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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bobcats decide their future on-campus leaders as elections are underway

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Texas State Student Government candidates election signs advertise elections, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, at Alkek Library stairs. 

On Feb. 20, Student Government election polls opened online, allowing Bobcats to vote for their future student body president, vice president and senators that will be their voice for the 2023-2024 school year. According to President Kelly Damphousse, Student Government is an essential organization to the university. 
“What’s so important about the student body, student government association or student government work is that they are the representative voice of the student to the administration,” Damphousse said. “They can tell me things that I don’t know about and I can explain things to them and they can pass that down.”
When a new president is elected, Damphousse said the transition happens quickly with meetings to allow for a flow of ideas to be exchanged. 
“It starts at the very beginning, even before the inauguration, as soon as the election is over, the first thing I’ll do is I’ll invite the new president, and if she or he has their cabinet put together, invite them to meet with me and say, ‘what do you guys want to do?'”Damphousse said. 
Those running for positions like president and vice president must run on a platform, which acts as a campaign agenda.
Kiersten Florence, current vice president and management junior, who is running unopposed for president is using transportation and parking as well as increased student support as her main platforms
These entail having pay to park garages at a lower fee for students to increase promotions and access to new and existing resources for mental and physical health. 
Olivia Brechot, current chief of staff, understands the work that goes into these platforms well, as her job requires her to help with seeing the initiatives through. 
“I’m kind of a liaison. I go to the Senate meetings every week, and I do the minutes for that. I kind of serve as the clerk there,” Brechot said. 
Kathryn Weiser, assistant dean of students and co-adviser of Student Government, said being elected officer comes with many benefits. 
“It helps them to become ready for their careers because it’s a learning laboratory of applying all sorts of leadership skills from communication skills,” Weiser said. “Learning to communicate with different audiences in different ways in order to get the best result, managing your time, which includes organization goal setting, all the things you need to have as a professional.”
Brechot who served as campaign manager to the current president and vice president, Malik Johnson and Keirsten Florence, said being able to interact with the student body and various organizations is what keeps her serving. 
“We got to go talk with a lot of different groups and see what their needs were and the student body as a whole kind of figure out what they wanted us to do. That was pretty inspiring getting to see what the students are working on and what they want us to work on what’s important,” Brechot said. 
Brechot believes the more students are involved, the more work can get done and voting for their next leader is a crucial step in this process. 
“The more people that we have working on initiatives writing legislation, the more that the administration will listen to us and listen to our ideas,” Brechot said. 
After Damphousse meets with the new leaders, there are joint meetings between the past leaders and new leaders to ensure everyone grasps their new roles. 
“When we were transitioning, we have a joint meeting. So the student body president, current and future will have a meeting together kind of figure things out, talk about how to get stuff done,” Brechot said. “So the Senate, they’ll have a transitional meeting where the presidents will come in together and teach them how to do things if they don’t already know how to.”
Damphousse said Student Government acts as a connector and encourages those to voice and participate in this organization. 
“It’s a great opportunity for students to have a voice at the university in an organized way,” Damphousse said. 
Election polls close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23. All enrolled students are eligible to vote here

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