Candidates for USC Student Government offices have officially announced their bids after a candidate meeting on Tuesday night, starting the road to the Feb. 26 and Feb 27 elections.
Students running for executive positions and Student Senate can also officially share their campaign platforms on social media and visit classrooms as they begin soft campaigning.
Candidates are hopeful that they can find ways to engage with the student body effectively. Vice presidential candidate Sophie Davish said she hopes to reach students in ways they can relate to.
“I want to gain the attention of the student body by being authentic, by going to places that they are and meeting them where they already meet, where they practice, where they already spend their time, telling my story and how I can make USC better,” Davish said.
Going forward on the campaign trail, some candidates view students' mental health as an important issue, and one they are prioritizing in their campaigns.
Nick Hooks, candidate for Speaker of the Senate, said he's excited to tackle mental health and inclusion and equity during his campaign. Additionally, Patrick Ellis, current speaker of senate and presidential candidate, said he feels connected to USC through his family history of attending the school, and hopes to make changes as a part of his journey on campus..
“There’s a plethora of issues that face our campus,” Ellis said. “Primarily mental health is one that is ubiquitous in the University of South Carolina, so that‘s something that we’ve got to tackle and be always mindful and cognizant of making efforts with that.”
In addition to tackling mental health, Ellis also looks to improve campus WiFi as president.
“I hope to make the University of South Carolina the first 100 percent coverage campus in the Southeastern conference,” Ellis said.
Candidates also reflect on their school spirit at USC, deeming it integral in fueling their desire for service.
“I’ve been a die-hard Gamecock my whole life,” said Luke Rankin, another presidential candidate. “Coming to South Carolina my freshmen year was something that I couldn’t express until after I really went through it, and I never knew that I would have the love for this university that I do now.”
Hard campaigning will kick off after the executive candidate debate on Feb. 19, when candidates are allowed to pass out promotional material on Greene Street.
Over the next two weeks, candidates will campaign for office, leading up to elections over a two-day period beginning Feb. 26.