The Rambler Endorses Edge For President

Rambler Staff Editorial

“Whom do I want to represent my opinions in student government for the next year?” Transylvania students will ask themselves this question this week as they elect their new Student Government Association executive council. The Rambler’s editorial board sat down with SGA presidential candidates Blake Atkinson and Josh Edge to learn more about their qualifications and goals for the office.

The Rambler considered three criteria in its choice of which candidate to endorse: leadership style, availability and plans for campus and SGA betterment.
Both candidates exuded a passion for the position, and it became clear that each would take the job of president seriously. Their leadership styles, however, differed greatly.

Atkinson, a current sophomore, revealed his more flexible approach to the presidency.

“The president is more of a mediator than anything,” Atkinson said.

Edge, a current junior, showed a more direct approach to the office.

“(The) SGA president has to be a leader for the student body,” Edge said.

Both leadership styles have their merits. Atkinson would allow for much openness and cooperative leadership, while Edge would have the drive to motivate others and to push goals through to completion. But given the changes that SGA faces and the direction SGA wants to go, Edge’s direct style would fit SGA better at this time.
In addition to assessing leadership style, The Rambler also asked the candidates how they would maximize their availability to the student body, as Transylvania needs an SGA president who will prioritize the position.

Edge acknowledged his involvement in other campus organizations, including his fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa and tutoring. However, he cited his involvement as good experience for the position of president.

“I don’t want that to scare anybody off, because most of these positions that I’ve had, I don’t currently hold,” said Edge.

Still, Atkinson won The Rambler’s support in respect to availability, assuring us that the SGA presidency would be his top priority.

“I’d take it very seriously,” said Atkinson. “I feel like I would stop playing golf here to increase the amount of time I have.”

Lastly, we asked the candidates to state three goals they have for their year in office.

Edge’s goals were specific and well elaborated. His top priority would be the creation of a “president’s circle,” which he described as a monthly meeting of all leaders of campus organizations to discuss campus issues.

“Almost every Student Government Association everywhere — I haven’t found one that doesn’t — has a president’s circle,” Edge said.

Additionally, Edge wants to improve the quality of the food in campus eateries, increase SGA’s efficiency by redefining the meaning of its subcommittees and expand the organization’s visibility by producing a biweekly SGA newsletter.

Atkinson’s goals, while admirable, were less developed than those of Edge. His goals included developing the basement of the lobby between Clay and Davis Halls.

“Really, (the basement is) just collecting dust right now,” said Atkinson.

Also, Atkinson proposed the development of a service project led by SGA. He based his idea on a project he did with his childhood youth group to provide yard work for low-income neighborhoods.

“People just really appreciated that, and some people were even reduced to tears,” Atkinson said. “I would like to see SGA lead something like that.”

Moreover, Atkinson proposed improving SGA’s visibility on campus as well as increasing SGA involvement by students unaffiliated with Greek life.

Both candidates have the capability of effectively leading SGA. However, while The Rambler feels Atkinson would perhaps be more available to the student body, Edge’s more specific goals for the office and his leadership style would better fit SGA at this time. For these reasons, The Rambler officially endorses Josh Edge for SGA president.

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