Candidate prepared to fight ‘no confidence’

Editor’s note: The Daily Eastern News will be taking a more in-depth look into the candidates for the student vice president for student affairs and the student vice president for academic affairs later in the week.

Only one of the four student government executive positions, excluding the student senate speaker, is contested this year.

While Lauren Price, the vice-chairwoman for the Student Senate Action Team, and Brandon Goodman, the Student Senate Speaker, fight it out campaigning to prove themselves more worthy for the executive position than the other, Reggie Thedford is fighting an entirely different battle.

Instead of another candidate, Thedford, the current student affairs committee chairman, will be competing against the “no confidence” option on the ballot April 7 midnight until April 8 midnight.

In some ways it is more terrifying to have another candidate running to understand where the opponent is coming from, Thedford said.

“I wish there was another individual I could run against because I want to feel like I did earn the spot,” Thedford said.

He added he still had not one the election yet forcing him to stay in game and focused. When he realized he wanted to run for the position, he said it was necessary in his mind to run a joint campaign with Price.

“You have a running mate just to make the campaigning a little more appealing,” “It combines both of our visions into something bigger,” Thedford said.

To fulfill these visions like starting a leadership conference on campus to eventually become an annual in the future, Thedford would get co-sponsorships to significantly help pull off this grand undertaking especially with the lack of increase in the student government budget.

Thedford said he uses a guide, which had been beneficial to him previously looking for co-sponsorships. He had previously gotten co-sponsorships to fully support some of the Blue Crew’s, a student spirit group that attends Eastern sporting events, cheer events he had coordinated in the past.

Thedford said he had a template he used to pick up co-sponsorships.

He is expecting to get larger registered student organizations and university support to offset the undetermined price of the conference.

“Ideally, it wouldn’t just be coming out of the student government budget,” Thedford said. “Hopefully, it will be a collaborative effort.”

In Thedford’s vision of the conference, student leaders in RSOs and in other avenues will be able to attend workshops to enhance their skills as a leader. He plans to have a constitution writing, executive position etiquette, time management, executive role in RSOs, organizational communication enhancement, and utilizing resources workshop.

He would plan to have more workshops for the conference when it comes time adding he would be open to suggestion. For potential student leaders interested in the convention, current student leaders could sponsor them giving them access to these workshops.

“I think with any student not having an executive role, it can be a challenge,” Thedford said. “I think the leadership conference would be beneficial for them.”

The conference would also serve as an experience for RSOs to network with other RSOs outside Pantherpalooza, Thedford said.

“Pantherpalooza is mainly for students to learn general information about the RSO,” Thedford said.

He expected the conference to be more interactive and to increase communication between the RSOs.

He also said he wanted to campaign for improvements to the cultural center. While Dan Nadler, the vice president for student affairs, and others in the student affairs department are also planning to improve the building, Thedford wanted to make sure he had an active role in the process. A big issue the department is finding is an issue with funding, especially with cuts expected to be made throughout the university.

Thedford said he had ways in which to fund the improvements including having brick campaign where RSOs can sponsor a brick on the cultural center and it would be placed on the cultural center.

“A lot of students want to come back and see their name on something to know that they left something here,” Thedford said. “It could serve as a graduation present.”

He would also plan to improve student awareness of the building.

“I am pushing for improvements because students don’t know about it,” Thedford said.

He added it might lead potential multi-cultural students coming to Eastern knowing the cultural center is a big thing for campus.

Student Body President Kaylia Eskew said if elected, it is important to for Thedford to get out of the office in the Student Activities Center. She added there are over 8,000 students and they are not cooped up in the center.

Handling the student government budget is also a major duty required of the position. While he has never handled a budget of this scale, it is not foreign to him. He has had to handle budgeting movies as the University Board movies coordinator. Eskew’s term ends June 30. If the students vote “no confidence” for Thedford, a special election will have to be set up before the start of the new school year.

“I am treating “no confidence” as my opponent,” Thedford said.

Jarad Jarmon can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]