Student Government president and vice president for 2017-18 announced
Jimmy Russell and Drew Williams will serve as student body president and vice president for the University of Toledo during the 2017-2018 school year.
According to Andrew Taylor, recording secretary of Student Government, Russell and Williams won with 43 percent of the vote. Cameron Forsythe and Andrew Montry earned 33 percent, and Jared Enoch and Brayton Conley earned 24 percent.
“I believe our total voter turnout was 984, or at least somewhere around 980 votes, which is somewhat of an abysmal turnout in my opinion,” Taylor wrote in an email.
Despite the low voter turnout, Russell is aiming to reach out to the UT community and create a more transparent Student Government.
“I intend to have a newsletter sent out at regular intervals to the entirety of the student body that discusses everything we are working on,” Russell wrote in an email. “This will allow us to reach out to students that are not in orgs and simultaneously increase transparency.”
Russell added that the newsletters will also be posted on the Student Government website.
Currently, the SG website is outdated, stating that president and vice president are Cody Spoon and Ian Michalak, who served in 2015-2016. Williams hopes that by fall it will up to date.
“We actually have someone in Student Government…who is working on the website,” Williams said. “He is updating all the legislations that we pass and updating the quality of the website.”
Williams also said that Blackboard can serve as another mean of communication between students and SG. He said Blackboard could list different events coming up, thus keeping students informed and in touch with Student Government.
Among other goals on Russell and Williams’ platform, the two will be working toward gaining TARTA student access and creating a service award.
“We will be working with several administrators to work on making it so that students will have access free of charge,” Russell wrote. “At the very least, we want to make the UT transportation add stops and run later so students can have safe transportation to and from nightlife options.”
Though Russell and Williams have not yet begun working on the service award, Russell has discussed it with Donovan Nichols, assistant dean for student involvement and leadership.
“[Nichols] is very much so on board with working with Drew and I to make it happen,” Russell wrote. “It will be broken down by types of service and specific hour requirements for each area. The award will be able to be worked on throughout the entirety of a student’s time at the University of Toledo.”
As for obstacles Russell and Williams will face, Williams said that the Phoencia backlash is prevalent right now.
“There has just been a lot of people on different pages,” Williams said. “We do believe that we have a lot of the facts. If anything, just working with administration to strengthen our relationship again.”
Russell and Williams began their term as president and vice president Tuesday at the Student Government meeting.
“I’m really looking forward to getting more involved with different organizations on campus and learning more about the different things we have and connecting them with administration for things they need,” Williams said.