JUSA Elections Underway

Bryan Jones

As the United States presidential primaries get underway, Jacksonville University is holding its own election.

The Jacksonville University Student Alliance is holding its presidential elections, and will have a new student assembly board by Thursday, February 7. The winners will be announced in Davis Student Commons Room A during the weekly JUSA meeting.

The candidates for president are Katherine Thomas, a junior, Brandon Krouppa, a junior and Jordan Miklowitz, a senior. The candidates for vice president are Trevor Touchton, a junior, and Sungjoon Ryou, a senior. They participated in a debate held Tuesday, February 2 in Nellies at 2 p.m.

“I feel that the debate went really well,” Thomas said.

Thomas is one of the more experienced candidates, having been on JUSA since her freshman year.

She went on to clarify that she felt the debate had really been more of a discussion of the issues amongst the candidates, rather than an actual debate. Thomas felt that one of the biggest issues discussed was She also commented on the low attendance rate. There were less than 10 attendees present.

Thomas feels that her experience as a political science major, as well as her broad background of involvement in many different campus organizations, makes her a strong candidate.

“I represent a lot of different areas of campus,” Thomas said.

Thomas has been Panhellenic president, a Peer Career advisor, an admissions ambassador, and president of the Political Science Society and the Pre-law Society. She was also the JUSA representative for the college of arts and sciences.

As president, Thomas would focus on using JUSA to promote creative solutions to the problems brought up by the student body, rather than making demands of the administration.

“I don’t think making demands is what JUSA is about,” said Thomas.

Krouppa, JUSA’s historian, has also had a lot of experience on JUSA. He has held several positions on JUSA, including residential life liaison and physical plant liaison.

Krouppa  gave the Dolphin Channel an interview detailing why he wanted to be president. According to Krouppa, his main motivation to wanting to be president is because he feels we’re disconnected to the student body.  He said that JUSA receives input on a weekly basis on things JU should be doing, or could be doing. He said that it doesn’t seem like a lot of these things get done. As president, he would focus on solving these problems.

Krouppa is a coxswain of the crew team, and secretary of the Society of Physics students, a member of the math society, and a student worker in the Davis Student Commons.

Miklowitz, who was recently installed as JUSA’s press secretary after only one semester as north campus representative, wants to make changes as president. He wants students to feel like they are more empowered, like they have more rights, and to be able to connect with the administration, and with JUSA. As president, he wants to get everything working “in sync.”

Miklowitz’s is also involved on campus as the assistant intramural director.

As one of only two vice presidential candidates, and the only one currently on JUSA, Touchton had hoped for there to be more attendance at the debate, and for there to have been more questions. He feels he is the best candidate because of his problem-solving ability.

“I think that actions speak louder than words and feel that when a problem arises it is better to work on solving the problem rather then playing the blame-game,” Touchton said. “Positivity goes a long way.”

Sungjoon Ryou emphatically refused to comment.

One of the issues facing this election is the “greek vote.” This is where members of the greek community will vote for a candidate will vote for someone based off of their association to a particular organization, rather than their qualifications. The “greek vote” has drawn concern from some members of the student body, as they feel it may skew the election in an otherwise unforeseen manner.

“The greek  vote is probably the biggest deciding factor in the elections,” said Zach Shacter, current president of JUSA. “When there is a greek candidate in elections they already have a set of unconditional votes from the members of their organizations. It may not be fair, but that’s exactly how it is. Personally, my candidates of choice for president and vice-president are not greek.