SGA executives run unopposed

Student Government Association executive council candidates ran unopposed in the April 11 elections, making the elections unusually non-competitive compared to other universities.  
“I think that no one [running] against us is just kind of a show of solidarity from the senate,” Clay Stubblefield, Tech’s new SGA president, said. “You [need] a year of experience to run for the executive positions. So I think they just really supported us running.”
Austin Peay State University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s student government elections all involve competitive campaigns and are prominent on campus.
“We had two debates for all members running for executive council, candidates sent out campaign flyers, it’s really competitive,” Jawaun Rogers, Austin Peay SGA chief justice, said. “The elections really make an impact on the campus.”
The UT-Knoxville elections are a week-long event in which candidates give out T-shirts, live televised debates are held, live tweeting during the debate occurs and there are opportunities for students to meet the candidates.
At UT-Knoxville, 24.8 percent of the student body vote for student government candidates. More than 130 senators run to represent their colleges, and only 70 get elected. The candidates get to use a $7,000 budget, which the school provides, to spend on their campaigns.
 “At senate meetings, we propose bills and convey information about campus news, the elections, SOLO concerts, etc.,” Emily McDonald, Tech’s SGA vice president, said. “It is the senators’ jobs to relay that information to students in their prospective college. Students had the opportunity to become aware of the SGA election process through the senators, Tech Times, Facebook, Twitter, etc. A goal I have for this coming year is to promote and improve communication between the senators and the students.”
Tech’s SGA election rules allow candidates to hang one banner in the RUC, chalk sidewalks, make buttons, make Facebook pages, etc., but since all the candidates this semester ran unopposed, there was little to no campaigning and little attention drawn to the elections.
 “We want to get students more involved and try to get people more knowledgeable in what SGA is doing,” Stubblefield said. “I’d like to think of a way to maybe have forums where students can come and meet their senators and tell them something. We are definitely looking into that. We thought about having a page on the SGA website where they can post questions and see if we can help them.”