Six freshmen are running for two positions on the Student Government Association as freshmen senators.
Paige Barker, Caisey Dotson, Taylor Futrell, Nathan Payne and Joe Schifano are the candidates vying for a chance to represent their classmates in SGA.
Voting is open to all Murray State students classified as freshmen. Students can vote via MyGate beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 24. and the polls will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 26. Results will be posted at 8 a.m. on the door of the Center for Student Involvement office.
Jeremiah Johnson, Student Government Association president, said being a freshman senator is very important because they represent the entire freshman class and work on programming for them, as well.
“They also run the freshmen council,” Johnson said. “The council is a group of freshmen who help work on obtaining student retention.”
The freshmen council will be working with Jamie Mantooth, director of student retention, to maintain retention rates of the student body.
Dotson, an elementary education major from Louisville, Ky., one of the five applicants, said if she were to be voted as freshman senator, she plans to give an honest representation of the freshman class by taking the opinions and concerns of fellow classmates very seriously.
“I plan to help my fellow freshmen have a great first year and develop a foundation for the rest of their college career,” Dotson said. “If presented with new ideas from my classmates, I will do everything within my ability to make their ideas become reality.”
The interest in the freshman senator positions rose by two students compared to last year’s number of applicants.
Futrell, another applicant, said she decided to run for freshman senate to further her involvement on campus. She is also member of Sigma Sigma Sigma and plays intramural sports.
“I have qualities it takes to be a good leader,” Futrell said. “I have lived in Murray my entire life. I think this makes me a good candidate because I am aware of things going on within the city of Murray and not just the University.”
Barker is an agriculture systems technology major, from Waterloo, Ill, said she felt like SGA was a great opportunity to help with the growth of Murray State.
“I wanted to get involved beyond my sorority,” Barker said. “I won’t be afraid to voice my opinion if something should be changed.”
Last year Nathan McNichols, sophomore from Metropolis, Ill., and Alix Bloodworth, sophomore from Murray, were the two freshmen senators for SGA and both currently hold new senator positions within the organization.
McNichols said being involved in the Student Government Association was a no-brainer.
“I was very involved in similar activities in high school and wanted to get equally involved here at Murray State,” McNichols said. “I have always said that the best way to gain opportunities and connections that will benefit you over a lifetime is to jump into muddy waters feet first, and that was certainly the case with the SGA.”
He said by joining SGA his freshman year, he was able to affiliate himself with a system that was much different than the majority of organizations he was involved in during high school.
“It is very encouraging to see some of the same optimism and willingness to get involved that I shared with them my freshman year,” McNichols said. “They are very intelligent individuals who are making a choice that will get and keep them involved in a great organization that Murray State is fortunate enough to have on its campus.”
Story by Meghann Anderson, Assistant News Editor.