Boggess and Otten promise to push for student success, wellness and parking


Presidential candidate Ross Boggess and vice-presidential candidate Sydney Otten pose behind the Grehan Journalism Building on Feb. 13, 2018. Photo by Rick Childress

Rick Childress

Better parking, an outdoor living space, a grand council and a zero-tolerance sexual assault policy are what candidates Ross Boggess and Sydney Otten say will make for a better UK.

Otten, the vice presidential candidate, said that every part of their platform can be boiled down to two points: student wellness and student success.

“We believe with those two things we can accomplish so much on campus,” Boggess said.

Maintaining on-campus and near-campus safety at all times is essential to student wellness, the pair stressed.

“You’re a UK student at 3 a.m. and at 3:15 when you’re in class,” Boggess said. “UK needs to take care of its students all the time.”

Boggess and Otten said they want to help create a social culture that actively discourages sexual assault.

“The university administration can say all that they want,” Boggess said. “It’s going to take students acting as ambassadors for their friends by treating (sexual assault) just like drunk driving.”

Boggess said that if a friend is drunk most would try to prevent them from driving, but bystanders may not do the same when faced with possible sexual misconduct.

“If your friend is heading towards a bedroom that they probably shouldn’t be, there isn’t that bystander impowerment, to say ‘no,’” Boggess said.

He said he wants SGA to have someone work to bring about that culture change.

An outdoor living room complete with moveable furniture and string lighting will be an inviting social area to help get students out of their dorms to meet new people.

“It’s just another social circle to help freshmen especially get out of their dorm with a few people,” Otten said.

They weren’t exactly sure where the room might go, but that the Kirwan-Blanding complex could be a possibility, especially after the area undergoes construction.

The pair also proposed a grand university council that would seek to include representatives from most of the student-run organizations that are on or near-campus. Boggess said the council would be a place to reach out to other organizations to ask for help or collaborate on larger ideas and projects.

Otten used the example of connecting a Greek organization with 4 Paws for Ability, a group that trains service dogs, during finals week to help control stress.

The details for the council are not yet finalized, Boggess said. Those would be worked out if they were elected. But Boggess said that the council’s function would largely be determined by those groups which used it the most.

“I think when you get everybody into that first meeting it’s just going to be a lot of chaos and that’s just how it’s going to be and working from there will be the biggest thing,” Boggess said.

Boggess and Otten said among students they’ve surveyed and talked to, parking is the biggest issue.

Boggess, who served on the Parking and Transportation Committee last year, said he already has “the knowledge and the relationships” to address the parking problem.

According to Boggess, it costs $8,000 to build a new parking spot, and UK “isn’t too inclined” to give more debt allocation towards parking structures. In the past, he said he advocated for more lots to be open for student use.

“I’ve advocated for the garage next to old Kennedy’s to be open to students on the weekends so that north end students could park there,” Boggess said. “Because there’s nowhere that you can park and it doesn’t make sense.”

Boggess said that if he gets into office, he would be a strong advocate for better student parking.

“If elected I would be sitting in that Board of Trustees meeting being like, ‘We need more parking and we need to prioritize that,’” he said.

Boggess and Otten are facing Riley Grant and Tucker Lovett, and Michael Hamilton and Noor Ali. 

Elections will be held on Feb. 21 and 22 at