SGA elections kick off

Two tightly contested races find their way to the ballot.

Student Government Association elections are ramping up. The elections this year feature contested races for the presidential office and secretarial honors. The candidates for the presidential position are Michael Combs and Tasfia Hasin. The candidate for vice president is Sophia Zoellner. The candidates for secretary are Holden Caldwell and Luke Earls, and the lone candidate for treasurer is Adam Sparger. The Collegian contacted each candidate for an interview via email.

Combs is a sophomore chemical engineering major who currently serves as secretary for SGA. The key focus of his presidential campaign is “on fostering campus unity and addressing the diverse needs of our student body.” He intends to lead SGA differently than his peers “by fostering stronger connections with Residence Life, advocating for underrepresented student populations, and prioritizing mental health initiatives.” To remain accountable for his campaign promises, Combs plans to “measure the success of [his] initiatives through feedback mechanisms such as surveys, town hall meetings, and regular updates to the student body.” Combs believes that his “plethora of leadership roles and experiences across campus” make him the best candidate for president, along with his “deep love for TU and commitment to advocating for the student body.”

Luke Earls tucollegian | Collegian

Holden Caldwell tucollegian | Collegian

Michael Combs tucollegian | Collegian

Tasfia Hasin tucollegian | Collegian

Hasin is a junior biochemistry and mathematics double major running for SGA president as a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion. Hasin explains that the three key issues she wants to address on campus include more collaborations between campus offices, residence hall safety and integrative learning, and international student programming. She believes “there is still a big disconnect between what the student body really needs versus what SGA knows.” Hasin states she would “like to make the President role be more interactive with the overall campus, by engaging in the various social spheres that have been divided in the past: multicultural, Greek Life, and Athletics.” When asked about the purpose of SGA, Hasin stated, “It is a hub for resources and invites students to take charge of changing TU for the better.” She believes she is most suited to be president due to her “direct and intimate connections with the student body.”

Caldwell is a freshman cyber security major with minors in political science and economics running for secretary. Caldwell sees three key issues the secretary position can address: supporting student orgs outside of chartering them, working with the director of communications to publicize SGA business and working with SGA Senate to show student support for new services. He wants to reposition the secretary office “into a more direct support and advisory role to the President and Vice President, rather than a simple note taking position.” Caldwell also believes that the purpose of SGA “is to make every effort to enrich the lives of all students.”

Earls is a junior double majoring in history and anthropology running for secretary in this upcoming election cycle. When asked about leveraging his position to enact lasting change in SGA, he states, “allowing students to see what Student Government does, and puts on, would get more people interested in what we do.” He envisions the purpose of SGA to “be a bridge between the student body and the campus administrators.” Regarding his accomplishments, Earls admits he has “not had too much of an opportunity to make an impact on the student body.” However, his committee is currently working “to get discounts at places in which TU students frequent.”

Sparger is the lone candidate for treasurer. He is halfway through his freshman year with a double major in accounting and finance. His key issue “is the underutilization of allocated funds by various organizations,” and he is currently exploring funding alternatives. When measuring future success, Sparger believes “an accurate indicator would be the larger organizations’ ability to host more events that are both significant and enjoyable.” As a freshman, Sparger states that he has not had many opportunities to make a lasting impact on campus, which drives his desire to run for treasurer.

Zoellner did not respond when requested for an interview.

Voting will commence on Monday, Feb. 12 at 9 a.m. and end Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. To cast your vote, sign into Harvey, select “Organizations,” select “Student Association,” then vote for your candidates.

Post Author: Adam Porterie