Students can vote for the 2007 Student Government Association officers, including president, vice president, and Programming Council vice president, today at my.tcu.edu from 7 a.m. to midnight.The candidates for SGA president are Austin Uebele, a junior psychology major, and Jace Thompson, a junior accounting major.
Uebele said as president of the student body, his goal will be to change the environment in which students live – anything from entertainment to tuition to safety.
“I want to give students the tools to better succeed,” Uebele said.
One of the tools he has in mind is iTunes U, a program provided by Apple Computer Inc. that would allow free university courses to be podcasted, Uebele said.
He said he will also push to cap the rate of tuition increases so students will have a better idea of how much they will pay each year when they enter the university.
Uebele wants to implement safety awareness courses for both men and women where victims share their stories with students, he said.
As a freshman, Uebele organized a hurricane relief drive. He is a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, a facilitator for Connections and Frog Camp, a representative in the House of Student Representatives and has been active in SGA.
Thompson, who is currently the student body vice president, is serving as chairman of Campus Advancement this year. He is a member of CLP, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and was an orientation student adviser the past two summers.
One project Thompson played a key role in for this school year was getting the free planners for students through SGA, he said.
Three of his main focuses as SGA president would be getting scholarships to increase with tuition, extending the time in which students have to elect to take a course pass/fail and providing students with a 24-hour study facility, Thompson said.
“If students are going to be required to live on campus for their freshman and sophomore years, then they need a place where they can study past 1 a.m.,” Thompson said.
Both of this year’s candidates for SGA vice president, Taylor Allen and Thomas Pressly, are also in favor of increasing scholarships with tuition. They said they want the university to offer performance-based academic scholarships for students who didn’t receive a scholarship their freshman year but demonstrated academic excellence while at TCU.
Allen, a junior entrepreneurial management major, has served in the House for three semesters and was on the judicial board last year. He is also a Neeley Associate, serves on the standards board and is the new member educator for Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, and is a leader in K-Life, a middle and high school discipleship program, he said.
“I’ve been active from the very beginning,” Allen said. “I want to really make a difference.”
As vice president, Allen said he would like to see student ID cards used at off-campus locations, a textbook lottery in which students would enter to win a textbook paid for by SGA and increased recycling to create a more environmentally-friendly campus.
“We can’t lower tuition, but we can help cut costs,” Allen said. “Textbooks are an obvious student cost.”
Allen would also advocate more input from students on the new University Union, he said.
“I want students to voice what they want and have the administration hear it,” Allen said.
Pressly, a sophomore history major, said implementing a “Frog Dollars” system in which students could use their ID cards off campus, is one of his top priorities.
Pressly also wants increased advertising for on-campus events and said he will talk to administration about rethinking some of the current policies.
“I don’t think we’re as apathetic as portrayed; students just don’t know what’s going on,” Pressly said.
Pressly is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, was Speaker of the House last spring and was also on the executive cabinet. He said he is currently working to make my.tcu.edu the central portal where students can access e-mail and eCollege without having to sign in more than once.
Giovanni Guerra and Kristen Chapman are running for Programming Council vice president.
Guerra, a sophomore international relations major, has served on SGA since her freshman year and is currently the vice president of Sigma Lambda Alpha sorority and is the director of lectures, forums and films for PC.
As PC chair, Guerra said she wants to organize bigger events and have more familiar celebrities on campus for Homecoming and Howdy Week.
“I really want to focus all events on students and bring the TCU community together,” Guerra said.
Guerra said she wants to make the tailgates friendlier for the entire student body, not just the Greek community. Also, she hopes to cut back on smaller events so more funding can be concentrated on the big events that draw more students.
Chapman, a sophomore marketing major, is currently the PC director of special events. She is a member of Sigma Kappa sorority, a Frog Aides director and serves on Student Foundation, she said.
Chapman said she brought Dennis Haskins, who played Mr. Belding on Saved by the Bell, to campus for Howdy Week and also helped organize Battle of the Bands.
“There are a lot of things PC wants to do, and I want to see that happen,” Chapman said.
Chapman said she would like to implement a polling system to see what students want so PC can produce better programs.
Chapman also said she wants PC to spend its money more frugally and make their budget go further.
“Programming Council is the most visible branch of SGA,” Chapman said. “We need to make the most of the money we receive.