The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Candidate commentary profiles SA 2009

    Below are brief statements submitted by candidates for Student Association executive office at the request of The Reflector.


    Blake Jeter

    My name is Blake Jeter and I am from Brandon, Miss. I am a junior majoring in biomedical engineering. I am extremely excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve the student body SA president for the upcoming year. I have served the SA for the past three years and believe that my experience has prepared me to lead the SA for the next year.
    You may ask, “How is the SA relevant to my daily life on campus?” Well, the SA was instrumental in making the Junction a reality as well as providing safety to students on the weekend with the Night Route. The SA plans and runs Bulldog Bash, which is the largest free outdoor concert in the state. The SA also appropriates around $25,000 to student organizations every year. It is my hope that these programs and initiatives to come will positively impact your experience here because that is our sole purpose. Our vision is to earnestly work every single day to find a way to improve your experience at State. That’s it.
    But, we cannot do it alone. The relationship between the SA and you is reciprocal. We are na’ve to think we know exactly what would improve your experience. We need solutions. This is YOUR SA, not mine or anyone else’s. I have some good ideas that include reducing textbook prices and getting more feedback from you. I believe this will truly improve student life, but we are going to do it collectively.

    Vice President

    Ryvell Fitzpatrick

    Born and reared in the Mississippi Delta, I had the morals of justice instilled in me at an early age. I am a sophomore majoring in English with a concentration in pre-law and I plan to spend my post-collegiate life practicing law, focusing on racial and sexual discrimination. When I decided to run for vice-president, I thought I had no chance at winning because of my stiff competition. I, however, persisted because I want to better represent the students of MSU. I noticed a few areas where a large numbers of my peers had complaints, but I saw no progressive actions taken. I want to empower those who feel left out by becoming their voice.
    My platform includes increasing student involvement, reorganizing the shuttle system, project “Let’s Go Green” (a project aimed at reducing waste and increasing preparation for future generations) and providing a relationship between students, elected officials and administration that allows for the student voice to be listened to and not just heard.
    If you, the students of Mississippi State University, agree with anything in my platform or have any suggestions for anything you like to see continued, eliminated or improved, please feel free to contact me or stop me when you see me. I am more than elated to [be] running for this position, and I will be proud to represent you as the next vice-president of the Student Association of Mississippi State University. A vote for ME is a vote for YOU!”

    Drew Cleek

    My name is Drew Cleek and I am running for SA Vice President. I’m a junior double-majoring in political science and economics. After I came to MSU my sophomore year, I found a niche in the SA, in which I served as an off-campus Senator and an Academic Affairs Committee member. I quickly became passionate and committed to improving the conditions for students in several different ways: working with the administration to better comply with the needs of MSU students for better restaurant selection and operating hours in the Union, an additional bike rack in front of McCool, replacing parking stickers with hanging mirror tags and tackling the ever growing parking problem here at Mississippi State. In fact, I have already successfully partnered with Senator Brittany Kolb to lobby for the library hours to be extended until 4 a.m.
    My biggest agenda is getting students involved on campus. Through my involvement with the SA, it became apparent the majority of the campus voice is through those who are Greek affiliated, and that is one thing I feel my campaign has tried to combat. If you’ve been on campus and seen our shirts, banners and posters, you can tell they’re unique and edgy. This was done in an attempt to spark interest in the election and campus life as a whole. Our number one goal is to see that every MSU student has the opportunity at the best college experience possible.

    Ashley Edwards

    I am a junior from Leland, Miss., majoring in international business with Spanish. I have been a part of the Student Association since I was a freshman. For the past two years, I have been a senator for the College of Business and Industry. This year, I have had the opportunity to hold the position of president pro tempore of the SA. In doing so, I have gotten to work closely with the current vice president. Through my involvement in Senate and passion for the students and the SA [I have been] inspired to run for the position of vice president in order to be an advocate for students’ needs. I want to work directly with MSU students to hear what they think needs to be changed on our campus. I want to make sure that students know about and how to utilize the SA Senate to their full advantage.
    A few of the main issues that I plan to work with include: improving student outreach programs, improving parking, expanding the night route and increasing student involvement in MSU organizations as well as in the Starkville community. Improving student outreach programs will provide more student feedback so that the entire SA can better accommodate students. I feel like these are some of the most important issues that as vice president I would undertake. Our SA has changed and improved so much over the past year, and I really want to continue the legacy of the current SA. I feel that I am the most qualified candidate for vice president to continue the changes and improvements needed for the upcoming year.


    Whit Cox

    My name is Whit Cox, and I am a junior from Memphis, Tenn. My majors are international business with Spanish and accounting, and I aspire to graduate with three degrees upon completion of my undergraduate career here at MSU.
    I have a true passion for accounting and became interested in the position of SA treasurer when I heard elections were coming up. I told my friends about my interest and they encouraged me to run for the position, so I decided to look further into it. I talked with some people who have and currently serve on the SA executive committee to find out what it was all about. After talking to these people, including two who have served as treasurer, I decided to declare my candidacy for the position. I saw this position as an opportunity to do something I love, and more importantly as a way to be involved on campus and serve the students of MSU.
    As treasurer, I would like to improve our budget for the SA and appropriate funds to all worthy student organizations. I also plan to prepare monthly reports, increase funding for events such as Bulldog Bash, and make the role of treasurer more involved in the executive committee in decision making. If elected, I promise to work hard and serve the student body of MSU with the utmost integrity as SA Treasurer.

    Hunter Futch

    Hunter Futch is a junior running for Student Association treasurer. He is double-majoring in banking and finance and also risk management, insurance and financial planning with a minor in economics. Hunter has been very involved around campus and also has the relative experience to perform the job with the utmost integrity and efficiency. Hunter has served as a part of the SA as one of three business school senators. He has served alongside the current SA treasurer as a member of the Appropriations Committee where crucial decisions have been made in order to allocate funds for all student organizations on campus. Hunter knows the duties of SA treasurer, and has already been tested as his fraternity’s treasurer under many of the same types of duties required. Numbers and qualifications aside, Hunter is an honest, hard-working individual with a deep concern for the student populous. He is a great team player who will go above and beyond every time to insure that the job is done right and on time. Hunter plans to continue the progress that SA is making by bringing a constructively creative mind to the table with the tools and experience needed to be effective on all issues. So if you share the belief that passion produces hard work, and hard work produces results, please vote for Hunter Futch as your next SA treasurer on Feb. 17th in the Dawg House (Union) or Mitchell Memorial Library (2nd floor).

    Attorney General

    Sarah Stone

    My name is Sarah Stone and I am running for attorney general of the SA. I am a sophomore from Jackson, Miss., majoring in communication with a minor in political science. My SA involvement includes being a member of the Community and Governmental Relations Committee as a freshman and being a Co-director of the History and Traditions Council as a sophomore. As a director of the History and Traditions Council for 2008 and 2009, I was able to be a part of organizing the first True Maroon football game and plan the second annual Holiday in the Junction.
    I hope to accomplish four things as attorney general. First, I plan to fulfill the primary job of the attorney general in ensuring that MSU’s constitution works in the best interest of our student body. Second, I hope to reform our Homecoming election process so that every student may see the importance of his or her involvement in the process. Third, I want to build a strong relationship with members of our state’s legislature so the voice of our campus can be heard. Finally, I would like to see The Green Initiative Fund brought to State’s campus to encourage student involvement in the increase of our campus’ sustainability. Should I be elected attorney general, these four parts of my platform will be my top priority and I will work hard to make sure that they become a reality.

    Halston Hales

    I am a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering and French. State has shaped me into the person I am today, and I, in return, wish for the opportunity to serve MSU as the SA attorney general and a voice for the students. During my years here, I have been involved with the SA, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and am currently serving as a 2009 Orientation Leader. My goal for my time at this institution is integrity, which prepares me for the responsibility of representing the students of MSU.
    I would strive to amend and review the SA constitution in order to provide clarity to that constitution and facilitate the creation of new student groups as well as three other goals. First, I plan to unify students, faculty and the Starkville community in a consolidated effort to promote volunteerism under a new Community Service Council, which would work with [various student] groups in order to contribute to the Starkville community. I also intend to enhance the student experience by assisting in the coordination efforts for study abroad opportunities and advocating more affordable avenues to those programs. Lastly, I plan to advocate student housing allotments for upper-classmen to retain housing scholarships even when no longer residing in the dorms, letting students move out of residence halls and create more space for growing freshman classes.


    Anna Rush

    I have a genuine passion and love for MSU, and I want to do my best to give back to my university some of the benefits it has given me. I have already familiarized myself with the SA Constitution, and I am ready and willing to fulfill all of my duties as set forth in the Constitution. Also, I will use my position to promote involvement on campus by improving the communication among organizations as well communication between the executive council and organizations on campus. For instance, utilizing the ICS system so that all the organizations are linked into one network in order to communicate better amongst each other and in order to make it easier for students for find information on organizations. I also want to see students are well informed of what the SA is doing and able to voice their opinions by things such as Speak Up! MSU and hosting open forums. I want to enhance the freshman experience, so every freshman who attends Mississippi State becomes familiar the university’s opportunities. I am extremely enthusiastic in aiding the executive council in reaching its goals. Driven is how I would describe myself as a candidate. I will work hard to see that the students’ issues are heard and addressed. I will be open minded to all opinions and will seek the opinions and needs of the students first and foremost. Becoming the SA Secretary is a dream that I will vigorously work for if elected.

    Michelle Peach

    My name is Michelle Peach, and I am a junior from Jackson, Miss., majoring in banking and finance. I have been involved in leadership roles in the Student Association for almost three years now, and know that I could serve the student body well. The Student Association has accomplished a lot this past year, and I would like to keep the momentum going by serving on the executive board in a very proactive and forward thinking way.
    My goals for the Student Association are to increase student involvement through pre-existing channels as well as adding new opportunities, to establish a system of linking organizations through improved communication in order to promote campus-wide cooperation and increased efficiency and to increase support for all independent organizations to provide the resources they need to accomplish goals.
    This campus is full of ideas and enthusiasm, and I believe that with the right leadership that could be channeled into results that will continue to improve student life here at Mississippi State.

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    Candidate commentary profiles SA 2009