Conquering the Concourse

at the 2016 Auburn University Student Government Association Debate in the Student Center Ballroom on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.

Student Government Association campaigns

On February 9th, 8,880 students placed their votes online to elect the new Student Government Association leaders. After a long week of campaigning, candidates, campaign staff, and students gathered anxiously at the steps of Cater Hall for call outs to learn who would be the next SGA leaders. Seven Auburn University students competed for three executive positions, each with a personal platform while five women competed for Miss Auburn. Jesse Westerhouse won 4,216 of the 7,646 votes for the presidential position. All week, he reached out to students on the concourse by offering coupons and other gimmicks in hopes of receiving their votes. Jesse Westerhouse chose to run for SGA president because he believed his “experiences had prepared [him] to lead and accomplish tangible goals that would better Auburn for all students.” Brandon Honeywell received 68% of the votes for vice president. After a close race and winning just 54% of the vote, James Beauchaine was named treasurer.

During campaign season, some candidates chose to focus their platforms on increasing safety on campus, while others focused on finishing various campus projects. Jesse Westerhouse’s platform for president included bringing Uber back to Auburn, as well as starting a renovation project in the Student Activities Center that would create a 1,200 seat auditorium for student organization use. “Establish[ing] familiarity and effective communication among campus leaders and the student body” was the focus of Brandon Honeywell’s platform. It is his hope that introducing surveys and seeking feedback from students “will steadily show the kind of impact students can make on campus and continue to express SGA’s commitment to doing what is right for all students.” James Beauchaine made it his goal to “provide more insight into the budget and finance process and [to] conduct a student salary review.”

Each campaign was required to adhere to newly revised campaigning guidelines outlined in the SGA Code of Laws. For the week of February 3rd, the concourse was overwhelmed with voices from each campaign pleading for your vote. Some students took advantage of the free handouts, while others went out of their way to avoid the cluttered chaos. Campaign week did not go unnoticed as t-shirts, buttons, and fliers were scattered into the hands of Auburn students.