Student Government Strives For Democracy In Unopposed Election

By Rachel Byrd

Although all four of the candidates running in this semester’s upcoming Student Government Association election are running unopposed, Lone Star College-Kingwood’s SGA is attempting to preserve the ideal of democracy.

    The lack of opposition that the candidates are facing has altered the way the events prior the election—particularly the Candidate Debate, which occurred at the General Assembly on March 28, and the Open Forum, which happened on March 26—have proceeded.

   Even so, the candidates find it essential that they are elected into their positions rather than simply be given them.

   “Even though we’re running unrivaled, it’s important for us to challenge ourselves,” said Brian Cruz, a senator who is currently running for the position of vice president. Cruz further described running unopposed as, “a blessing and a curse.”

   Tessa Travitz, the candidate for president, finds the election is of particular importance to her, as while she was elected by students to be the Director of Communications, her election as president was conducted by SGA’s executive board following the previous president’s resignation.

   Even though the executive election still makes Travitz an elected official, she finds it imperative that she be officially elected by the students this term.

   “We’re still going to have an election so that way students know before we come into office what we represent and make sure we’re supported,” said Travitz.

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Tessa Travitz answers questions during a candidate Q&A at the SGA General Assembly. As a matter of necessity, the Q&A replaced the more traditional Candidate Debate. Photo by Rachel Byrd. 28 March 2019.

   Travitz professed that she wants to give students more of a voice in Student Government and to take a stand against what she described as a dictatorship.

   “Even [with] people that kind of know what should be done,” said Travitz. “The route that they take to get it done can make or break their people.” She added, “I want to make sure that I help enable the students to move on what they want to move with versus what I want to move with… I want them to see it’s their choice to do it versus ‘I’m telling you to do it’.”

   This student-oriented policy was referenced by other candidates as well.

   “Lone Star has a heart and soul, and the heart and soul is the students that go here,” said Brian Cruz at the General Assembly.

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Brian Cruz answers questions during a candidate Q&A at the SGA General Assembly. As a matter of necessity, the Q&A replaced the more traditional Candidate Debate. Photo by Rachel Byrd. 28 March 2019.

   Ricky Nguyen, the candidate running for Director of Operations, explained that his slogan—“It’s a Nguyen-Win”—was not just a pun, but it also meant that he wanted his win to be a win for the students as well.

   “I’d like to make it so that if you vote for me, that anything that happens within the SGA will be beneficial to the students,” said Nguyen.

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Ricky Nguyen answers questions during a candidate Q&A at the SGA General Assembly. As a matter of necessity, the Q&A replaced the more traditional Candidate Debate. Photo by Rachel Byrd. 28 March 2019.

   One way the Student Government Association intends to give students a louder voice is through working more closely with clubs on campus.

   “If they have any concerns or questions or anything, specifically regarding their clubs, that they want to be brought out, they can bring it to us and we can help them bring that to the field,” said Alexa Harris, the candidate for Director of Records, at the Open Forum.

   To aid in this, the SGA announced that Registered Student Organizations would now have an official elected from their club’s membership to represent them at Congress of Clubs.

   According to the current vice president, Cooper Davidson, early voting for the current election will be online from April 22-24, while in-person voting will take place on April 24 for students wishing to exercise their rights to vote.

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(From left to right) Tessa Travitz, Alexa Harris, Brian Cruz, and Ricky Nguyen answer questions during a candidate Q&A at the SGA General Assembly. As a matter of necessity, the Q&A replaced the more traditional Candidate Debate. Photo by Rachel Byrd. 28 March 2019.

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