Home / Opinions / Editorial / SGA Candidates: Get real
Freedom of speech is one of the most precious rights that citizens in America own, but sometimes it goes too far. When misleading statements become the foundation for popularity and election, the right of freedom of speech becomes abused as politicians show up.

SGA Candidates: Get real

Freedom of speech is one of the most precious rights that citizens in America own, but sometimes it goes too far.  When misleading statements become the foundation for popularity and election, the right of freedom of speech becomes abused as politicians show up.

SGA is holding its elections for senators, president and vice president next week and for some reason, campus sheet signs this year hang with promises of lowering fees for students.

The problem is not with the sheet signs with names and positions, but with the empty promises these candidates are giving VSU students.

According to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, which oversees 35 university’s tuitions and fees, students can voice their opinions regarding fees via their school’s SGA.

SGA can then raise the student’s concerns and make suggestions about fees to the Board of Regents, but this does not mean the suggestions will be considered.

Americans already have enough trouble trusting the U.S. government, why are we being misled by the people who sit next to us in class? It isn’t fair.

SGA candidates owe it to the students and themselves to be as honest as possible.  The candidates telling students that they can directly lower fees is wrong.  What’s going to happen when you take office and the fees stay the same?

“Working for YOU from the inside out” and “New Leadership.  New Vision.  New Direction,” are some of the common promises made from the candidates to the students.  These campaign sayings are vague, but most students won’t feel like any concrete promises are being made (or broken), while sayings such as “Raise the bar, Lower the fees,” might cause problems.

SGA is supposed to be a student government that helps students resolve common issues on campus, not a popularity contest that can result in more harm than good.

On the other hand, the typical student does not hold a candidate responsible for their promises after he or she is elected into office.  As a student body, we should care enough to do the research and keep tabs on the candidate even after elections.  It’s our job to hold our officials accountable.

At the end of the day, SGA should learn to be more honest and upfront about the process of lowering fees, while the students should make sure they understand everything being promised to them.  It’s not too late to make sure you make the right vote.

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  1. Plain and Simple

    Greek Life has realized our lack of involvement on campus. If you want to bash us for attempting to fix this problem then go right ahead, but the original purpose of being in a Greek organization is to become a group of elites who have above average GPA’s, have extensive involvement in both the community and campus, and overall well rounded attributes. Putting us in a stereotype is just as bad as putting anyone in a stereotype. I’ve got news for you, we’re not stopping with SGA.

  2. Dear “Opinionated,”

    Have you not read the post above? The Davis-Powers ticket is not all greek and if you have a problem with SGA being filled with greeks who are willing to dedicate their time to SGA then I suggest you should have ran to have a position in SGA. Why hate on individuals who are willing to dedicate time and effort to the betterment of VSU and our Student Government? There is absolutely nothing wrong with greeks nor the greek community!

    Keep your opinion to yourself

  3. i’m really excited to read the spectator today maybe everyone will have realized that dani taylor on the davis powers ticket is not greek and that coer entire ticket should be disqualified for not having flyers picked up in dorm halls by 7 am yesterday

  4. Before you vote in the SGA election, read this.
    Point and case.


    Ga. Regents approve tuition increases at colleges

  5. The only problem that I see with the Davis Powers ticket is that Greek life is trying to take over SGA. SGA is meant to be diverse and not fully comprised of greeks. If you have a senate full of greeks how can you hear the opinions and complaints of the entire student body? SGA should be comprised of multiple aspects of the student body at VSU. I hope to see SGA improve without being overtaken by the greek community. Good luck to each candidate and may the best candidate for the job win.

  6. This is one-sided. Why don’t you present both sides of the candidates not just put them down completely? It may be your opinion, but look at both sides.

  7. Don.sen.a.nough!

    After wasting about 2 minutes of my life reading your horrific article, I decided to leave a comment. You have taken your position and abused it by trying to manipulate the readers of the Spectator. Also I think it is in your best interest to stick to sports, since YOU are a SPORTS EDITOR! Politics are just not your strong suit:) I am tired of having people put down Greeks, because they think we are all about partying. If you haven’t heard Greeks have on average a higher gpa then those not in a fraternity/sorority. Also they are way more involved on campus then those who aren’t in a greek society. The Davis/Powers ticket is real and has fresh ideas. They want to change VSU for the better and not keep the standards of VSU at a minimum. Donsena after seeing your writing skills and biased opinions, I’d say your lucky that there are such low standards for the Spectator or you’d be out of a position. The days are getting closer to elections and when change comes it will be for the best. Unlike in other campaigns, where change has been promised and never happened, this time it will. So cross your fingers that you will still have a position come next semester.

  8. Dear Dorsena,
    I’m sorry you are scared of change and your writing is filled with grammatical errors.
    However it’s about time this campus changed its ways not only with SGA but with the Spectator as well.

  9. This is NOT an all greek ticket!
    I repeat: This is NOT an all greek ticket!
    Dani Taylor is not greek!!
    Get your facts right, pleaseeee!

  10. “RAISE THE BAR, LOWER THE FEES” is NOT a promise! It’s simply a suggestion! Maybe you should take a look at the opponents platform and what she actually promises and you will notice more than half of her request are unattainable!

    Do Your Research

  11. To the persons or people that allowed this article to appear it the paper should be fired cause this article is a BUNCH OF CRAP!!!!!! Dorsena Drakeford you got this article all wrong and should not be allowed to write again for The Spectator!!

  12. Americans already have enough trouble trusting the U.S. government, why are we being misled by the people who sit next to us in class? It isn’t fair

    In reference to your statement above, Life isn’t always fair! Sorry to be the first to tell you!

  13. Articles like this will give a newspaper a bad reputation. Especially with the illustration just beside the article! That is outrageous!!! This has made the VSU Spectator come off very elementary and is why Valdosta State needs to raise the admissions standards.

  14. I think that the person who wrote this article should be ashamed. They don’t even mention any other candidates running for SGA. They only are targeting the all-greek team. obviously they don’t like Greek life and have biased opinions about us. Greek Life is a great part of this campus.

  15. This has got to be a joke. SGA is not a popularity contest, its about actually doing something with SGA. As a student, the only thing I’ve ever heard of SGA actually doing was elections. Hopefully after this election, when the bar gets raised, we might see some proof of what SGA does.

  16. I stumbled across this page as a facebook link. As an alumi of this University, I am deeply concerned about what passes for coherent writing. This essay borders sounds very much like the musings of a fourth grader. Learn to write before attempting to project your stupidity on the rest of the student body.

  17. So you started off being informative and explaining SGA elections which was something I was interested in reading considering I am running for SGA as well. What I am agitated about is the way you presented an Opinion article for a college newspaper. You do not even address these candidates by name, making it seem that you are trying to “secretly” excoriate them. There are many other topics Davis and Powers have presented to the student body in their campaign and debate Tuesday night that you fail to mention. Raise the Admission Standards, Seriously Address Parking, Prevent and Reduce DUIs and MIPs Amongst Students, Increase Productivity and Professionalism in the SGA Senate, Refocus the Stance of SGA’s Programming Authority, Establish a Monthly “Town Hall” Meeting for all VSU Students, Cultivate Cultural Wealth/Build a Sense of Unity and Pride amongst students at VSU, Introduce VSU to downtown Valdosta, and Establish Strong Connections Between SGA and Members of the City Council are the topics that have been clearly open for the student body to respond to and get feedback from Davis and Powers.
    Who is to say that this SGA election is a popularity contest? Are we now addressing that by being Greek you are popular, which is an absolutely ridiculous assumption for a College Newspaper to print. I didn’t join and put my time and effort into being part of a sorority so that others could say it was all about trying to be “popular.” I am not running for SGA so that I can be “popular.” I am running for the sole purpose to ameliorate my experience and further my leadership for the improvement of my fellow peer’s experience here at VSU. I do not think any of the candidates put in the time, effort, and dedication to have their work lowered by uniformed critics.
    As well as at the “end of the day” our fellow peers are smart enough to look at all the well rounded candidates and make their own informed decisions based off of the campaigning and debates. I feel strongly that what ever vote they make will be the right vote because it will be theirs. No matter who they pick to be the future leaders of SGA, they should feel proud to be an active participant in the student body here at Valdosta State University and not apprehensive about what is the right vote and wrong vote.
    I am Alina Goldberg. I am a proud Asian.I am a freshman at Valdosta State University. I am part of a greek organization.
    No matter what race or social affiliation I may be or my fellow candidates, as mature students we should view the person based on their enthusiasm and determination to represent and enrich the University that we all come to each day and not return to biased judgements our campus has strived to overcome.

  18. As a former VSU student who served on the SGA Exec Board years ago, I have the same concerns mentioned in this article. Unless you have been directly involved with the many details of VSU’s budget and responsibilities, you really have no idea what you are promising, good or bad. I sat on the committee that hears the many student organizations ask for fee increases (hearing the requests alone took 7 hours) and there is a lot of consideration that goes into each dollar. We denied most requests, even though they typically only asked for a $1 student fee increase. Your SGA representatives have a lot of say in most of what goes on at VSU, but they will always sit on a committee or have to send ideas higher up the chain. It is irresponsible to PROMISE lowering fees and only makes the candidates look ignorant. They will have a lot of explaining to do in the future when they realize they can’t make everyone happy, especially at a school full of students who whine and demand so much but don’t want to pay for it.

  19. The Honest Truth

    In my opinion, slogan or not, I would rather vote for the team of people who actually look like candidates instead of someone who (judging by their picture) wants to spray paint campus. That aside, At least Graham Davis, Derika Powers, Dani Taylor, and Drew McCall are promising to fight for something. Apparently, according to you, it would be better for the candidates to spit out empty promises such as “New Leadership, New Vision, and New Direction” which sound a lot like Obama’s “Change” Campaign, and haven’t we learned anything from trusting empty promises like that.

  20. Donovan Head (AGAIN!)

    Real journalism requires more than simply reading a “sheet sign” (by the way Davis-Powers has no sheet signs) before writing your article, which hypocritically misleads students; this is yet another utterly pathetic example of the Spectator’s finest. Both slates have platforms that are easily accessible, but it comes as no surprise th…at someone was too lazy to do a little research. Additionally, the only one offering misleading hopes and empty promises to students is Jasmine Coer, who’s proposal of a book scholarship using excess SGA funds violates a Board of Regents regulation which states that student activty fees may not be used to benefit a single individual, but rather the student body as a whole- nor can this money be allocated based on academic achievement. And that is their key issue, illigitimate as it may be!! If you would have bothered to read the actual platforms, you may have caught that aswell.

  21. This is in regards to the Senator who has posted. I agree with you on your opening remarks. I have really enjoyed seeing the number of students who have been involved with everything surrounding the election this semester. I wish it was always like this. The campus would transform drastically for the better if there were always such a large number of students involved like they are now. I feel that the article in the Spectator,unfortunately, was derived from some of the candidate’s social affiliation, which is the big problem. “We promise FREE beer, and straight A’s.” Having candidates that are Greek is a great thing. Being a part of another organization besides SGA brings a diverse group of people to the meetings and provides different points of view on the issues that may have been one sided previously.

    Also, it seems a little odd that that the current SGA President would mediate the debate between the two new candidates. George Bush wouldn’t mediate the debate between Obama and McCain. He has a clear preference on who he wants in office. Obviously an extreme example but it’s an extremely valid point. Questions were being shot down left and right and students should be allowed to set up their questions. The mediator would cut people off mid question, and it seemed biased. This point was brought to me by a friend so I don’t take the credit, but it couldn’t be more correct.

  22. I am very disappointed in you, Dorsena, and the entire Spectator staff. Your article “SGA Candidates: Get Real” is completely bogus and bias which is not to be expected from a respected newspaper and obviously this one is not. From reading your article and observing the rude newspaper artwork drawn by Michael Aubrey I have found it all very appalling. I could only wish that my college’s newspaper could have a tad bit more credibility and you and the rest of the staff have lost all of yours by letting this article go to print. Not only is it a problem that your advisors and editors let this obviously bias article go to print but it is also a problem that you all do not re-read the articles you write. A prime example being the article “Greeks put on step show for charity.” The very first sentence of this article states that the step show ended Greek Week. This is not true! The step show has nothing to do with Greek Week and it did not close it out since the last event in Greek Week was an Obstacle Course not the CPC step show. This was a philanthropic event and Greek Week is not. Also in this article it stated, “Chi Omega followed the classic “Twilight Zone” theme,” which is indeed true. But once you read further on into the article you read that Alpha Delta Pi had the step theme of “P90X” and that Chi Omega’s steps theme was “Crunk Fest.” These are lies! How can anyone trust your newspaper? Alpha Delta Pi’s theme was “Crunk Frest” and Chi Omega did not have two “step” performances, so why does your paper indicate that? Now, lets get down to your article. First of all you mention that elections for senators, president, and vice president are being held next week. Did you just completely forget about comptroller and secretary or are you bias against them too? Are you even aware that “Raise the bar, Lower the fees” is a platform? These are not “empty promises” or even promises at all just areas of concern and apparently you are too ill-informed to realize this. Also, by reading your disgraceful article I have become fully aware that you were not in attendance at the election’s platform debate last night. If you were you would have been informed that Mr. Davis stated that he wanted to more so freeze the fees not “directly lower fees.” So you are the one in the wrong here Dorsena. For our student body’s newspaper to completely back one candidate and their ticket is embarrassing. If only you and the rest of the staff had a little more integrity and class this would not have went to print without critiquing both sides running in the SGA elections. Don’t you think this is a little ignorant? Also, actually doing your research would have been helpful and you clearly did not do anything but look at sheet signs. Way to show your true, prejudice, colors Spectator Staff! Job well done! Have a fabulous BIASED day!

  23. In a way of cutting fees we could get rid of this crap we call “The Spectator!”

  24. It’s amazing to read how passionate people become once provoked. I’m a Senator & I can honestly say I wish these “concerned” students would come to SGA meetings throughout the semester rather than sit on a website and argue. Many organizations come speak at SGA meetings and all are heard. If people feel they are unwelcome or are uncomfortable at SGA events than bring your friends. SGA events are open to ALL students here at VSU. We would like nothing better than to have everyone attend our events.

    I think it is sad when people oversimplify to the point of saying this is an election based on race or social affiliation. I think all candidates deserve some credit for running in the first place. Seeing the behavior at the debate last night towards both sides was appalling. If you can’t behave like an adult stay home.

  25. This article is CRAP and you and the rest of The Spectator staff knew it before it even went to print! You need new editors and advisors pronto!

  26. Editorials such as this are completely ignorant and biased. The Davis-Powers campaign WILL prevail no matter what kind of ignorance you throw their way. Let ME “get real about SGA”… right now it is full of racist minorities who barely let any white people in even if they have an amazing platform. That is ridiculous and I am supporting the Davis-Powers campaign so that MY voice will be heard.

  27. First of all the Disclaimer on the bottom says that the Spectator reserves the right to delete any comment that we find libel and slanderous. Is this article not slanderous? I also like on the bottom of the article it states “This editorial was written by Dorsena Drakeford and it expresses the opinion of the entire editorial staff.” Is this a joke? How is it that the entire editorial staff thought it would be a good idea to post your own “personal” opinions on the matter? I understand everyone has their own values and believes but as staff of the Spectator your job is to report news that is non bias. This is the most bias article somebody could put the paper. The sad part is I completely expected this kind of unprofessionalism from our fine and esteemed staff of the Spectator.

  28. @ Dorsena: it is lovely how you dwell over and over and over and OVER on the “lowering the fees” issue. Whereas the SGA exec has no direct ability to make this change, it DOES have the ability to bring enough attention to the issue to begin talking about the options available at hand. Whether the candidates know exactly what they are promising or not is not the issue; this is a STUDENT election, and honestly, I am willing to cast my vote for the person that is “close enough” to what I want than the people promising 100% of crap I could care less about.

    This whole article speaks volumes about your abilities as a journalist, your objectivity and character. In a nutshell, you have just used OUR paper, paid for by our FEES, to publish your own personal rant. Thank you for wasting space on the paper, an add for Smitty’s would have been more productive.

  29. You guys are unbelievable. Whoever wrote the piece on the SGA candidates should be removed of their post. Vastly unintelligent and the person who undermined the candidates running for OUR school should be held accountable. This further proves that The Spectator is and always has been the worst piece of journalism this side of Macon.

  30. As a writer for the newspaper that represents the entire student body, I would think you would express a little less of a biased opinion about the upcoming SGA elections. I understand that the article appeared in the Opinions section of the poorly written newspaper, but to directly discredit the views of an entire campaign, and that campaign ALONE, is flat out wrong. You speak on the rights of freedom of speech and how misleading statements should revoke the rights of those candidates, maybe your misleading article should fall under the same scrutiny. Perhaps if you were present at last nights candidate debate you would be a little more educated on the “Lower the Fees” stance. The Spectator didn’t let me down and the articles were poorly researched and even more poorly written, as is usually the case. Why not focus on the multiple other issues that their campaign is concerned with, or at the very least, mention them? You may not support the the candidates that are running for office, but you owe it to everyone to please look deeper into an issue before reporting it to the roughly 12,000 students we have at this university. If I’m misunderstanding your article or if anything I’m saying is incorrect please let me know. I’m open to hear more on the issue.

  31. I do not think that “Raise The Bar! Lower The Fees!” is misleading at all. Our student government serves as the student voice, and all bills and resolutions it passes are viewed as recommendations by the Administration. For too long, SGA has not tackled these issues that students continuously bring up- they get elected and come in with a seemingly powerless attitude, conforming to “the way things are” and they continue this tradition of a ridiculous level of student style bureaucracy, refusing to take up fights that need to be made to (at this point) save our University from it’s current downward path.

    We are now accepting students with High School GPAs as low as a 1.6, our SAT and ACT median scores are declining at an alarming rate- now below the 1000 level. And unlike other state institutions, which collectively have a rough average of a 40% acceptance rate, VSU accepts 70.8% of our applicants- meaning nearly 3/4 of those who apply here get in. We need to use the power of the student’s official voice to strongly recommend that VSU Admission Standards (specifically SAT and ACT scores) be raised to levels comparable to other medium sized state universities such as GCSU, or even to levels such as those we had in 2007. If we sit silent, if we do not act- we will lose thousands of good students that would have came here to University’s that still value academic success and achievement, and their overall reputation, over annual revenue. When we graduate, we rely on the value of our degree that we worked so hard for and invested in for at least 4 years- and at this rate the value of a degree from VSU is dropping rapidly, putting VSU graduates at a disadvantage amongst others, as we seek to start our desired careers.

    Furthermore, VSU charges it’s students one of the highest rates of fees of all Public Universities in Georgia. Many students question why they are forced to pay upwards of $50 for Maymester/summer student activity fees. Where does that money go? SGA absolutely has the power to fully review where these fees are being allocated and how they are being used, and they absolutely have the power to make recommendations to cut wasteful expenditures with the goal of lowering our fees. They absolutely have the power to listen to the student voice and strongly recommend a one year freeze on our fees during this economic recession to prevent them from being raised yet again.

    So either you are not fully clear on the power of Student Government, or you are just not used to seeing candidates that are willing to work and go the extra mile to tackle lofty but attainable goals for the students they seek too serve, rather than conform to the same old-same old and watch this University continue on a downward spiral- telling students there’s nothing they can do, when they know that is untrue- they just don’t want to take on such challenges. Graham Davis, Derika Powers, Dani Taylor, and Drew McCall are refreshing candidates and will do an excellent job once elected.

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