Update: Since this story's original publication, Baylor Morrison and Matthew Normyle withdrew from the Executive Alliance election, citing competing time commitments. To read more about their decision, click here.
Campaigning began Wednesday morning for Student Government Executive Alliance, but the West Mall was void of flyers, yelling and promotional materials.
The candidates for president and vice president — Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi, David Maly and Stephen Svatek, Baylor Morrison and Matthew Normyle, and Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu — have instead expressed a desire to gather student opinion and include more student groups in conversation during the initial stages of the election.
Click here to view our interactive database of all campus-wide candidates and their platforms.
Jones, a government senior, and Dargahi, an international relations and global studies and Middle Eastern studies senior, said their platform will not be solidified until they sit down with students and hear what students want to be changed on campus. Jones, who currently serves as SG speaker of the assembly, said the campaign, called “Let’s Talk,” is focused on talking with students and not getting their names out just yet.
“The big thing we want to do is listen,” Jones said. “We want to start a conversation, hear what students want and watch their platform become our platform.”
The duo’s platform points include working to strengthen tradition on campus, helping students “build bridges” for the future and increasing social advocacy and safety.
Maly, an economics and journalism senior, and Svatek, a civil engineering junior, are focusing their campaign on transparency, which Maly said begins as early as the campaigning process.
“I feel like a lot of students don’t know how Student Government works, what it does, how to get involved [and] if they can get involved,” Maly said.
Their other platform points include easier transfers between colleges at the University, advocacy for lower tuition, easier transportation from Riverside to campus, and keeping the Perry-Castañeda Library open 24/7.
Rotnofsky, a Plan II and linguistics senior, and Mandalapu, a Plan II and economics senior — who are both involved in the satirical publication Texas Travesty — said their campaign will focus on reaching out to the smaller groups on campus.
Their platform includes turning the UT Tower into premium student condominiums, promising that President William Powers Jr. will no longer be president by the end of the semester, and increasing transparency by mandating that all SG representatives wear cellophane instead of clothes. Mandalapu said the real point of the campaign is to make students realize that anyone can run for SG.
“We’re making a joke out of it, but we’re taking it very seriously,” Rotnofsky said. “We’re all about the campaign, and we’re all about Student Government. You have to love the thing you satirize.”
Morrison, an economics junior, and Normyle, an electrical engineering senior, said their campaign will focus more on spreading their names by word-of-mouth and social media. Both students are involved with Camp Texas.
“We’re funny, personal guys, [and] we’re lighthearted guys,” Morrison said. “We want to [make Student Government] more approachable, more accessible. Humor is something we’re going to use a lot in our campaign, but we’re in it to win it.”
Normyle said the campaign started as a joke, but now he said they are all in. Normyle said the team is going to use its “outsider” status to reach groups on campus.
The candidates will participate in a debate among their competitors March 2. Elections will take place March 4–5.
This article misstated the date of the debate and the dates of the election. It has since been updated.