The Daily Gamecock

Letters to the editor: Student body president candidates write why students should vote for them

The Daily Gamecock asked applicants to the student body president position to write about why students should vote for them in lieu of an endorsement. Here's what they wrote:

Caden Askew, third-year finance and economics student

My name is Caden Askew, and I am so proud to be your candidate for student body president. I am a finance and economics double major with a minor in political science. I grew up in Austin, Texas, and have been at Carolina for three years. I am a current member of Phi Sigma Kappa, ODK and Carolina Finance Scholars. I also serve as the current student body treasurer.

In my role as student body treasurer, I have taken my office to a place it has never been before. Beyond the daily functioning of my office, I was able to increase accessibility through meeting with over 70% of student organizations and improving transparency through initiatives such as the live budget. I also aided student organizations by providing premium Zoom features at no cost through SG x Zoom. Lastly, for the first time ever, I incorporated programming into my office alongside my incredible running mate Ashlyn Osborne in the form of SGxYOU. This program gave students the opportunity to set Student Government’s agenda and provided access to Student Government’s resources.

The Askew Osborne Campaign is dedicated to furthering the ideals of accessibility, transparency, advocacy and more. Our platform is comprised of three pillars: support, secure and sustain. The first pillar, support, is focused on elevating mental health resources on campus by improving quality, promoting financial security and incorporating resiliency training. The second pillar, secure, is focused on delivering in-person commencement, a student vote on the board of trustees and completing the 2020 Revision. Lastly, sustain is about prioritizing sustainability in discussions of new developments on campus, reimaging existing but neglected spaces and delivering on parking optionality.

As your next student body president, alongside Ashlyn Osborne as your vice president, I am ready to deliver on all of these promises.

Aidan Baker, third-year marketing student

My name is Aidan Baker, and I am humbled to be running to serve you as not only your student body president but as your advocate. If I first arrived on the historic Horseshoe of the University of South Carolina and someone told me that I would have the opportunity to be a servant leader and run to be the next student body president, I would have said that was impossible. For years, this role has been filled with individuals who fit a certain image — one that I thought I would never be able to fit. However, I was once told that “In order to be represented, you must represent.” I know many of you have felt unheard and unrepresented on campus; I have, too. I am running to "EVOLVE" and represent this campus and serve each of you.

My friend, Emily Dengler, and I have chosen to establish the "EVOLVE" campaign. This campaign is not about power and prestige but rather about representing the voices of students on campus through action, not empty promises. Our platform is carefully tailored to energize student life, expand student government accessibility and echo student voices.

We are in a time of uncertainty; that’s no secret. However, we believe there’s more we can do, together, as Gamecocks. We no longer want to conform to the Student Government of the past but utilize that foundation to evolve and serve our university to be better and to stand for better. I am honored to be a candidate for student body president and hope you will consider me when voting on Feb. 23 to 24. This election is not about the past or the present, but it’s about the future and our legacy as Gamecocks, together.

Cameron Butler, master of international business student

I fell in love with this campus many years ago, so much so I decided to return for my graduate degree. Many of our best friends lived in Bates or one of the quads, and we all have a collective memory of tripping over a brick or two. This campus has so much to offer and is a community like no other. Our incoming leadership needs to continue to make great strides forward. Leaders are supposed to be stewards to those that elect them. I believe my campaign slogan embodies that: "A Butler that serves you!" It might be cheesy, but it sums up what I wish to do — be a voice and agent for you as your next student body president.

2020 was challenging. It will require a group effort with intentional leadership to make the next school year one we all warmly welcome. To get us on the right track, I created my Five Points Plan, tackling the immense challenges our Gamecock Nation faces: tuition prices, internet equity, student engagement, nightlife safety and university recognition. Together we can conquer the hurdles ahead and bring brighter days to the City of Dreams.


Alex Harrell, third-year political science and criminal justice student

Fellow Gamecocks,

My name is Alex Harrell, and I am proud to be running to be your next student body president. It’s incredible to say that, as this has been a dream of mine since I stepped foot on campus. I grew up in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, and I am a junior studying political science and criminal justice. Throughout my time here, I have had the pleasure of being involved with Student Government, Pi Kappa Phi, where I serve as the risk management chair, and on the Interfraternity Council as the vice president of programming. I have also had the incredible opportunity to work at both the Statehouse and Capitol Hill.

These opportunities have prepared me to serve the student body at the next level, and I am excited to continue enacting positive, lasting change on campus. I am running for president alongside my running mate, Kate Turner, because we believe that together, we can lead Carolina to a brighter and stronger future. As your next student body president, I promise to work to emphasize the student voice and prioritize the issues that are most important to my peers. By creating a comprehensive and achievable platform, we have already taken the first step toward improving the student experience for all of us here at USC.

I genuinely believe that our platform will create positive change and help to ensure that every student feels supported and welcomed here at Carolina. You can find more information about our campaign and platform on our Instagram, @harrell.turner.21. I am honored to have the opportunity to run for student body president here at the greatest university in the country. I hope that you will consider me when you vote next week. Go Gamecocks!

Forever to Thee,

Alex Harrell

Editor's note: Caden Askew is a member of the Board of Publications, which selects executive leaders in student media.