By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
March has yet to arrive, but the Students’ Association already has its final four.
Four juniors have officially announced their candidacy for executive president, a post currently held by Jeremy Smith. The candidates are: executive treasurer Jonathan Wilkerson, junior class vice president Taylor Hemness, junior class senator Erin Baldwin and junior class senator Shep Strong.
“I think its going to be an extremely close, competitive race,” said Wilkerson, agribusiness major from San Angelo. “It’ll come down to the very last wire.”
Of the four, only Strong has been either a committee or voting member of Congress. Strong was a freshman class senator and Edwards Hall representative his first two years.
Baldwin was co-chair of the student honors cabinet freshman year, a post she still holds. She was chair of the academic excellence standing committee as a sophomore. H
emness was a member of the SATV committee last year, while Wilkerson was a member of the Freshman Action Council and chair of the International Justice Mission committee his first two years.
The officers all have expressed support of a Smith-initiated SA trend toward greater advocacy for the student body. Baldwin, Hemness and Strong all chair executive committees whose sole purpose is to help advocate better for the students. Wilkerson has begun laying groundwork for the creation of Spring Break Campaign and SA endowments.
“I see SA as being in a period of transition right now,” Baldwin said. “The leadership will determine whether SA stagnates next year or takes off.”
All four claimed they would provide that leadership.
Wilkerson touts the changes he’s enacted as treasurer-tighter control on the budget and student request funds that have not run perilously low. Baldwin mentions the reallocation forum she organized last year. Hemness and Strong both stress their year-long commitment to advocacy, as shown by their committee chairmanships and voting records.
Voting, meanwhile, will be a question mark throughout the campaign. Campaign speeches have been barred from Chapel this year, something that has many predicting a drop in turnout.
Both Hemness and Strong are members of social clubs, Pi Kappa and Galaxy, respectively, and look to draw votes from those areas, while Baldwin could attract the female vote. Wilkerson has executive officer experience and name-recognition from which to draw voter support.