Campaigning for student government elections is underway, with two tickets restoring competition to the race to represent Slippery Rock University’s student body.
SGA President Logan Steigerwalt is running for reelection under the Chainge Party, which he said combines the words “chain” and “change” to reflect his ticket’s desire to strengthen the chain between students and the SRU administration and implement the change students want to see.
Having already served as president for one year, Steigerwalt said he’ll be able to “hit the ground running” once reelected, adding that learning the “in’s and out’s” of the position can take two to three months.
Chainge’s 20 candidates promote a three plank platform, including passion, professionalism and teamwork, described in a party press release.
Key points of “passion” include continuing existing conversations between students and administrators, adopting a campus-wide social cause, donating a gift to the university such as the SGA Pavilion or the waterfall, creating “commuter safe houses” in unoccupied residence halls and fostering a more inclusive climate with direct connections to SGA.
Through “professionalism,” members of Chainge hopes to host a campus leadership conference, make Student Safety Week an annual event, expand funding to 29 clubs and collaborate with the administration to alleviate parking concerns.
Under “teamwork,” Chainge plans to strengthen the link between SGA and other campus organizations by requiring SGA senators to attend prominent club meetings, develop a formal plan on how information will be shared between students and the administration and require at least one student to sit on all administration student affairs and building committees.
Last year, Steigerwalt won an uncontested election as part of the SRUnited ticket.
The opposition party, Revive the Pride (RTP), is a new group of candidates that encourage campus-wide participation in SGA and better communication between university groups with the goal of a more unified campus, a party press release read. RTP plans to increase awareness of diversity across campus with events and training sessions that create a safe atmosphere for all students.
Rebecca Sheriff, a junior resort, recreation and hospitality major who is running as RTP’s presidential candidate, believes past student governments have made little progress.
“All too often we see SGA candidates make great speeches to get elected, but there isn’t any follow up or concrete action,” she said.
RTP candidates view campus as a “multi-faceted group of students with dynamic needs and concerns,” the press release continued.
With a diverse body of candidates from a variety of majors, clubs and organizations, RTP said they aim to engage students who are often overlooked.
“We need to make sure all events are adequately advertised and held in convenient locations at convenient times,” Sheriff said. “From the beginning of a student’s career at SRU, SGA should pursue face-to-face communication via freshmen orientation groups, FYRST Seminars and Jump Start sessions.”
With transparency in mind, RTP plans to hold regular open forums with students and administrators to provide the student body with adequate opportunities to voice their thoughts on SGA proceedings, the press release read.
“What is SGA without input from its student constituents?” Sheriff asked. “The SRU student body needs an efficient party that’s going to advance student activities, as well as campus accessibility and sustainability.”
Other platform items listed on RTP’s website, www.SRURevivethePride.weebly.com, include moving toward a 100 percent environmentally friendly campus, making campus more accessible to students with disabilities and creating a diverse climate by working with student groups.
RTP currently consists of 13 candidates running for various positions on SGA, the press release read.