The Parthenon

Meet the 2018 SGA presidential candidates

Lilly Dyer | The Parthenon

Lilly Dyer | The Parthenon

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Lilly Dyer | The Parthenon
Hannah Petracca (Left) and Hunter Barclay (Right)

Hunter Barclay 

Hunter Barclay is a junior international affairs major with a pre-med concentration running for student body president. He is from Frostburg, Maryland. According to Barclay, he wants to put an emphasis on mental health for all students and work to bring a new perspective to student government. 

What do you want the student body to know about you personally?

I want the student body to know that, as an outsider candidate, I am willing to work with SGA, but I also want to bring some fresh ideas and that I am motivated by my platform and not the position. When I arrived at Marshall, I did not know anyone here, so I had to establish my own roots in the community. I think it was extra work, but I think that extra work was also beneficial, because it forced me to make the effort and go and reach out to different organizations and different groups on campus and have to learn everything brand new.

Was there something specific that inspired you to run? 

Seeing across campus there are a lot of people who have concerns, and they are looking for ways or a platform to express those. So I see SGA, as president, you get to have a seat on the board of governors, and right now with tuition increases and discussions of guns on campus as well as campus security, we see these really big issues, and I think for SGA I’ve seen a lot of a community service focus over the past two years, and my motivation is that community service is important, but we also need a policy that will address these issues that aren’t going to go away.

What plans do you have if you are elected? 

We have four main points in our plan. The first is reforming the dining hall food and hours. Right now, Sodexo’s contract is up for negotiation, and they are in the negotiation process, and we want to make sure that the terms that are negotiated are beneficial to students. Also, something that aligns with that is we want to partner with local businesses to accept flex. A lot of universities across the United States have done this and this would be beneficial for students. Our third point, something that we want to work is instituting a price cap on textbooks. We think right now, with this momentum going across the United States, it’s time to jump on board with these other states. Our final and most important point is creating a mental health day for all students. What we need to do is be proactive in addressing mental health.

What do you believe is the biggest issue that Marshall is facing and how do you plan to combat it? 

The biggest issue that I believe we’re facing is the mental health on campus. I think mental health directly affects a lot of other issues in our country. It affects our students’ health individually and how they’re performing in classes. I think right now mental health is at the core, and that’s why we want to move forward with the mental health day because we want to show that Marshall isn’t just falling to the status quo and saying we care about mental health when really we need to take action on this issue and make sure that we address it from a compassionate viewpoint but also one from a policy that is tangible. Mental health is not just an issue Marshall is facing, but it goes onto the entire United States. 

Who is your vice president and why did you choose them?

Hannah Petracca is my vice president, and she is also one of the strongest people I know. I met Hannah last year when we did the “Design for Delight” challenge when Intuit came to campus, and Hannah and I were on opposing teams. I really could tell when Hannah said something that she was very real and genuine, and I think that’s why she would make a great vice president. She’s not passive, she’s very straightforward and direct, and we need that in a leader. She’s also direct, but she can couple that with being compassionate and that’s a perfect combination. 

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you believe the student body should know?

I think a lot of people see that we’re the outsider candidates and think that we’re here to overthrow SGA, and that’s not our purpose at all. We actually have several senators who are on our cabinet, and we want to advance the projects that are currently going through SGA, but we also want to offer a new perspective. I think it’s this new perspective that student’s really need, because sometimes we get complacent in the status quo and may not even realize it, but I think what we can do is bring that breath of fresh air that’s really needed right now.

 

 

Hannah Petracca

Hannah Petracca is a sophomore marketing major. Petracca is from Fairmont, West Virginia. According to Hannah, as soon as she set foot on campus, Marshall stole her heart and she knew there was work to be done here and said she hopes she can make a difference on campus.                                                             

What do you want the student body to know about you personally?

I want students to know that I’m genuine. My heart is a lot bigger than I lead people to believe sometimes. I really genuinely care about the students that walk this campus, and if I could meet all of them in a day’s work I would, because I care about people and what they’re going through. I would love to do anything I can to help people reach their full potential and that’s where my heart is. So, I think if there’s anything I want students to know it’s that I’m here and I’m all ears and I’m all heart. I want to be available to all students and be a genuine face that anyone can talk to.

Was there something specific that inspired you to run?

What inspired me to run would definitely be what I experienced last spring. Last spring, I took part in the Intuit “Design for Delight” challenge. It challenged me and it pushed me, and it made me realize that I have the capability to actually make change happen. It’s one thing to feel that change needs to occur, but it’s another thing to realize that you do have a voice and it does make a difference. That’s a big thing that I want our students to realize­­– that their voice really does matter and you can use your voice and your opinions and your heart to implement change. 

What plans do you have if you are elected? 

Personally, I will oversee the student senate, and for me, that’s important, because I really would like to hear our students’ voices from each college and then take initiative in challenging the things that seem too big. A lot of people look at mine and Hunter’s platform and they think that it’s not tangible and it’s not possible, but Hunter and I shoot for the stars, and I would like to encourage my senate to do the same.

What do you believe is the biggest issue that Marshall is facing and how do you plan to combat it? 

One of the biggest things on our campus, that I’ve noticed, is that we have a very diverse campus, but we have a very scared campus. Scared meaning we’re not willing to go up and talk to someone who looks differently than us, and I won’t say that’s for everybody, but I have noticed that there is a definite divide between student engagement. I would like us to be able to raise awareness as far as acceptance goes, because there is no reason to treat or feel that someone who looks or acts any differently than you is any less than you are. 

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you believe the student body should know?

I think it’s important to acknowledge that we’re an outsider campaign, but I don’t want to drill that into people’s heads and make them think that we’re trying to overthrow the government. But I think that it is important to note that we are outsiders, but we are outsiders for a reason. We’re outsiders because we have seen literal outside situations that have taught us different things that we can bring to this platform and hopefully make the platform more effective.

 

 

Marcus Tucker

Marcus Tucker is a sophomore exercise science major running for student body president. He is from Eleanor, West Virginia. According to Marcus, he wants to be an advocate for all students and wants to use his personal experiences to help other students. Marcus said he wants to focus on safety, diversity and inclusion and acceptance and tolerance in his platform.

What do you want the student body to know about you personally?

I want them to know that we’re here to advocate for them, and we’re here to push acceptance. That’s a big thing, coming from me, it took a long time for me to accept who I was as a person, because I am an LGBTQ+, and it took me a long time to express that, and I want people to be able to do that as well.

Was there something specific that inspired you to run?

I’ve been involved with SGA for two years now, and I just really want to be the voice. A lot of students see a gap within student government, a lot of students don’t see what’s going on, and transparency is something that a lot of people are focusing on, and that’s something that we want to implement. One of the main reasons I’m running is that I want students to see things like tuition raises and know what those things are going for.

What plans do you have if you are elected?

Our platform right now is based on three major things: safety, diversity and inclusion and acceptance and tolerance. Acceptance and tolerance is my biggest one that I’m pushing, because I’m pushing people to accept that everybody is different in different ways. Under diversity and inclusion, we’re pushing for groups to be heard and have their voices spread.

And under safety we’re trying to implement different things like the buttons we have on campus. We want to make sure those are tested, because we’ve had students voice their concerns. We also want to work on buttons for disability services.

What do you believe is the biggest issue that Marshall is facing and how do you plan to combat it? 

The biggest issue is that students feel that their voices are not being heard. One thing that we want to show is that we want students to be able to voice their opinions. We’re open to every concern, and our possible cabinet has a lot of differences there. We have a lot of different people who are on different spectrums of politics. A lot of different people believe in a lot of different things. We want people to know that we’re personable people. We want people to know that we’re here to voice those concerns for them. 

Who is your vice president and why did you choose them? 

Noelle Soares is my vice president. We decided to run here recently. We’ve been together through this at the same time. We were inducted in SGA at the same time, and we’ve always worked well together. We level each other out. I’m a high energetic person, and I like to get things done fast and sometimes jump over myself. She’s super laidback and can be calming to me, grounding me.

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you believe the student body should know?

I just want to express the fact that we’re here to speak for the student body. One thing we’re implementing is the talk to me table. We’re not sure how often we’re going to do it, but we want students to come up to that, and we want them to voice their concerns for the student body and voice their concerns that Marshall has. Right now, we’re tabling throughout the week, and we want students to come up and write things that they see on campus. We’re going to do a part two platform from this based on what students write. This way they know we’re here to voice their concerns and help them.

 

 

Noelle Soares

Noelle Soares is a sophomore criminal justice major with a concentration in legal studies and a minor in psychology. Noelle is from Martinsburg, West Virginia. Noelle said although she is from farther away Marshall has become her own home away from home and wants to focus on helping other students feel this way as well.                                                             

What do you want the student body to know about you personally?

I’m passionate about Marshall. It has become my home away from home. I live on campus. I’m highly involved. I’m really passionate about the students who are enrolled here and their voices and the organizations I’m a part of, as well as the organizations that surround campus.

Was there something specific that inspired you to run?

I’ve been involved in student government since I was in high school, so running for a position like this has always been in my interests. The first time I met Marcus was after our apprenticeship in student senate and at our orientation I asked him what his goals were in student government, and he told me he’d like to run for president one day, and I told him I wanted to run for vice president someday. I’m a little more mellow person, so I didn’t want to be the biggest voice but be the support behind it. 

What plans do you have if you are elected?

My biggest thing is to focus on the diversity and inclusion portion of our platform. I want everyone to realize, like we realize, diversity is not just your skin color. It is your beliefs, it is your values, it is everything. Diversity is what makes the world round, and inclusion needs to be implemented just in the fact that anyone can be included in anything. This campus needs to be a community. We want to mirror that.

What do you believe is the biggest issue that Marshall is facing and how do you plan to combat it? 

I think a lot of the main issues on Marshall’s campus has to do with advertising. A lot of people don’t know when things are happening or what’s going on. With us, we want to voice to everyone that we’re making these decisions and this is why. I think it’s a lot about transparency and communication. I feel like communication is very divided on campus, and we do have a smaller, yet bigger campus, so communication is not impossible.

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you believe the student body should know?

I just want the student body to know we are here for them. Everyone is saying that they want to make changes, and yes, we want to make changes as well, but we’re also going to be here as a support system. Student body president and vice president should be there for you to hear your voices and hear your concerns or even if you just want to complain about something we will be here. We do want to make change. We want everyone to feel more accepted on campus and love Marshall just as much as we do.

 

 

Jeremiah Parlock

Jeremiah Parlock is a sophomore political science major running for president. He is from Huntington, West Virginia. Parlock said he is passionate about Marshall and the students. He is running with Rachel Delaney as his vice-president pick. Their platform stands for SET- “Security, Engagement and Transparency.” 

What is something about you want the student body to know?

People in my life told me I could go to much bigger schools or more prestigious schools than Marshall. They told me not to settle for Marshall. But, I did not see things the same way. I did not see Marshall as a lesser option, I saw it as a great opportunity. Marshall offers the close-knit, family feeling that other schools cannot match. Additionally, the quality of education at Marshall is something I have high regard for, contrary to what others may have told me through my life.

Why did you choose Marshall?

Marshall was an obvious decision for me, not because almost all of my family attend Marshall, but because it felt like home to me since I was a toddler.

How did you all meet?

Rachel and I met during WOW week playing Ultimate Frisbee with Cru. It is something we both enjoy participating in to destress, have fun and connect with our peers. 

Why did you choose to run?

I am running almost exactly for the same reason I attended Marshall. I am attached to the story and the community of Huntington, and I want to give back in a way that I find most impactful.

What are your platforms and why are they important to you?

Our platform is focused on three main things: security, engagement and transparency. From those things, we developed nine main objectives that are achievable and beneficial to the Marshall community. These initiatives are listed on our Instagram page, @parlockdelaney.mu. They are significant to me because our team came together to develop these platforms, and they are in response to what we have heard and observed from our various experiences at Marshall.

What do you want to see change most about Marshall?

I want Marshall to become more unified and grow, so we can share this Marshall experience with more people. Also, so we can enjoy the experiences together with all of the diversity Marshall has to offer.

What do you love most about Marshall?

The main love I have for Marshall is the ability to find your niche within this community while still being able to connect with various other groups of people.

What excites you the most about your cabinet? 

Our cabinet comes from various, diverse backgrounds and all different parts of campus. I think this is necessary when it comes to making decisions for the benefit of all students that call Marshall home.

 

Rachel Delaney

Rachel Delaney is a sophomore psychology and communications double major. She is from Cleveland, Ohio. Delaney calls Marshall her home away from home. She said her main goal is to make others to feel engaged on campus.

What is something about you want the student body to know?

I am most passionate about interacting with others. Everything I do – my major, my lifestyle, my choices are reflective of my love for people. I believe that open dialogue is the key to pushing ideas forward. As a cabinet, we are pushing that belief in our agenda.

Why did you chose Marshall?

While I was looking into schools, I read the “We are” and knew. Marshall gives me the opportunity to pursue a degree on a campus that has a family feel.

How did you two meet?

We met this year during WOW week at a Cru Frisbee event. Instantly, we became friends and began talking about our passion for Marshall and politics.

Why did you chose to run?

I decided to run because I wanted to give a voice to all the students that I am so passionate about. I believe in being an advocate for student voices. Being vice president would allow me to both act on and hear what students have to say every day.

What are your platforms and why are they important to you?

We have three platforms and we call it #getSET – security, engagement, transparency. Security derives from student safety concerns. Engagement centers on getting our students and our organizations involved and connected on campus. Transparency deals with how we will address student disconnect to SGA and the administration. Each of these three platforms have specific initiatives, nine total, developed by our cabinet. These are all listed on our social media and range from therapy animals, town halls, dinner with MUPD and a diversity week.

What do you want to see change most about Marshall?

I want to see a more engaged community of passionate students. We are here to make students aware of their resources, administration and organizations. We want to ignite a passion at Marshall so that we may celebrate our diverse family of sons and daughters.

Ginny Blake can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Maddy Parker

Maddy Parker is a junior elementary special education and political science double major running for vice president. She is from Barboursville, West Virginia. Parker has served on the Student Government Association alongside running mate Madison Davis since becoming an apprentice her freshman year. As vice president, Parker said she wants to make sure all students feel included and accommodated.

Was there something specific that inspired you to run as vice president? 

Something cool about our ticket- it wasn’t like you’re going to be president, I’m going to be vice president. Neither of us were power hungry. Instead we formed this ticket because we love our ideas and what we want to do. We really want to help students.

What plans do you have if you are elected? 

On campus, I work in the office of disabilities. So, I get to work with students who have disabilities a lot. We have over 400 registered students on campus with disabilities. It’s a population that a lot of people don’t really think of. So, on campus I want to make it more aware and work with these students to see what we can do to make their Marshall experience more accommodating. Definitely making sure all the buildings are ADA compliant, because I know that a lot of times the buttons on the doors don’t necessarily work. Jenkins doesn’t have an elevator right now cause we are under construction. Yes, they’ve tried to be as accommodating as they can, but still, it’s not compliant right now.

We want to form a panel of different students with disabilities to come to come together and see what we can do. I don’t have a disability. So, yes, I have second-hand experience, but not that first-hand experience. We’ve also created a cabinet position for someone who is going to serve, just specifically for disability needs. So, they’ll be able to lead that panel.

Also, my dad is a police officer on campus. So, I like to think that we have a really good idea of police officers on campus. So, one thing, after talking to my dad and Chief Terry, they both want to see a coalition of students. They want to have a more active role with students. I know a lot of times we are kind of like, “What does MUPD even do? We don’t see them on campus. If we do, they’re eating.”

MUPD has also asked for an update to their website.

During Police Week we will have open forums, but a lot of students don’t know about that, so it kind of is just SGA going. And there are a lot more students on this campus than just SGA, so I think it’s also going to be advertising more to students. To say, “We have these events coming up. We want you here. Please come. This could really benefit you if something were to happen.”

You all are the only completely female ticket. How do you feel about that?

The College of Education has never really had anybody who has been president or vice president, so I feel like our ticket is a bunch of firsts. It would be a big deal if we got elected.

 

Madison Davis

Madison Davis is a junior biology pre-med major with minor in chemistry running for student body president. She is from Ashland, Kentucky. Madison has served on the Student Government Association alongside running mate Maddy Parker since becoming an apprentice her freshman year. Davis said she wants to give a voice to the students of Marshall University and represent them both accurately and transparently.

Was there something specific that inspired you to run? 

I actually had never really planned on it, and then last March, (Maddy Parker and I) helped Matt Jarvis and Emily Kinner campaign. Maddy called me one night and said, “We should do that.” Over the next week or so, she kept saying it, and the more I kept thinking about it I was like, “You know I really do care. I really do like that idea. We definitely have the drive and dedication for it.” So, I was like “Yeah, let’s go for it.” So, this has been a year in the making.

How did you decide who would run as president and who as vice president?

The thing that really compelled Maddy was that she wanted to be hands on with the fountain ceremony and community involvement in that way. That was when she kind of decided (Vice President), “You know what I really do think that is a good fit.”

What is the platform you are running on?

The first one is accountability and transparency- allowing students to have more of a seat at the table. We’re going to work on student surveying. When we step into the SGA meeting we are representing the 13,700 students that are on this campus. We need to take into consideration their views, their opinions, their thoughts, rather than just say, “Well I think that this is the best idea.” (Surveying would) actually (provide) a gauge for that.”

Disability awareness is also a big thing.

We are also going to hit diversity and inclusion hard. Marshall has declared that they are open to all, and we 100 percent support that. We want to make sure that all students know that SGA, as a whole, supports that. We as people support that. We want to make sure that everyone feels like they have a space on campus, that they have someone to talk to, that they have organizations and clubs that they can come into. We are really going to push safe-space trainings.

We have Greek life initiatives. In the media, Greek life doesn’t always get a positive stereotype. Marshall’s Greek life itself, I think, is some of the stronger Greek life that I’ve seen or read about. They do a whole lot of community service, a lot of philanthropy. They are super involved on campus. Without Greek life, Marshall would be different. So, we definitely (want to see) more positive media representation.

We have campus safety and security.

Think another big initiative is recruitment and retention. We would like to see more local and metro students decide to come to Marshall. I graduated in a class of 205, and there were about four of us who came here, and it’s only 20 minutes down the road. I hear a lot of Huntington students say “I’ve grown up here. This has been my life. I want to get away.” And Marshall has so much to offer. The programs, some are top in the country. The community, I mean you don’t go anywhere with local businesses like we have. It’s just so unique. We need to work on opening up more.

Our last one is community engagement. I’ve talked about Huntington being so unique and having so many local businesses. We’ve talked to several local businesses, and they all say how important Marshall students are to them. If Marshall, as a whole, didn’t exist, their business and their profit would be very low. So, we want to encourage students to get out there and explore the city and go support local businesses.

You all are the only completely female ticket. What are your feelings about that? 

(A completely female ticket) has never been elected. There hasn’t been a female president since 2007, so 11 years. I don’t want to sound cheesy in the fact that it’s time, but it’s such a great opportunity. Stepping into this position, I feel like I’m empowering other people, “You know I can do it, too.” Hopefully we are elected and it sets the ground work, because students on campus right now have never seen a female president. I think that that’s empowering and unique. Especially being able to do the double female thing is unheard of. You look and it’s always the traditional male president, female vice president, and I think people get stuck in that pattern. We wanted to be different and kind of shake things up.

Ginny Blake can be contacted at [email protected] 

Kyra Biscarner can be contacted at [email protected]

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