1st SG prez candidate announces run within days of deadline

Only one candidate has announced plans to run for Student Government president with one day until the filing deadline.

SG Senate president Tyler Montell, surrounded by red, white and blue balloons and a crowd of more than 75 people singing along to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop,” formally joined the race last night.

“If I didn’t get into UK, I wasn’t going to college,” Montell said. “UK has always been where I knew I belonged.”

Montell, a business junior from Shelbyville, Ky., could be the only presidential candidate in the spring elections. No one can file to run after the tomorrow’s deadline.

Montell said his focus will be to “represent the students of UK whether it be in Frankfort, in the (UK Board of Trustees) board room or in President (Lee) Todd’s office.” Along with running mate Grant Mills, a history junior, Montell said he plans to make diversity, graduate student voices and campus safety some of his top priorities.

“This is the student’s government and we want to make sure we are doing everything possible for the students,” Montell said. “We have to embrace all students, not just those in our circles, and I believe that the leadership that Grant and I have had during our time at UK has afforded us the ability to bring this to campus.”

Montell and Mills, who was part of SG as a member of the freshman representative council, also said they plan to take the president’s role as a member of the Board of Trustees seriously and plan to restructure the SG executive committee, which works with UK and funds campus programs independently of the Senate, to better serve students.

“Our main focus is to represent students’ interests,” Mills said. “We’ve been involved in a lot of different arenas on campus, and we really want to help all different students.”

Montell’s campaign ticket lists a few SG veterans and several newcomers to SG.

Working with former SG President Jonah Brown and current President Nick Phelps will help Montell develop into the type of president he thinks will best serve UK students, he said.

“It’s not about working alone,” Montell said. “I don’t want people to just watch us make a difference, I want them to be a part of that change. I think both Jonah and Nick both brought really good things to Student Government, and I will take both of their leaderships to help me serve all students, not just the ones who happen to be outspoken, but the others who have concerns about this university as well.”

SG Vice President Brittany Langdon said she and Phelps do not plan to endorse a candidate, but she believes Montell would do well in the position.

“I have a lot of faith in Tyler and Grant because they’ve worked really well together, and they have a great plan for next year,” Langdon said. “They don’t plan on reinventing the wheel, they want to build off what we are already doing, and I think that will benefit students in the long run.”