Student body president and vice president campaigns started Monday, Feb. 20.
As leader of the executive branch, the president is a fundamental role in the allocation of the activities and service fee budget.
The vice president heads communication between the student body and the rest of the executive branch.
Below are excerpts from interviews with the candidates. They have been edited for length and clarity.
David Thompson & Samuel Goetz
Junior political science major with minor in environmental policy
Extracurriculars: Tour guide, COMPASS P.E.E.R. coach and orientation leader.
Prior SG experience: Former Deputy of Public Relations and Director of Communication
“We’re problem-solvers because there are a number of problems our campus is facing, specifically student academic success, social success and economic success. Within those three main issues, there are a number of things we want to address. “
“We want to expand reading days. Especially for students who work, or commuter students, having those reading days we’ve seen provides a marked improvement. We currently have 2-3 reading days per semester, but we would like to expand that to a full week.”
“We’d like to increase the services our library provides and the hours it is open.”
“We want to also make this campus more affordable. Specifically, we want to find a way to make parking easier and cheaper. We’re also interested in utilizing sustainable initiatives to make things on campus more affordable.”
“The school is raising housing rates, but if you could decrease the cost of energy, say by placing solar window films, or placing LED lights inside of RHO you’re actually going to decrease the cost of maintaining the building which could offset the need for these housing increases.”
Freshman Global business major with a finance minor
Extracurriculars: Pledged Delta Sigma Pi and has worked on previous political campaigns, specifically on the digital marketing team for state senator Darryl Rouson.
Prior SG experience: Senator
“We have a large number of commuter students and their participation rates vary from on-campus students. A key integral part of participation is marketing, students don’t even know what’s going on.”
“I would ask students to consider which candidate would give them the most. There are certain candidates that want to focus on athletics, others that want to focus on sustainability, but we are going to give you the whole pie and not just a piece of it.”
Sean Cornell & Sean Slawitschka
Senior finance major
Extracurriculars: Sailing team member, in pre-law society, Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society and a member of the university honors program
“What I’ve experienced in terms of Student Government has been the organization funding, club funding and student organization budget process.”
“We have to create an environment for our student organizations to grow.”
“We don’t have a stable athletics department. Our club sports are being restricted. We are going to have to drive change in terms of our funding and in terms of where we identify ourselves as a school.”
“We need to find a way for athletics to become a part of our student life. I really like what Campus Rec. has done with our intramurals this year. Intramurals has had such a great turnout and it’s a lot of fun.”
“If we are going to grow as a campus, then figuring out a way to balance athletics, clubs and student organizations.”
“We love our school and we want to represent the students.”
Junior health science major
Extracurriculars: Pre-med club and a wakeboarding team member in Tampa
“I wouldn’t go out of my way to say that I’m the most qualified person to be vice president on this campus. But the biggest thing for me is I don’t want to come off as a politician. I would say I’m a part of the people’s party.”
“I just want to be a liaison for the issues or the things that students want to see resolved. I’ve been a student here for 3 years and it seems like we have the same problems all the time.”
“On campus housing is something we really need to work on. When students come here and tour the school they don’t tour the Hilton.”
“Driving to the Tampa library is something students shouldn’t have to do to go study.”
“The 24-hour thing is big, it almost adds to the college experience, being able to spend all night in the library.”
“I think transparency and communication are important. I want to be a vice president that’s open to ideas all the time. I’m here for the students. I’m not here to have vice president on my resume.”
Madeline Friese & Erick Andrade
Sophomore Environmental Science
Extracurriculars: Varsity women’s sailing team. CERCC, club golf team and art club.
Prior SG experience: Spent first semester as historian, assistant and clerked meetings. Instrumental in Bulls in the Burg program
“Currently, I’m serving as director of governmental affairs, which includes running the Bulls in the Burg program. I also serve as a liaison between the campus and surrounding community.”
“One of my goals is to expand our partnerships to not only make students have the best college experience, but also to experience the downtown area. I want to create a sort of First Friday event, like a Thursday, once a month just for college students where businesses could offer a student discount.”
“Maybe have bands playing–something to really engage the students with the downtown community and get them out there and supporting local businesses. I think being in this position prior has really equipped me to set up partnerships with a lot of business owners and the St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.”
“I also support our athletics and want to make it more of a priority. I want to provide more funding for intramural sports. I think it’s a great thing for students to be involved with.”
“I think students should vote for us because we will try the best to listen to what they want and truly deliver and also, having the experience that I’ve had I feel like I’m more in a position now to actually succeed at some of the goals, instead of just talking about them.”
Freshman Biology major
Extracurriculars: Art club. Gospel choir. Step team
Friese said, “He gives me a perspective that’s from students. He’s very involved on campus. From me being involved in SG, I know from a student government perspective how to make initiatives happen based off what he tells me is going on around campus.”
“Being new on campus I’m able to meet a lot of new people,” said Andrade. “These new relationships help me understand what needs to be done on campus to make our experiences better.”