Elections to determine new student body president

By Cheyene Miller

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UK students have the chance to decide which direction they want to be led in when they vote in the annual Student Government Association elections.

Voting opened on Wednesday and will continue until Thursday at 6:00 p.m. when polls close. Results will be announced at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

According to elections board chair Julia Vega, voting will continue exclusively online in the event that the university is closed due to the incoming winter storm.

Vega said that at this point, over 3,500 students have voted in the election, which is right on track with the voter turnout from last year.

Candidates Dwight Haggard and Taylor Dale Clark ran their campaign on the promises of connecting with university staff, implementing student-run task forces and ending frivolous use of SGA funds.

“Creating student-run task forces, allowing student organizations to apply for funding from student government more than once a year, and pushing the administration to enact legislation calling for a fully wet campus are all goals we will attain,” Haggard and Clarks’ platform statement said.

Candidates Austin Mullen and Jenna Hollinden plan to implement several new positions in student government. These include a director of finance, which would essentially act as SGA’s treasurer, and a director for inclusion, which would work alongside the recently implemented Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion on methods to reduce instances of hate and discrimination on campus.

“Our team believes that we have the unique skill set necessary to enact lasting change, while protecting time-honored traditions through our comprehensive campus plan,” Mullen and Hollindens’ platform statement said.

The candidates squared off in the annual SGA Presidential and Vice Presidential Debate Monday evening, and discussed issues such as racism on social media, proper use of SGA funding and UK implementing a wet campus policy.

Haggard, Mullen and Hollinden have all served in positions with the student government, and Clark served as student body president at her high school.

In last year’s student election, current student body president Jake Ingram and vice president Mariel Jackson defeated Micaha Dean and Evan Pulliam with 2,667 to 2,463 votes. With 29,385 students attending UK in 2014, about 17 percent of students participated in the presidential election last year.