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The Vanguard

SGA elections April 3-5

Shannon Lundgren, Reporter

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SGA candidates attended a forum hosted by The Vanguard on March 27 in the Student Center Terrace Room. The Vanguard and the public put candidates to the question.

SGA elections begin today, April 3 at 8 a.m. and will continue through April 5 at 5 p.m. Students check their Jagmail for more information on how to vote.

There are two SGA presidential candidates: Reagan Barr, and Carl Thomas Jr.

Barr said he was elected president of SGA in middle school. He is currently President of the Society of Collegiate Leadership and Achievement.

Financial responsibility, food and environmental sustainability are Barr’s largest concerns. Barr said he plans to cut “frivolities” and save the SGA’s money for a natural disaster. Barr also said he plans to install an old-fashioned style soda bar.

As SGA president, Barr plans to defund or reduce the size and cost of the spring concert. He proposed spending the money on the sustainability council.

“The sustainability council is quite underfunded, and they have a bunch of plans and they aren’t able to follow through with them.” Barr said. “ We could wind up with a bee-keeping place and our own honey,” Barr said.

The second candidate for SGA president is Thomas.

As SGA President, Thomas said he will work with Sexual Assault Violence Educators to reduce and raise awareness of sexual assault on campus. Thomas also stated that he will work to raise awareness of mental health issues on campus by having a mental health awareness month.

To promote student engagement, Thomas wants to promote student attendance at USA sporting events and create an event tentatively named “Unityfest.” He described Unityfest as similar to the block party hosted by Jaguar Productions. Thomas did not provide further details.   

Thomas wants to partner students and student organizations with local non-profit organizations to improve the number of community service hours students at USA donate.

There are two candidates for SGA vice president: Elizabeth Hernandez, and H. Carter Phillips III.

Rising-senior Hernandez has been involved with SGA every academic year since she was a freshman on First-Year Council.  She has served as an allied health senator for two years and has additionally served as senator pro-tem for the last semester. The senator pro-tem leads the senators, which enforces senatorial responsibilities.   

While a senator, Hernandez served as the student affairs committee chairman. As the student affairs committee chairman, Hernandez organized “Pizza with the President,” an event where students ate pizza with USA President Dr. Tony Waldrop. She also coordinated “Nacho Typical SGA,” which gave students and senators the chance to talk about their concerns over nachos.

As an allied health senator, Hernandez worked with senators from her college to write a bill that purchased 50 practice Medical College Admissions Tests for pre-medicine students. Hernandez also helped pre-health honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta get SGA sponsorship for their charity fundraiser Mega-Musical Chairs.

As senator pro-tem, Hernandez required all SGA committees to publish their minutes on a publicly available google drive.

As a vice presidential candidate, Hernandez is committed to educating senators on Robert’s Rules of Order and governmental transparency.

If elected vice president, Hernandez said she will nominate current senate clerk Savannah Hoyt to serve another year.

Phillips served for two semesters as a college of continuing education and special projects senator. Phillips stated his proudest achievement as a part of the SGA was to purchase 40 new bikes for the Outdoors Adventures program.

Phillips also worked with the video game development group on campus last year. As a part of that program, he worked with their recruiting and retention efforts and helped manage their limited resources,

If he becomes vice president of the SGA, Phillips wants the SGA to support athletic event attendance, increase governmental transparency, protect free speech and promote fiscal and environmental conservation.

To increase governmental transparency, Phillips said he will share the SGA google drive, including minutes and bills, with JagMedia. Currently, the minutes are linked from the SGA webpage, but current and pending legislation is not.

Phillips also wants to bring back voting by yay or nae instead of using the clickers. This is to encourage voter accountability, according to Phillips.

If elected vice president, Phillips said he will nominate Carissa Barrios to serve as senate clerk.

There are two candidates for SGA treasurer, Kevin Aria and Blake Lee. The job of the treasurer is to set the budget each semester and to oversee the appropriations committee. The appropriations committee receives and votes on requests for funding from recognized student organizations.

Aria is the first candidate for SGA treasurer. Aria served on the appropriations committee last year and is the SGA comptroller this year. The comptroller’s job is to assist the treasurer.

As treasurer, Aria plans to renew talks with Uber to have Uber provide a 50 percent discount or $20 free fare to students during the after hours, on Thursdays to Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Five universities approximately the same size as USA have entered similar agreements with Uber. The partnership will cost $35,000-40,000 per semester, according to Aria. To defray the cost, Aria will solicit partnership with other departments on campus.

“If we want it, we can get it done,” Aria said about the proposed Uber partnership.

Aria proposed giving new student organizations a start-up fund of $300. Currently, a student organization must be registered with the office of student activities for three semesters before they can receive funding from SGA.

Aria promised to find out how much of our tuition funds the SGA.

“We want to know, first and foremost, how much of our student’s fees actually go into the SGA appropriations budget… Here at South, we don’t actually know that. As treasurer, I pledge to find out.”

The second candidate for treasurer is Blake Lee. Lee served as a college of engineering senator for two years. While a senator, Lee served on the appropriations committee.

As treasurer, Lee will implement an open-door policy, but is satisfied with current levels of governmental transparency.

“There is already quite a bit of transparency, or at least from what I’ve seen on the appropriations committee….” Lee said, “If anything, the responsibility is more on the students for the transparency aspect. It’s out there, you just gotta put some effort into looking into it,”

Lee also said he would give the senate and The Vanguard weekly updates on the budget.

The candidates for positions of chief justice, attorney general and student-at-large are unopposed this election cycle.

Taylor Davis, the current chief justice, is seeking re-election. The chief justice oversees the associate justices who serve on the University Disciplinary Committee and interprets the SGA constitution and code-of-laws.

Davis plans to work to better integrate the associate justices into the SGA and to campus-wise raise awareness of the USA Supreme Court.

Josh Robertson is running for SGA attorney general. The attorney general is responsible for coordinating USA’s participation in Higher Education Day.

Once in office, Robertson plans to use social media to educate students on the role of the governmental affairs committee.

While serving on the SGA as a college of nursing senator, Robertson served as the governmental affairs chairman.

Emily Viglione, a two-year veteran of SGA and Greek life, is running for student-at-large. The student-at-large is an officer position that represents the SGA to student organizations. Viglione has two years of experience in SGA and in Greek life.

“My main goals are to publicize student organizations through social media spotlights, strengthen SGA and admin relationships with student organizations and collaborate with Office of Student Activities to provide additional engagement opportunities for student organizations,” Viglione said.

Election results will be announced in a “call-out” party hosted by the SGA in the Student Center Amphitheater on April 5 from 4-6 p.m.



Reagan Barr

Carl Thomas Jr.


Vice President:

Elizabeth Hernandez

  1. Carter Phillips III



Kevin Aria

Blake Lee


Allied Health

Addison Grissett

Kevin Hartley

Breanna Healy

Deangela McGee

Collin Miller

Justin Penninger

Derek Pickett

Amaris Samuel


Arts & Sciences

Namisha Ajit

Jacqueline Brazile

Kiri Camp

Payton Ford

Giana Harris-Stallworth

Shaun Holloway

Faith Kilpatrick

Grace Newcombe

Michael Simmons

Lauren Sullivan

Aren Valrie

Jessica Williams



Jordan Griffin

Jack Stover

Sahilee Waitman



Ashley Gideon

Broderick Morrissette



Chelsia Douglas

Paisley Henning

Zorrya Kelley

Jade Poole


Trey Clarkson

Caison Elliott

Kaysie Moore   



Lacey Bemis

Madison Jacobs


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SGA elections April 3-5