At her freshman orientation, Nicole Dunlop knew that she wanted to join the Slippery Rock Student Government Association. There, she met Logan Steigerwalt, a recent SRU graduate who became SGA president when he was only a junior.
Ironically, Dunlop would be the next student to seek the presidency as an incoming junior, following the paths of preceding SGA presidents Dallas Kline and Rachel Lawler.
“When I was sitting there at freshman orientation, I was like, ‘Look at this guy speaking in front of all these people,'” Dunlop said. “I could never do that, that’s crazy. And then here I am, two years later.”
Dunlop, a sophomore homeland security major from Latrobe, currently serves as the vice president of internal affairs and served as a freshman senator in the 2017-18 academic year. As a vice president, she organized bonding, training and fundraising opportunities within SGA. She is also the SGA representative on the President’s Commission for Veterans and Military Affairs.
As a self-proclaimed advocate for students, Dunlop decided that SGA was the best way to get involved when she first came to SRU. Now, she is running for president after she missed interacting with more students while she served as vice president of internal affairs.
“I love internal affairs, but sometimes I miss getting to interact with students,” Dunlop said.
Although her emphasis this year was on internal affairs, one of Dunlop’s goals next year is commit to outreach and advocacy for students. Part of this goal is to encourage all senators share that commitment and offer SGA’s help in any conversations that arise around campus.
“I really hope to make it an effort for everyone on SGA, so not just me and my E-board, but also all senators,” Dunlop said. “I really want to focus on getting senators really just to talk to people when they’re standing in line at Starbucks or if they overhear a conversation.”
Dunlop also hopes to provide more support to clubs after they have been recognized by SGA, a process started by Parliamentarian Eric Lehman, who has invited clubs to roles and policies committee meetings to revise their constitutions.
“We start these clubs, and then we make them official and then send them off, and we don’t really check in with them to make sure they are doing well,” Dunlop said.
Workshops were also suggested by Dunlop as ways to support clubs after gaining SGA recognition.
Dunlop is the only returning executive board member, and only two other candidates—Kaitlyn Hazelett and Mia Graziani—previously served on senate.
This election cycle is the second year in a row with only one student running for each executive board positions. Last year, the OneSRU ticket won the SGA election, which acquired the fewest number of votes, 534, within the past eight years for an SGA election.
“I wish that other people saw the opportunity that I do in becoming a leader on campus,” Dunlop said. “It’s been a huge growing experience for me. I’m not the same person that I was two years ago. Two years ago, I could never fathom speaking in front of freshmen orientation, and now I’m excited for that experience.”