork [Monday] and Tuesday, standing outside the library and standing outside Market Square, being in front of the students and showing them who I am.”

    Sharp said additional campaign materials would be distributed.

    “I do have signs I will be putting out, and I do have plenty of buttons and stickers I will be passing out,” Sharp said. “And maybe a couple of last-minute things on Tuesday that have not been confirmed yet.”

    Candidate for Student Body Treasurer:

    Cody Westphal, a sophomore business major, is the only candidate for treasurer.
    In a TCU 360 article, Westphal, running unopposed, said his campaign would be focused on involving the student body by sending out emails, setting up tables and speaking with students to voice their opinions on financial issues related to his desired position. 

    Follow on Wednesday to see who won each office.