Lone Student Government Association executive candidates Sami Zoss and Michael Buchanan said at the Cross Media Council Panel Monday night they want a better relationship between the student body and the student government.
Presidential candidate Zoss and vice presidential candidate Buchanan answered questions from a panel of student media representatives, a live audience and social media participants.
Questions ranged from priorities if elected to the General Activity Fee increase and to the SGA-student relationship.
The candidates are looking at student engagement in a systematic way.
“We’ve tried to meet with as many organizations that will take us. And the first thing we ask them is, ‘Do you know what SGA is and do you know what we do?’” Buchanan said. “And that’s the first thing we try to do. We just educate them on why they should care about what SGA does, how it affects them as an organization. And if they have any specific questions.”
The most important part of Zoss and Buchanan’s campaign platform involves accountability — focusing on their relations with students.
“Student outreach is really the biggest one. I think we have an increased presence,” Zoss said. “Now it’s our job to make sure that our senators are doing their job and actually reaching out.”
About the potential GAF increase, Zoss and Buchanan said they want the voice of the students to be heard.
“It’s exciting to see students so excited about something SGA is doing,” Zoss said. “And it’s actually probably a good opportunity for SGA to really educate people on what GAF is.”
As the first SGA external communications manager, Zoss said she has had her share of experiences with the relationship between students and SGA. She, however, believes the position will grow as more dialogue between students and SGA is formed.
“Since I was the first one, I can sort of see where this position can go, how it can facilitate more student outreach,” Zoss said.
First-year Preston Pratt was one of the students who attended the panel as a spectator. He said it was nice to hear the candidates’ platform.
“It was a lot of fun to understand where the candidates are coming from — knowing that they are all ears when it comes to the student body,” Pratt said.
Zoss and Buchanan thought the panel went well for them. Buchanan said the duo accomplished their goals heading into the panel.
“I think we really accomplished what we wanted with this panel,” he said. “The focus from last year was just comparing the two. This year, it was just, ‘These are the concerns that people have,’ coming from that panel.”
(Photo: Student Government Association presidential candidate Sami Zoss and vice presidential candidate Michael Buchanan explained their platform and answered questions at the Cross Media Council’s SGA Panel Discussion Feb. 23. Megan Card / The Volante)