By Chelsea Sydnor
Students have the opportunity to vote for the Student Government Association’s executive council via WebbConnect from Tuesday, March 28- Friday, March 31. GWU-Today interviewed each candidate, starting with those running for student body president, the only contested campaign.
Eli Hardin hopes to be elected student body president to have the chance to give back to the university community in which he has grown up.
“[Gardner-Webb] has always been a part of me,” Hardin said. “I would like to use the knowledge and connections I have gained, even before my time as a student, to further the causes of other students.”
Hardin enjoys the small size of the university, which allows him to form relationships with various individuals on campus.
“I love that I can knock on my professors’ doors at any time and have a conversation about class or even just life,” said Hardin. “The connections made with staff members on a daily basis are lasting as well, even after I graduate.”
The small campus has also allowed Hardin to form close bonds with his fellow students.
“You have the opportunity to make friendships through classes and campus organizations,” he said.
Hardin believes that his reliability, dedication and determination to listen to students will make him an ideal candidate.
“I have faithfully attended SGA meetings, and consider myself to be open to all students,” said Hardin. “I try to listen to the issues that the students have.”
According to Hardin, he is ready to put his full effort into the role of student body. He believes that his connections to administrative officials, new and established, will help him to accomplish the needs of students at Gardner-Webb.
“They are willing to listen,” he said. “Willing to work for the concerns of students.”
Jake Kennedy hopes to become student body president because of his passion for Gardner-Webb and its students.
“I love the people,” Kennedy said. “My peers, the faculty and staff make GWU the place it is.”
Kennedy’s appreciation for the community at Gardner-Webb, fostered by its liberal arts curriculum, led him to an interest in participation in school activities.
“I got involved with both the athletic and student council, but found myself more adapted to the student side,” said Kennedy.
If elected as president, Kennedy would like engage student participation in clubs, using one of his classes as an example.
“Out of a class of 32, five participate in a club,” he said. “I want to hear from students the reasons they are not involved in the 62 clubs on campus, and be a vocal leader for them.”
Kennedy believes a student body present should be a good communicator, approachable and passionate about Gardner-Webb and its Christian and community values.
“I think Gardner-Webb is headed in a unique direction, with a renewed sense of pride in the school,” said Kennedy. “I’m also a champion for the discussions about making Gardner-Webb more rigorous.”
Kennedy is also open to ideas from students.
“I’m not policy-driven, I’m student-driven,” he said. “Any ideas that I have come about have come from discussion with other students, and have student interests in mind.”