The Daily Gamecock

Student Government executive candidates talk diversity, communication, other platform points

<p>Student body president candidates (from left to right) Aidan Baker, Alex Harrell and Cameron Butler listen to Caden Askew's answer to a question. The candidates were asked a series of general questions, individual questions and questions pulled from social media.</p>

Student body president candidates (from left to right) Aidan Baker, Alex Harrell and Cameron Butler listen to Caden Askew's answer to a question. The candidates were asked a series of general questions, individual questions and questions pulled from social media.

The Daily Gamecock interviewed Student Government executive candidates to find out more about their platforms. 

Voting runs Feb. 23 to Feb. 24 and occurs online.

Here are the key points about each candidate. Follow the links below for our full coverage.

Student body president candidates

Caden Askew, Aidan Baker, Cameron Butler and Alex Harrell are the candidates running for the position of student body president. Read full coverage for these candidates here.

Askew is running with vice presidential candidate Ashlyn Osborne. His platform includes advocating for an in-person commencement ceremony, implementing free blood testing for date rape drugs, new parking measures on campus and improving diversity and inclusion.

Baker is running with vice presidential candidate Emily Dengler. His top priorities include advocating for an in-person commencement ceremony, creating inclusive spaces and bridging the gap between student organizations and Student Government through Instagram shout-outs and relationship-building. 

Butler plans on working with the university to continue the current tuition freeze and provide an internet subsidy to students. He would like to work with the City of Columbia to shut down the streets of Five Points during peak hours to keep students safe.

Harrell is running with treasurer candidate Kate Turner. He plans on streamlining online learning, improving communication between Student Government and the student body and creating a presidential task force on representation on campus. 

Student body vice president candidates

Emily Dengler and Ashlyn Osborne are the candidates running for student body vice president. Read full coverage for these candidates here.

Dengler plans on revamping Carolina BeYOUtiful Week and Knowledge Empowers You (KEY) Week. She wants to recognize student organizations on Student Government social media and with monetary prizes. She also plans to create an accessible list of university resources.

Osborne wants to advocate for mental health resources by improving the accessibility and personalization of counseling. She also wants to continue current initiatives such as Swipe Out Hunger, Carolina Closet and running shuttles to airports.

Student body treasurer candidates

Samuel Courson, Matt Durant, Jack Lind and Kate Turner are the candidates running for student body treasurer. Read full coverage for these candidates here.

Courson plans on promoting transparency with the student body by continuing live budget updates and implementing “intense communication” with student organizations. Internally, he plans on simplifying the makeup of the treasurer’s staff and implementing office hours.

Durant’s platform centers around transparency, equity and collaboration. He wants to collaborate with student media to reach more people, and he plans on appointing an equity comptroller and having his staff complete Safe Zone training.

Lind plans on promoting transparency by reaching out to the student body through social media, student organization visits and the university itself. He wants to start financial literacy workshops that will be available for all students.

Turner’s top priorities include outreach, communication and transparency regarding the student activity fund. She wants to streamline the funding allocation process for student organizations whether or not the referendum to eliminate the treasurer as an executive position passes.

Speaker of the student senate candidates

Morgiana McDevitt and Christian Phillips are the candidates running for speaker of the student senate. Read full coverage for these candidates here.

McDevitt hopes to bring back Zapp scooters and to revamp the late-night shuttle to Five Points, incorporate more green spaces throughout campus, advocate for underrepresented groups and support initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion.

Phillips’ top priority is working on class-price transparency. He also plans on aiding communication between the student senate and its constituents, which he hopes will result in more students of diverse backgrounds getting involved in Student Government.

Editor's note: Christian Phillips is a news writer with The Daily Gamecock. Phillips does not report on Student Government. Also, Caden Askew and Matt Durant are members of the Board of Publications, which selects executive leaders in student media. 


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