The time has come again to elect the highest positions of student leadership on campus.
Voting is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for the next president and vice president of UCM’s Student Government Association. Students can cast their ballot at tables inside of the Elliott Student Union or online. The two presidential candidates are current Vice President Cole Fine and Sen. DaVontae Hair. Justin Cobb and Katie Cupp are the candidates for vice president.
SGA hosted a debate March 27 giving candidates a chance to speak on key areas of interest and describe their platforms. First to the podium were the candidates for vice president.
Cobb has had various leadership opportunities through Boy Scouts and Boys State before his time at UCM. Cobb is a member of the ROTC program on campus where he met Hair, Cobb said Hair’s leadership inspired him to run for office.
Cobb said he is excited about the possibilities for SGA after visiting over 40 student organizations in three weeks.
“The biggest thing I want to do is restructure SGA so we go out to the student organizations,” he said. “Doing that with Davontae these past few weeks has been eye-opening as far as what people know and don’t know about the services available to them.”
Cupp, a junior communication studies major has served in leadership positions in SGA, her sorority, and within the communication studies department.
Cupp said she will continue working for students and, if elected, wants to work toward enhancing student involvement.
“I like the opportunity to connect with students,” she said. “I like to hear what their issues are and I’m passionate about advocating for them.”
Cupp said her time working for the Alumni Foundation has helped her create a valuable network that will serve her well in communicating ideas with various groups on campus.
Hair is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in military science. He is an active member in UCM’s ROTC chapter and a senator in SGA. Hair started the Green Dot and housing initiative: Project Safe. He also founded the local Patriot 5k, which raises funds for the local VFW Post 2513 and the UCM Fighting Mules Batallion. Hair is making his second run for president after being defeated by 11 votes last year.
Hair said he plans to make student government more inclusive.
“I’m here to serve those underrepresented students,” he said. “I hear their voice and I’m here to modify it, make it bigger.”
Hair said SGA needs to actively engage with student organizations and make sure their voices are heard.
“If I’m elected, SGA will be for the people,” he said, “becuase right now it is not.”
Fine is studying pre-law and is serving as the vice president in the current administration. He has been active in student government for four years and has worked closely with Shari Bax, vice provost of student engagement and experience, as the coordinator for the American Democracy Project.
“That job has given me so many leadership capabilities,” Fine said. “I get to manage a budget by myself that is bigger than SGA’s whole budget. It has really opened my eyes to some of the things that are required of a good leader.”
Fine’s two biggest goals are to enhance student involvement and create a mental health initiative. Fine said he will continue the process of securing funding and creating the infrastructure so students can seek out the mental health services when needed.
“I am in the process of drafting a mental health proposal with our current president, Courtney Abt,” Fine said. “That won’t be rolled out in time unless I’m elected another term. That is my initiative. It is something I’m really passionate about and I think it will help retain students.”
Students interested in joining SGA can go to the organization’s office in Union Room 217 or call 660-543-4094.