SA election candidates share platforms during election speeches 

Kenneth Bautista gives his election speech. Thursday, February 17, 2022. (Photo by: Maiya Banks)
Kenneth Bautista gives his election speech. Thursday, February 17, 2022. (Photo by: Maiya Banks)

Student Association (SA) election candidates Lilly Jorgenson, Erla Trevedan, Htet Myint and Kenneth Bautista gave their election speeches at the 11 a.m. convocation at the Iles P.E. Center on Thursday, February 17. According to Assistant for Student Development John Boone, over 320 students attended the convocation. 

In her speech, Jorgensen, senior fine arts major and candidate for SA social vice president (SVP), said she is excited to use her skills to create a “welcoming atmosphere” on Southern’s campus. Jorgensen said she developed creative skills in the past year while working as a volunteer leader for the East Ridge Seventh-day Adventist Church young adult group and organizing programs for them.

Some of her goals as SVP include a Roaring ’20s-themed welcome back party, Christmas caroling to local nursing homes and children’s hospitals and a 5k fundraising event for lower-income students. 

“The best form of leadership is through example,” Jorgensen said. “I want to hear your ideas and challenge you to improve our university and community while building a lifelong relationship with God. I am committed to creating the best possible experience for you this school year.” 

Trevedan, current SA executive secretary and junior accounting major, also gave a speech for the SA SVP position. Trevedan cited social events as “some of the most memorable events” of her college experience. She said she wants “every student at Southern” to be able to experience the same happiness that she did at SA social events. 

Trevedan said she has been able to gain experience to take on this new role from her current role as executive secretary. 

“I help on all the social events, and I have seen firsthand what it takes to run these,” Trevedan said. “And it’s not easy.”

Trevedan said her skills in organization and planning “[fit] perfectly” for the role of SVP. 

According to Trevedan, her plans as SVP include a World Cup-themed welcome back party, a Southern Guinness World Records and another banquet. 

Sole candidate for SA executive vice president (EVP) and sophomore medical lab science major Htet Myint emphasized his motto, “Service, Accountability and Artistry,” in his speech, sharing his goals for each part of the motto. 

Myint said he wants to encourage philanthropy through a second 423 Night Market focused on fundraising. He said he also wants to support an emphasis on accountability between students, peers and administrators.

“As a Christian, I feel called to stand up for things that are right,” Myint said. “It is also my responsibility to encourage those around me to uphold a higher standard of living.” 

Myint also shared plans to encourage students to share their talents by utilizing the new recording studio built by the SA Senate in the School of Music. 

“I hope to work with the elected SVP in figuring ways we can accomplish appreciation and application of the many skills that you all possess,” Myint said. 

SA presidential candidate and junior management major Kenneth Bautista is also running unopposed. He summarized his accomplishments as the current SA EVP and outlined his plans for the following school year. 

Bautista said that while serving as SA EVP, he “advocated for the construction of the road behind Village, the purchase of as many pepper sprays and whistles [that could be found] for the safety of women on our campus [and] the creation of $1,000 fund that has supported five student led businesses.” 

One of Bautista’s goals for the upcoming school year is to replace the lecture typically given at the SA convocation with a game show where students can participate and win prizes. He also said he wants to create a Southern mascot.

“When I was going through the hardest time in my life, Southern surrounded me, loved me and supported my journey,” Bautista said. “Now, it’s my turn to give back.”

In addition to the SA election speeches, Vice President for Student Development Dennis Negron interviewed current SA officers at the convocation. The officers interviewed were the current SA vice president of finance, director for multicultural management, marketing director, communications director, parliamentarian, Southern Accent editor-in-chief, executive secretary, Southern Memories editor and Strawberry Festival producer. Each officer described the duties included in their position and their typical weekly workload, which ranged from five to 25 hours per week, depending on the position. 

Current SA President Josh Esten encouraged students to apply for SA officer positions through Southern’s website at southern.edu/studentassociation

The general election for SA president, EVP and SVP will take place on Thursday, February 24.

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