SGA to hold elections

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SGA to hold elections

Erika Ward

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 The Western Illinois University Student Government Association (SGA) will hold elections for offices for next year beginning April 1.  Candidates were approved and will debate on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the University Union instead of having an SGA meeting.

 Wil Gradle, a pre-business conditional economics major, is running for SGA president in order to have a larger influence on the meetings and decisions.

 “It was an opportunity for me to step up and try to find a new challenge and find a new way to benefit the students,” Gradle said.  “I really enjoyed my tenure as director of finance, but it is a very limited role to shape the discussion and the way things are going on campus. It was a very natural step to have a greater influence.”

 Gradle’s running mate for the vice president position is Riley Addington, a philosophy major.

 “I actually knew Riley prior, and I becoming running mates,” Gradle said.  “We’re in a fraternity together, so I’ve gotten to see how he operates. He’s a super smart guy. He’s very punctual, articulate, well spoken, everything I would want out of a running mate.”

 Michael Quigley, a political science major, is the student member of the Board of Trustees and will run for re-election.

 “Representing the students is something that I’ve enjoyed,” Quigley said.  “If I get re-elected, it will be four years I’ve been in student government. I’ve cultivated positive relationships with the administration that maybe allow me to get more done than someone who’s new. But at the same time, as anyone who is in student government knows, I’m not at all afraid to say no.  

 “A lot of students, I think, often are afraid to say no and to voice their opinion,” Quigley continued  “One of the biggest compliments I get from administrators, students, anybody is that I am absolutely not afraid to voice the student opinion.”

 Matthew Alwood, a mathematics major, is running for one of the senator at-large positions. There can only be five people to hold these positions.

 “It’s just a general representative of the campus population,” Alwood said. “The senator at-large position is just for any student, say people who don’t want to necessarily join one of the organizations, but can still have a voice.”

 Areli Patino, an accounting major, is also running for senator at-large.

“I am running for the senator at-large position because I want to make a difference on campus by voicing the opinion of the students,” Patino said.  “I want to encourage students to get more involved with SGA and their representatives.”

Also running for senator at-large is history major Robert Barlow, who believes that his experiences can be beneficial to the student population.

“I felt like SGA needed someone who had a background as a transfer student and someone who was from the area of Western Illinois,” Barlow said.  “I also think that things have been stagnant in SGA and that can’t be the case when we do not know what the future holds for us from those up in Springfield. Someone has to manage the cattle and not just wear the hat.”

The final person running for senator at-large is Calen Edgar, an emergency services management major. Edgar wishes to represent the student population in order to have a larger impact on life at Western.

“I’m running for the position to give myself greater depth,” Edgar said. “I’ve produced a lot of legislation in my time with SGA.  If there was one thing I would like to do, specifically, it would be work with the Provost’s office to enable transfer students to have greater opportunity and smooth the transition.”

The candidates are scheduled to debate next Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the University Union. SGA elections will begin Wednesday, April 1 at 6 a.m. and end Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m. through the STARS website.