The 2019-2020 Student Government elections are quickly approaching. This campaign season had three candidates for speaker of the senate, two for treasurer, three for vice president and five for president for a total of 13.
In the past, The Daily Gamecock has been very vocal about our opinions on running with tickets, and this year we have endorsed four candidates on four separate campaigns. However, even with the existence of tickets, there was universal talk for transparency, approachability and diversity in the interviews we held with each individual candidate.
In the end, there is a question of “how?” following these hot button topics and the defining features boiled down to concrete initiatives, experience in the field and competent leadership.
Speaker of the Student Senate
When it comes to the speaker of the senate, there has been a lot of controversy. Nick Hooks has been hit with eight violation points, Taryn Moyer is inexperienced compared to her running mates and Davis Latham admitted to being dishonest to The Daily Gamecock. In the end, the editorial board for The Daily Gamecock endorses Nick Hooks. Despite the violation points, Hooks demonstrated the need for an unbiased voice to lead the senate while also making sure he is an advocate for what students need.
Standing by the buzzwords transparency, efficiency and accountability, Hooks plans to bring a new perspective into his vision of what being a speaker is. Hooks’ main goals revolve around the importance of codes in the student senate. He said specifically that when there is a strong foundation in the codes, senators can mobilize to create initiatives and work to better the rules and improve codes where needed.
As the speaker is still a new role, there is still a lot of uncertainty that revolves around the position’s responsibilities. We believe Nick Hooks has the initiative and experience needed to benefit the student body.
For position of the treasurer, The Daily Gamecock endorses Adger Drummond II. Currently serving as vice chairman of the finance committee, Drummond understands the responsibility that comes with handling money. With experience in senate working hand-in-hand with the codes, he shows extensive experience in both leadership and finance.
Drummond understands the need for concrete accountability when it comes to staff mess-ups, and recognizes the past problems with transparency in regards to communication with the student body. He plans on making the budget open and accessible to everyone on campus through Garnet Gate, and hopes to show the student body where their money goes.
On top of this, Drummond plans to start work on Carolina Entrepreneurship Organization — CEO — and Carolina Gets Hired as well as continuing with the New Initiative Fund in order to help individual people on top of organizations. His initiatives were well thought out and developed in comparison to his opponent. In the end, Adger Drummond II demonstrates the key attributes needed when it comes to handling money.
For her qualifications and reliability, we endorse Sophie Davish. With the responsibilities of vice president still being defined after the creation of the speaker of the senate position, we believe Davish’s previous work in Student Government makes her the best person for the job.
Working under current Vice President Mills Hayes as chief of staff, Davish has seen the ins and outs of what the vice president does. She has a clear understanding of what can work, what can’t work and what they could push the envelope on.
Running on four key components — inclusion and equity, sustainability, mental health and student life — Davish has concrete plans for new and continual initiatives. In experiencing the growth of the Vice President’s platform, she is knowledgeable in the steps she must go through in order to make her initiatives successful both in a year’s term and beyond.
Davish has the most experience when it comes to the candidates for vice president, and the clearest ways to fix previous problems that have occurred in Student Government. She plans on showing transparency for the initiatives and finances through both social media and office hours on Greene Street. For these reasons, Sophie Davish seems the most passionate, coherent and prepared candidate for the position of vice president.
In the race for president we have decided to endorse Luke Rankin.
While many of his fellow running mates are similarly experienced and well spoken, we feel Rankin has the most achievable goals and direct initiatives on top of the political attitude.
In his campaign Rankin is very open about the fact that vulnerability and approachability is important to him. He plans on having tabling events on Greene Street as well as making sure he continues community outreach even after campaign season is over to further Student Government’s relationship with the student body. In his hope to "innovate, cultivate and celebrate," Rankin plans to expand Stigma Free USC to off campus communities and bring diversity in the senate by bringing the voices of students with learning disabilities.
Rankin also understands the need to give people a platform without speaking for them, especially when it comes to diversity. He plans to partner with multiple organizations and give them the resources to create their own initiatives without Student Government taking over.
Luke Rankin, as compared to other candidates, is both willing and able to create initiatives that are obtainable in nature, and has direct actions ready for him to implement if elected.