SGA Elections: Eager to Serve their Fellow Students, King & Nottingham Run Unopposed

By Travis Boren – Reporter

Allison Nottingham and Lacey King will be elected President and Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA) next week, whether students like it or not. Both candidates are running unopposed for their respective offices.

“I definitely would have liked competition,” Nottingham said, “but I’ll accept it either way.”

Nottingham, only in her second semester at PPCC, sought out the opportunity to run for SGA President.

“I really love this school, and I just said, ‘Why not?’”

However, Nottingham was the only student who expressed such enthusiasm for the position.

“It might be that people are afraid to volunteer – they think that it’s more than they can handle,” said Nottingham.

Nottingham is joined in her unopposed candidacy by King, running for Vice President.

King is currently a Student Senator and has started her tenure strong with an initiative to start a women’s self-defense class to “introduce women to some quick, lifesaving tactics.” She hopes to add it to the agenda of “Denim Day” on Apr. 25 “to turn it into a complete female empowerment event.”

King also volunteers with the Women’s Community Leadership Initiative (WCLI) and was recently featured in the Cheyenne Edition for her work with Partners in Housing, another local nonprofit.

King understands why it may be difficult to engage the student body at PPCC. “Everyone at this school is an adult,” King said. “We all have lives and families to take care of, and that doesn’t afford much time to be involved, since most of their lives take place off campus.”

Current SGA President Adonis Jaramillo agreed with King’s sentiment. “I’ve been in Student Government for three years, and reaching out to students and getting them to participate is tough,” said Jaramillo.

Jaramillo ultimately won his election last year when his opponent dropped out of the race, but about 400 students of the 20,000 plus student population voted in his election – roughly a 2 percent voter turnout.

Students seeking to run for an office in SGA must submit a Letter of Intent to SGA for the office they want to run for. The window to submit Letters of Intent opens at the beginning of Spring term and closes fifteen school days before the election, not counting Spring Break.

To advertise, SGA members post posters and flyers, set up tables in the common areas on campus, and talk directly to classes.

Through polling, Jaramillo found that the advertising that Student Government conducts becomes part of the white noise of activity at campus.

Jaramillo feels as if a lot of people do not even realize there is a student government, and current Student Treasurer and former SGA President, Ty Upshaw, agrees. Both Jaramillo and Upshaw said they have found the most effective way of engaging students is approaching them directly.

Student Government requires a 20 hour a week dedication, and Jaramillo admitted that he often puts in more than that.

Despite the work, Jaramillo believes that participating in Student Government helped him with school. His dedication to helping others helped him maintain focus and stay invested after returning to academia after a decades long absence.

Student Government has multiple roles that are filled each election. Presidents and Vice Presidents coordinate the efforts of the group, Senators directly reach out to the student body, the Treasurer helps allocate funding to clubs, and the State Student Advisory Council (SSAC) representative. The SSAC position is the most unique, meeting with SSAC representatives from other colleges in the state and communicating needs to legislators.

Other than electing candidates, Jaramillo says that there are only two initiatives being voted on this semester: a rewording of the student constitution and the trans-campus bus initiative in coordination with Mountain Metro Transportation.

Students vote on PPCCOnline and the link to vote will be available on April 10 and 11 in the Announcements section.

4 thoughts on “SGA Elections: Eager to Serve their Fellow Students, King & Nottingham Run Unopposed”
  1. I fought for your right to free speech, but biases in journalism should come with a disclaimer. This article belongs in the opinion column, it’s full of leaning half-truths and leaping to conclusions. The interviewers and writers obviously had their own feelings about the elections, and inserted it into every step of their process. Disappointing entry into an otherwise very useful online paper.

    1. Trey, thank you for your comment. I’m not sure what you are reading as opinion. The information on the two candidates was factual–they did run unopposed.

    2. Reply from Warren Epstein, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication, and Advisor to The Paper:

      Trey,

      Thank you for your input about The Paper and our student journalism.

      We’d like to see more students engaging about The Paper and the articles here. As the staff advisor, I’d like to congratulate the professors and student journalists on an outstanding first year of (digital) publication. They tackled several controversial issues, with a depth of knowledge and sense of fairness that I’d expect from seasoned journalists.

      In particular, their coverage of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) stood out, taking a national issue and showing how it was affecting our classrooms, our instructors and our students.

      Beyond simply covering our campus community, our Paper staff also served as advocates for our students — on serious issues, like finding affordable childcare, and frivolous, like finding a decent cup a joe.

      Your letter, a broad swipe at the journalism profession in America as well as a specific indictment of April’s student government election coverage, couldn’t be more off base. I spent 30 years of my career at Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers, and, although I’ll leave the defense of American journalism for another time, I will defend the work of The Paper at PPCC and reporter Travis Boren’s article in particular.

      Although your letter seems to criticize the “tone” of the entire article, I can’t find a single line that might come close to presenting an attitude except for the lede – the first sentence:

      “Allison Nottingham and Lacey King will be elected President and Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA) next week, whether students like it or not. Both candidates are running unopposed for their respective offices.”

      You criticize that as “sensationalistic/attention-grabbing and pessimistic,” part of an ethic that offers “fake news” and ”opinion-wrapped-in-facts.”

      OK, let’s start with the basics. Is the lede true? Undeniably so.

      Does it show an attitude? It does. But does that make it grossly sensationalistic, misleading or unfair?

      Let’s look at the alternative lede, one without attitude:

      “Candidates for student government will run unopposed.”

      It’s true. It’s flat. And it’s dull.

      Yes, Travis’ lede contains a point of view, and that point of view is the same one I’ve seen throughout the year in The Paper: It’s the spirit of advocacy journalism. It says, “I’m not just an impartial observer here. I serve our students and our campus community, and, my attitude and my reporting says, I want to make this a better place.”

      That line, “whether students like it or not,” is a fact, but it’s also weighted with an attitude that says, “This is not right. We should have more students involved in student government, and students should always have a choice of candidates.”

      The article goes on to explore, fairly and thoroughly, thoughts on why students don’t get involved more, and it tells us more about the previous president and more about the candidates on this year’s ballot.

      I would have thought Travis’ lede controversial, except for one thing: Does anybody oppose the attitude that it’s too bad we don’t have more people running? There is no rational counterpoint to that.

      Your letter suggests that our student journalists take a deeper look at the “Army Values,” particularly those about integrity:

      “Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles.”

      Travis and his peers have served their campus community with that kind of integrity, and I couldn’t be more proud of their work.

      A SIDE NOTE:
      The email that was sent out to the campus to alert them about this article was written and sent by me, and it was not intended as journalism. In fact, it was like a social media post, trying to get your friends to read an article. As The Paper exists only in digital form, this has been the main way to get folks to read, and readership has been great.

      But that email contained a joke that – while infused with the same spirit of student advocacy as Travis’ lede – was insensitive. I’ve apologized for any feelings that felt bruised by it, and I hope to work with the new student government to help our students become more engaged in student life.

      1. Warren, thank you. I appreciate your response so much. You said it all, so I have nothing to add but my strong support of this statement.

        Deidre Schoolcraft, Editor

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