Student Government presidential and vice presidential candidates Kenton Wilson and Caroline Carter have been involved in a total of 19 student organizations in their combined seven years at the University, a feat Wilson believes makes the duo a good fit for the student leadership positions.
“Since I’ve been a part of so many areas on campus, it’s really shown me how Student Government reaches different areas of UT,” said Wilson, a philosophy and government senior.
The team said they talked about running together in late April.
“It was Kenton’s roommate who brought up the idea of running for vice president,” Carter, a marketing and international relations and global studies junior, said. “The idea kind of died away, but when Kenton approached me about running it just kind of clicked.”Wilson and Carter have 18 platform goals, including maintaining bus routes, creating a campus-wide homecoming and adding more opportunities to hear student opinions.
“If leaders in organizations can really voice their concerns, I think that’s huge,” said Carter, a marketing and international relations and global studies senior. “We have so many amazing organizations that, unfortunately, Student Government does not communicate with.”
To give students more opportunities to voice their concerns, Carter said she hopes to create a presidential council allowing presidents of student organizations to meet once a month and discuss logistical issues.
“We’re hoping that will start a conversation about campus climate,” Carter said.
Wilson said he also wants to create a “We The Students Petition,” which would require student government to give a formal response and assess what can be done if a petition were signed by 300 students or more. “In the past, we feel like student government hasn’t done a good job reaching all of its constituents,” Wilson said. “We want to be as transparent as possible.” Carter said being an out-of-state student who has only been in SG for a year gave her a different perspective on ways to transform the organization. Wilson said he admired these aspects when selecting a running mate.
“I was really excited to see the fire she could bring to Student Government,” Wilson said. “I saw her come into the assembly and get elected to the Chair of Student Affairs Committee and immediately started tackling all of her different platform initiatives.”
This year, Wilson served as speaker of the assembly and said he was counseled to only moderate and facilitate others passing legislation, but during his junior year he helped write legislation in support of suicide prevention and legislation in support of healthy vending machines.
Carter said she unanimously passed legislation in support of a campus wide homecoming.
Wilson said his platform’s focus on more specific goals is what differentiates him and Carter from the current executive alliance.
“I think we’re coming in with many strong points that we’ve had many conversations with administrators on campus and we’re going to get it done,” Wilson said. “I’m just looking for quick, tangible changes that can be made to the student experience that will show people on campus that SG is there to work for them.”