College is about more than getting a degree.
That’s what Student Governing Association president and vice president candidates Reagan Kays and Garrett Kennedy said they believe, and they are focused on enhancing that experience.
Kays, senior in agribusiness, and Kennedy, junior in secondary education and math, have begun their campaign for the SGA president and vice president positions with the “Your Education. Your Passion. Your Life.” platform.
“I’m definitely students first,” Kennedy said. “That’s one of the biggest things that Reagan and I can bring together, but that I am definitely passionate about. I want to do what I can to invest in that person.”
Their platform, Kennedy said, works to enhance the overall college experience. “We are setting them up for what is possible for their future,” he said. “Yes, that’s a degree and everything like that, but it also comes from everything else as well … Our three platforms help you plan and prepare yourself for the future.”
Kays and Kennedy bring with them almost six years of combined experience in SGA; Kays served as a student senator for the College of Agriculture for three years, and Kennedy served as a student senator for the College of Education for two years.
Kennedy currently serves as the treasurer of SGA; Kays serves on the Privilege Fee and Tuition Strategy committees.
“My motivation (for running for office) was sitting through a lot of meetings dealing with student dollars and being very passionate about making sure we are very conservative and accurate with those dollars, and making sure we are running programs that can help the student body the best we can,” Kays said.
Kays and Kennedy said they have based their platform on best serving students’ needs, while remaining financially conscious.
“Being able to be involved in the tuition and privilege fee discussion (before), and thinking about how many dollars per student we are increasing this by, has really hit home for me,” Kays said. “It has created the driving passion for me to be conservative and accountable to keep K-State accessible to all students.”
Your Education The first part of Kays’ and Kennedy’s campaign focuses on providing improved tutoring resources for students.
“We believe, by seeing tutoring flyers in these different buildings where tutoring is, it’s inefficient and we aren’t collaborating or using them to the best of our ability,” Kays said. “We want to bring them all together in some way to improve them, share resources, (and) bring technology to the overall organization.”
Potential solutions could include creating online chat boxes “like the library has,” an online sign up through iSIS, or a mobile application for tutor session searching.
“We want to help make it a little easier for students,” Kays said.
Your Passion Their second platform, which they call “Your Passion,” centers around the extra curricular aspect of college, Kennedy said.
“We want to increase communication between all 475 student organizations here at K-State,” Kennedy said. “One way we can do that is through a program called OrgSync.”
OrgSync allows student organizations to keep resources in one location, including file sharing, fee paying, group text messaging, list serve email information and a website.
“It’s put it all there so you can best grow and become better as a student organization as much as possible,” Kennedy said. “Not only is this a great way to communicate within your organization, but within other organizations as well, and within the student body here at K-State.”
Another aspect of “Your Passion” are the Leadership Workshops, organized by the Office of Student Activities and Services. The workshops cover topics helpful to student organizations such as fundraising and officer transitions. They will be led by senior honor society Blue Key and SGA.
“They help you as a student organization to become better because it is allowing you to learn how already successful organizations run, what positions look like, and how you can take ideas and implement them into yours,” Kennedy said.
Your Life Their third platform, “Your Life,” focuses on making student life safer.
“Cody and I believe in the K-State community and think it’s a great place, a very safe place, for students to go to school,” Kays said.
Kays and Kennedy have focused on Medical Amnesty, also known as the 911 Lifeline or 911 Good Samaritan. The law, which has passed 17 states, grants, “limited legal immunity to intoxicated minors who seek medical attention for themselves or another individual.”
Kansas currently doesn’t have the law; Kays and Kennedy said they hope to make progress toward protecting students in alcohol-related medical emergency situations.
“We want people to have the confidence to call, and to do that to help another student,” Kays said. “Cody and I believe we can save a student’s life.”
Informed voter body Currently, there are no other candidates running for the president and vice president positions. Students have until Friday to file for the campaign.
While the duo values the outcome of the campaign, they also value having informed voters.
“We’ve tried to define success differently for this campaign,” said Ava Clark, campaign manager for the Kays & Kennedy campaign and junior in industrial engineering. “We really want our voters to be informed for the campaign.”
Today marks the start of the second week of their formal campaign. They will launch their website, kaysandkennedy.wix.com/sga2014, and promote their “Your Passion” ideas.
Throughout their campaign, Kays said it is important to them that they maintain high morals throughout the campaign, and potential year in office.
“Another goal is to use integrity in all that we do,” Kays said. “We don’t want to break any rules or take stabs at anyone. We are running a wholesome campaign that shows integrity throughout.”
Long process Kays and Kennedy have known each other for approximately two and half years, and worked together in SGA. They started working toward the campaign in October. Overall, they cite their experience, K-State spirit and commitment to students as their strongest assets.
“Cody and I bleed purple pretty well,” Kays said. “We are very passionate about K-State and the community we have here.”
While they are currently unopposed in the campaign race, Kays said it does not affect their dedication to the process.
“We are going to run to the end and make sure the student body knows as much as possible,” Kays said.
For more information about SGA elections, or to cast your primary vote on February 25 and 26, check out the SGA Elections page on the K-State website.
Written by: Jena Sauber, The Collegian