Newcomer Chris Yellowe is looking to change engagement and participation both inside and outside SGA.
Yellowe is of the newly formed Coognited party. The party’s motto, “Coog ideas matter,” suggests some of its main policies, like more student voting throughout the year. Yellowe said he roots his party in the will of the students. It relies on both student involvement and what the students want, and he is willing to completely change his initial platforms to reflect the campus climate.
The political science junior is a transfer student from Arizona State University. Originally from Katy, he transferred back home to UH after taking almost two years off from school.
“I went to Arizona because I wanted to see what another state would be like,” Yellowe said.
After graduating, he wants to use his political science degree to go to law school. “I think you need a higher degree to distinguish yourself,” Yellowe said. He is thinking of going into corporate law to represent and help people.
Having never held a formal position in SGA — not from a lack of trying — Yellowe believes the SGA president’s platform can help set out the goals he has for the campus.
His main goal is to have the student body be more involved in SGA elections and the entire organization. In the 2017 elections, 3,670 students voted out of the 45,364 that were enrolled, resulting in only 8 percent of students voting.
“More people just need to know about SGA,” he said.
Yellowe has a goal to have 60 percent of the University have SGA selected on their GetInvolved page. That way, they will be up to date and aware of what SGA is doing. He thinks all candidates should have this goal.
As a student outside of SGA, Yellowe says that he has had problems having his “ideas and concerns heard and expressed” on campus. As a commuter during his first semester, he feels that commuters “don’t feel like they can tap into the University.”
Through his time here at UH, he noted his best memories have been from the people he’s met. “This guy I met, his parents are from Haiti,” Yellowe said. “Normally I wouldn’t talk to him, without UH being so diverse.” He now feels that the differences are trivial because of the commonality that everyone here shares of being a Cougar.
Yellowe stays up on current events and believes that will help if he becomes president. Being aware of national topics allows him to be sensitive to the student body and the social climate at any given time.
“If I don’t know something, they’ll [Senate] inform me that that’s not the take that the student body wants. Because at the end of the day, I’m representing the student body. My opinion doesn’t matter,” Yellowe said.
He compared the student body to a firm, saying that he, as president, would be responsible for representing thousands of students.
“45,000 students are the same as shareholders or clients,” Yellowe said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article included a quote regarding financial aid from Chris Yellowe which was included without proper context. We regret the error.