“Student Voice, Student Power” is the slogan for one team in this year’s SGA Presidential election.
Music Education sophomore Mary Beth Rosenauer has chosen Vocal Music Education junior Derek Thompson as her running mate. Rosenauer has served on the Student Senate for the past two years and has been part of the Campus Advancement Committee as well. She started out as the Vice Chair of the committee and is now the Chair. Thompson has served the last two years as a Residential Assistant.
“Derek and I have worked together in the past,” Rosenauer said. “I feel like we both have the ability to take what the students want and do our best to put it into action.”
Student senator Jacob Teasely has thrown his support behind Rosenauer in her bid to become President. He thinks that her leadership and her friendship with Thompson make them a good pair who would work well with SGA.
“Mary Beth has more experience,” Teasely said. “She is good at advocating good ideas and making them clear to the students.”
Communication between student leaders and the students is a top priority for Rosenauer. She said her connection with the administration sets her apart and can be beneficial. Her experience working on issues with University President Robert Vartabedian and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Judith Grimes is what SGA needs in a President.
“I know how the administration likes to go about doing things and their intentions,” Rosenauer said. “I offer students my service on how to work on the relationship between the student body and the administration.”
The Student Success Act, which was passed by the Student Senate last year, is one issue that Thompson would like to take a deeper look at to see what can be done about it. He believes that better communication between the students and the administration on where the funds are going is an issue that needs to be addressed.
“I remember the student fee going into effect,” Thompson said. “With me not being involved in SGA, I didn’t know what the act did and that’s an issue that we must address.”
Rosenauer who voted for the Student Success Act believes at the time of the vote the administration had good intentions. The information that she received over the fee, with a proposed 10 percent cut from the state, at the time made the act a necessity. She believes that many on SGA now probably would like to back their vote in favor of the fee now.
Thompson said that his experience as a leader in residential life would be beneficial when dealing with students on issues like the student fee or other major issues.
“Students should be allowed to know where their money is going,” Thompson said. “I think SGA would be a good place to continue my service to the students and to hear their voices.”
If elected, Rosenauer would like to continue SGA President Jacob Scott’s mission of finding out where exactly the funds are going. Under her presidency, she would like the administration to come forth and tell SGA why funding is still needed for the act. If no evidence can point to a direction where funding is needed, then she would consider repealing the act entirely.
“We need to find out if the fee is even needed anymore,” Rosenauer said. “If they can’t give us any facts or numbers as to why we need the fee, then we would definitely look into repealing it.”
Rosenauer believes students think the SGA is not seen as a student body organization that connects one on one with the students it elects.
“I often feel that students believe SGA is a puppet to the administration and not really there for the students,” Rosenauer said. “We need better connection and that’s what I plan to do.”