Third-generation Gamecock Luke Rankin said he hopes to guide the university into a new era and generation of students, while still honoring its traditions and past.
Now, he's running for USC student body president.
Rankin, a third-year political science student, served as the Columbia Hall president for Resident Hall Government (RHA) and became a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) his first year. He went on to serve many roles as a sophomore, including secretary of Greek Affairs for Student Government and vice president of PR for the Interfraternity Council.
Currently, Rankin is the secretary of campus outreach, vice president of SAE and member of Omicron Delta Kappa.
“I’m a server,” Rankin said. “My main passion is helping students and helping individuals that I surround myself with, follow their passion.”
Instead of campaigning with a vice president, Rankin has made the unconventional decision to run with a treasurer candidate.
Kate Lewis, also a third-year political science student, has served on Student Senate and RHA and currently works as treasurer Emerson Odagis’ director of operations.
“I’m the only candidate that has actually been inside the treasurer's office and worked there,” Lewis said. “Our skill set combined is really just what’s going to make the qualifications of us two stand out to have platforms that are gonna bring real change to this university.”
Rankin and Lewis met the first day of freshman year when they were moving into Columbia Hall. Since then, the pair have worked together in in multiple facets of student government and become good friends.
“We formed a really natural friendship through our similar majors, the areas of studies, internships and our faith,” Lewis said.
With the next school year welcoming a new president, provost and chief financial officer to USC, many, including the Rankin-Lewis ticket, see this election as a critical one. Issues such as a new student union and the ever-pressing issue of parking will be tackled by the elected candidates.
Meme Jefferson, the campaign manager for Rankin-Lewis and second-year political science student, knew she wanted to be involved with elections but didn't know which campaign to choose at first.
“I wanted to choose the right campaign that I believed the vision in, and I truly believe the vision in Luke and Kate. We have a platform that's realistic and approachable and transparent,” said Jefferson.
Rankin-Lewis promise to innovate, cultivate and celebrate at USC. Their platform includes plans to further inclusivity with a Diversity Week, create a Dance Marathon-inspired event to honor veterans and 9/11 and form unifying relationships between all categories of students.
“I don’t care what race, your ethnicity, your gender, your sexuality, who you are or where you come from, you should have a voice at the University of South Carolina," Rankin said. "You should feel like you have a Student Government that is approachable."