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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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ForTheStudents #ChangeSGA presidential candidate follows in brother’s footsteps


forthestudents

Joshua Martin is running for president of the Student Government Association under the ForTheStudents #ChangeSGA party. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

Following in his older brother’s footsteps, mechanical engineering freshman Joshua Martin has begun his run for Student Government Association president under the revamped ForTheStudents #ChangeSGA party.

The party’s main focuses include increasing graduation rates, providing better care for victims of sexual assault and implementing monthly listening groups in the senate chamber to provide a platform for all students to voice their wants and concerns.

“Ever since I decided I was going to run for student body president, I made it my mission to reach and speak to as many students as possible,” Martin said. “So I’ve been speaking to these students and a lot of students and a lot of organizations feel like their voice isn’t represented on our campus.”

With the University’s graduation rates totaling below 60 percent, Martin considers this unacceptable and aims to resolve it by implementing different programs, such as mentorships, if elected.

For victims of sexual assault, Martin aims to launch an outreach campaign to educate students on resources available and to give victims a safe space to share.

“We want the students to know that we have a place for you and we can help you out,” Martin said.

Martin believes a lot of students don’t feel represented and if elected, wants his administration to reach large portions of the student body> He aims for students to feel able to come to him or members of his administration.

“I feel like SGA needs to change. I think that a lot of students feel disconnected,” Martin said. “I feel like, if I walk up to 10 students and I ask you if you’ve heard of anything or if you know of one initiative that SGA has done in the past year, and you can’t tell me anything, I think that’s kind of a problem.”

Some members in Martin’s cabinet have opposing viewpoints, but Martin believes this is how his administration will become successful.

“I know in order to have a successful governing body, we need to have differentiating opinions,” Martin said. “We need to have people from all sides and different views and although my views may align with the Democratic party, in terms of political, I don’t think that really matters.”

ForTheStudents wants to solve some student issues and Martin believes that no student will be opposed to listening to minority organizations and giving them a voice.

As student body president, Martin said it is the job to be the voice that connects the student body to the university admin. If elected as president, Martin wants students to see the impact and change his administration has caused.

“I feel like this is a new era and a new era that represents change,” Martin said. “This is a completely different group of people, made up (of people) who all have similar interests to govern the student body passionately and serve the students.”

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