Second-year nursing student Maura Hamilton wants to reach and serve all of USC's student body if she is elected as speaker of the student senate.
The speaker of the student senate presides over all senate sessions, appoints all committee members and chairpersons of senate committees and oversees the creation, debate and passage of all student senate crafted legislation.
Hamilton, who serves as a senator for the College of Nursing and chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she wanted to run to take her “leadership to the next level in student government.”
Hamilton has also served on nearly every senate committee, including the ad hoc finance committee and the powers, responsibilities and sustainability committees.
“I feel like having such a wide variety of interacting with almost every committee and senate has really prepared me to be able to take on the role of speaker because I do understand what every single committee is doing, what they're working towards and what the faculty is that they interact with on a daily basis,” Hamilton said.
She has divided her unopposed campaign platform into four pillars; "for the Gamecock campus," "for the Gamecock citizen," "for the Gamecock classroom" and "for you."
As part of her "for the Gamecock classroom" initiative, Hamilton said she wants to foster a better and more collaborative relationship between the faculty and student senates.
“I think that that's a really interesting part of our campus because those are faculty members who are taking the time outside of their job to come and serve our community, and so they have the same passion that student senators do,” Hamilton said. “I want to make sure that we're joining groups of people together that have these similar passions, because I mean, the more manpower, the more stuff that's eventually going to get done.”
Other parts of the initiative include adding mental health days to the academic calendar and mandating that professors post their syllabi to Blackboard before the first day of class.
The second pillar of Hamilton’s plan is "for the Gamecock campus." One of her proposed initiatives under that pillar is to make sure that the student health center is more clear about the fees that some of their services, such as labs and diagnostic screenings, entail.
“I know I've had personal experiences where I went, and I thought something wasn't going to cost that much. And then I got a bill and I was like, 'Wow, this costs a lot of money.' And as a college student, I don't necessarily have that much extra money,” Hamilton said.
She also aims to improve campus Wi-Fi and plans to propose legislation to add Wi-Fi to outdoor spaces such as Davis Field.
Hamilton’s third pillar is called "for the Gamecock citizen" and primarily deals with reforming the internal Student Government codes so the rules and responsibilities of each office and branch can be more easily understood by the student body.
The last pillar of her campaign is called "for you." Hamilton said the primary goal of this initiative is to educate student senators on how they can better serve their constituents.
“They need to make sure that they're going out there talking to organizations that are specific to their college, to their major, they're doing tabling on Greene Street, they're holding open town halls," Hamilton said.
if she is elected as speaker of the student senate is to be there to help all students.
"If elected, I just want to be somebody here for each and every student. I want to make sure that they know that I'm here to serve them, and if they have an issue and they come to me with it, I'm going to work as best as I possibly can to address that issue,” Hamilton said.
Voting for Student Government positions opens Feb. 20 at 9 a.m. and closes Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.