JUSA Elections a Vote of Confidence for The School

Bryan Jones

Photo courtesy of Ninoska Nunez

Zach Shacter has banged his last figurative gavel for the Jacksonville University Student Alliance. The former JUSA president gave up his seat when election results were revealed Thursday, Feb. 9. Among the positions announced were the new president and vice-president, the only two executive committee members that are elected by the student body and not within JUSA.

As the previous vice-president, Kathryn Judge, stepped down she commented on the transfer of control.

“It’s been fun,” Judge said.

Brandon Krouppa was elected president, and Trevor Touchton was elected vice-president.

As soon as the results were announced, Krouppa and Touchton moved to the front of the room to run the meeting.

“The first meeting was a bit shaky,” Krouppa said. “Most of it was from the shock of winning. I feel like this week I will be more organized and run the meeting more smoothly.”

“It was very shocking and unorganized, but not all transitions can be smooth,” Touchton said.

Despite the high number of votes cast in this election – over 500 – compared to the low numbers of previous years, members of JUSA felt that there could have been more participation. As a university with approximately 3,000 students, 500 is only a small fraction of potential voters.

“Unfortunately, many students do not know what JUSA is,” Krouppa said. “JUSA is a great organization that has a tremendous capabilities. We can’t send a man to the moon, but we can certainly make JU a better school than it already is.”

Krouppa is not daunted by the task of increasing interest and participation in JUSA over the next year.

“The biggest obstacle in JUSA is education,” Krouppa said. “First and foremost, education of JUSA members is key. Once JUSA members are empowered, then we can reach out and maximize the potential to make the changes students want.”

“JUSA needs to talk to about issues that students are truly concerned about,” Krouppa said.  “Also it helps knowing that JUSA is a great organization for improving the university.”

There were eight other representative positions announced at the meeting.  The At-Large representative is Zachary Helm, the South Campus representative is Katherine Thomas, the College of Arts and Sciences representative is Safiya Lawrence, the PanHellenic representative is Zoe Rocke, the North Campus representative is Sara DeBellis, the Commuter representative is Joseph Ramsey, the College of Business representative is Katherine Ramsey, and the Athlete representative is Chunia Graves.

Several more positions remain unfilled including the Fine Arts representative, the Graduate representative, the IFC representative, the International representative, the Nursing representative, Education representative, and the ROTC representative.

Anyone interested in applying for these positions should attend the weekly JUSA meetings in the Davis Student Commons room A held on Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Krouppa has big plans for JUSA and has put thought into what he could do if he had executive power to help JU.

“I would increase enrollment while maintaining the academic profile,” Krouppa said. “Many people would say things similar to ‘where’s my JU roller coaster?’ But increasing enrollment is realistic and would provide income for the school.  The more income the school has, the more JU can offer its students. Although being completely unrealistic, don’t get me wrong, I would love a JU roller coaster.”