New Student Government Association leaders named

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 8.48.58 PMAfter three years as Student Government Association president, Jeremiah Johnson has passed down the reigns to Michael Dobbs, junior from Winchester, Ky.

Voting turnout declined from last year, with only 9 percent of the student body voting compared to 16.6 percent in 2013.

Although there was a clear winner for presidency, with candidate Dobbs running unopposed, other elections were much closer.

Only 188 votes separated the race for vice president, with Grant Grissom, graduate student from Hickman, Ky., receiving 665 votes and Aida De La Fuente, junior from Louisville, Ky., receiving 547 votes.

The rest of the SGA executive board will be made up of Ava Jackie, junior from Pewee, Ky., acting as secretary and Luke King, junior from Burkesville, Ky., acting as treasurer.

Dobbs said he looks forward to an exciting transition year, with the University not only getting a new SGA president but also a new University president.

“This has been my home for almost four years and I care a lot about this community, the University and city,” Dobbs said. “I think the more students care about (the community) the better they are going to foster their education.”

Dobbs said he plans on being a personable and transparent president. He said he wants to be up front and honest with students.

“I’m not just doing this for a status position – I want to see students succeed,” Dobbs said.

The SGA president also serves as Student Regent during the Board of Regents’ quarterly meetings.

Maria Mullis, sophomore from Evansville, Ind., said she is excited to see the change in SGA.

“I am hoping to see some positive changes overall,” she said.

Grissom said one of the main focuses for his term as vice president is the budget.

“Whatever the budget might be next year, I want to take students’ input and figure what will be most effective,” Grissom said. “I want to give students options.”

He said he is going to work with the new treasurer, secretary and president to give students the best experience they can possibly have.

“More student involvement is key, but the way to get that involvement is through interest,” he said. “We have to bring things that people are interested in. I think we have done a good job of that in the past, but we can further the outreach.”

The SGA vice president also serves as Campus Activities Board president.

Jeanie Morgan, SGA adviser and coordinator of student activities, said she hopes the newly elected SGA officers can increase student involvement.

“We were lucky to have good candidates running and those who were elected will relate to the student body well I think,” Morgan said.

Morgan said the problem with apathy among students is a problem other universities face as well.

Of the 9,975 Murray State students who were eligible to vote, 889 voted.

At the University of Kentucky 5,205 out of the 28,928 students voted in the 2014 SGA elections.

At Western Kentucky University, only 908 of the more than 21,000 students voted in the 2014 SGA elections, which is only 2.3 percent of the student body.

Other students were elected for the SGA senator-at-large positions: Jamie Nuckolls, Kaitlyn Brooks, Nathan Payne, Chantry Carroll, Clint Combs, Alex Reynolds, Michael Mann and Caitlin Dunaway.

Senators from the School of Nursing and Health Professions are Kayla Hartley, Blake Parker and Mikayla Oster.

Senators from the Hutson School of Agriculture are Hunter Easterling, Rebekah Brennan, Bobo Futrell and Dylan Baker.

Senators from the Jesse D. College of Science, Engineering and Technology are Demi St. John and Brooks Hoffman.

Senators from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts are Sara Wallace, Savanna Wojcik and Nathan McNichols.

Senators from the College of Education and Human Services are Tiffany Pederson, Brie Haner and Tanelle Smith.

Senators from the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business are Mandy Whitlow, Taylor Futrell and Alexandria Bloodworth.

Grissom said SGA officers are not there for themselves, but for the students.

“It is your SGA, your campus, your voice,” Grissom said. “Tell us how to be your voice.”


Story by Rebecca Walter, News Editor