Senator At Large Candidate Profiles

Ashila Jiwani

  • Hometown - Peachtree City, GA
  • Major/Intended Major - Global Health Studies
  • What organizations are you a member of? Alpha Delta Pi, MU Miracle, American Mock World Health Organization, Peer Advisor, Greek Programming Board, Panhellenic
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? Since my time here at Mercer University, I have been apart of various organizations that have helped me develop my skills as a leader, communicator, listener, and individual. Three years at Mercer has given me the experience to take on the position of Senator At Large so that I can do the most for this student body. Some of my skills include being a confident delegator, creative planner, cooperative, and efficient. My background in school and life is different and diverse which comes with unique thoughts and opinions that I believe could benefit the student body. I am not afraid to speak up and confront a situation, and I am also not afraid to voice YOUR opinions. I believe for change to take place there must always be an open conversation. Change is good, change is healthy, and change is needed for growth. I believe that I can be that change.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? My platform is essentially that change is good, change is healthy, and change is needed for growth. I hope to accomplish many things by being on SGA, and some of those include advocating for a more environmentally friendly campus - that means more water bottle stations such as those in the library, easily accessible recycling bins, and more information regarding how to be considerate when using resources; I also aspire to have more convenient food options - we commonly see that a lot of the food places are always closed on campus when we need them, and I would like to alter that situation. Also, over my three years at Mercer, I have noticed over and over again that we lack study spaces that are convenient and resourceful, so I would like to bring more options for those who choose to study on campus. Parking remains a huge issue on this campus as well, so I hope to bring a comfortable solution for this. I also believe that an open communication is essential for all of these changes to take place on this campus, therefore, I am hoping to make conversation with the leadership on this campus more available and accepted. The leadership of this campus states repeatedly that they are here for us, but the student body does not utilize them enough. With them as a resource, the possibilities are endless, but first conversation and communication needs to occur - not just with SGA, but with everyone. Students should have a more prominent say in the decisions being made -whether it is parking or food related. I am here to make your Mercer dream come true. We should not wait for tomorrow to make that dream come true, we must start today. I would be honored to be the simple communicator of your thoughts for the change the you deserve.

 

Baxter Murrell

  • Hometown - Orlando, FL
  • Major/Intended Major - Economics and Political Science
  • What organizations are you a member of? Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? I have been fortunate enough to represent the Freshmen Class this past year serving as a Freshman Senator. This prior experience, plus my passion and drive for public service make perfectly qualified to represent the student body. To quote Logan Bembry, "[I am] a natural born leader."
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? I live, breathe, and bleed Mercer. Back in the late 80’s my parents met here, and not long after their initial interactions I was conceived (well maybe it was awhile after, but you get the gist). I am running for Senator-at-Large because I owe it to Mercer, without whom I would be nonexistent. I want to be a member of SGA because I want to become involved in all aspects of the University and student life. My candidacy is a great opportunity to meet new people and make long lasting relationships with a diverse group of students, individuals whom I will be able to represent at Senate on Monday nights. I have several goals in mind, like bridging the gap between Mercer and the Macon community, but truthfully my campaign is your campaign. I am determined to create a thriving community atmosphere on campus, in which all students can achieve greatness. I want Mercer to be your new home, a place that challenges you, inspires you, and welcomes you with open arms. Serving on SGA this past year has been one of the most incredible experiences, and I am hoping with your support I can continue to serve and represent our student body.

 

Callie Wilkes

  • Hometown - Lyons, Georgia
  • Major/Intended Major - Public Health
  • What organizations are you a member of? Peer Advisor Mentor Program
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? My respectful and respectable demeanor and morals. I also feel like I can accurately represent both the student body as a whole and those in smaller subsections such as pre-health. I am hardworking and have a positive outlook which will be beneficial when advocating for change.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? Pet friendly living options and healthier food choices.

 

Clark Myers

  • Hometown - Kennesaw, GA
  • Major/Intended Major - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • What organizations are you a member of? RUF, Bearforce, Peer Advisor
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? I have a passion to serve the student body. I have a strong work ethic and I want to make sure the job is done right. My friend group is very diverse; I'm close with several varieties of people across campus. This allows be to not represent just one aspect of the student population, but the population at large.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? I want to make SGA feel more accessible to the student body. The student body should know who is representing them personally and how to reach them easily. I want my phone number easily accessible so people can contact me personally and voice any concerns they may have at any point. Also, I want to increase awareness of sexual harassment. In the UNV 101 class, it is talked about in the context of parties and drunkenness. But it is a broader topic. I want to see sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking to be discussed and defined for freshman. On the topic of sex trafficking, the number one way a person is trafficked is through coercion and lack of knowledge. Most people do not know what sex traffick looks like, so they are easily tricked into it. Also, people do not realize this is an issue here in Macon, Georgia. Our students need to be enlightened on sex trafficking, what it looks like, how to prevent it, and what to do if it is spotted. Knowledge is the key to preventing and ending sex trafficking and sexual abuse of all forms.

 

David Futral

  • Hometown - Fort Valley
  • Major/Intended Major - Political Science
  • What organizations are you a member of? Mercer University College Republicans, and Mercer University Catholic Campus Ministry
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? Past SGA Senator at Middle Georgia State, Delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention, People to People Student Ambassador to Australia, BSA Eagle Scout.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? I hope to create a more diverse and inclusive environment that will respect everyone's beliefs, culture, and personal identity.

 

David Stokes III

  • Hometown - Valdosta, Georgia
  • Major/Intended Major - International Affairs and Religion
  • What organizations are you a member of? Mercer Mock Trial; Model Arab League; Mercer International Affairs Organization; Young Democrats of Mercer University; Common Ground; Fighting for Our Rights and Gender Equality (FORGE); Honor Council; Boy Scouts of America; Scouts for Equality
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? My experiences in the Boy Scouts of America instilled within me the values of servant leadership, and I have always tried to put these values into practice while I have been at Mercer University. I am currently a member on the Honor Council and serve as Vice-President of the Young Democrats of Mercer University. You might also have seen me around campus participating in events put on by Common Ground and FORGE. In addition, I’ve competed with Mercer Mock Trial and the Model Arab League. And beyond the campus, I serve as the Program Chair for Ceremonies in the SR-9 Order of the Arrow of the Boy Scouts of America and have been active in my local lodge, in which I have led a Scouts for Equality initiative for the past few years, Working with individuals of diverse background is a skill absolutely necessary for student leaders to possess, and I have always been willing and able to do just that. Mercer is a diverse community, and I am proud to be a part of that diversity.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? Mercer University is a diverse and inclusive community, and I am proud of this diversity. But I think that we can do better to strengthen our campus and ensure that everyone has a voice. At Mercer, no one should feel marginalized because of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ability, or any other characteristic. If I have the honor to be elected as Senator at Large, I will be a representative for diverse communities of all class levels. I will be your representative. Through empowering every student at Mercer University, we can solve the problems which our campus faces. But we can only do this if we come together and foster a community of respect. Too often we talk past each other ran than to each other, or we are more interested in talking than in listening. I will be a listener; I will listen to all voices and strive to find common ground. I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the university that has given so much to me, and I hope to have your vote!

 

Hayes Rule

  • Hometown - Eatonton, Georgia
  • Major/Intended Major - Journalism and Communication
  • What organizations are you a member of? Student Government Association, Men's Golf, Mercer Cluster, National Society of Leadership and Success, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? My background in journalism and communication qualifies me as a candidate that would bring a much-needed element to SGA. Student Government Association must strive to not only represent the students' desires, but it also must communicate effectively with students in order to accomplish its job.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? There are nearly 400 student athletes at Mercer, none of whom are on SGA. Just like every group at Mercer, student athletes need and deserve representation. Also, while SGA has attempted to improve its communication with students, it still has not done so in the most effective manner. Many students still don't know what SGA accomplishes on a weekly basis; I know how to best communicate with students using multiple platforms. One such change would be proposing that SGA releases a weekly newsletter through Mercer email, social media, and around campus in order to show students what is being accomplished. As students propose ideas, they deserve to know how those ideas were received in senate and by the administration. I can do that for you. After all, I do pay nearly $50,000 per year to learn how to do so.

 

Lydia Elsey

  • Hometown - Greenville, South Carolina
  • Major/Intended Major - Accounting and Political Science
  • What organizations are you a member of? Greek Life, Panhellenic Executive Council - SGA Liaison, Peer Advisor, Admissions
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? I already attend weekly SGA meetings as SGA Liaison for Mercer's Panhellenic where I act as a messenger between two groups of leaders on campus, the Student Government Association and the Panhellenic Executive Council. This position made me realize how much I would love to be apart of our Student Government Association.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? My platform is simple. Transparency and communication. I feel as if these words are used all the time, but I truly would like to help break the window between student and student government. Over the past couple of months while serving as Student Government Liaison of Panhellenic Executive Council, I quickly came to realize that there are a ton of students, including myself at one point, who have no idea what all SGA does on our campus. My goal is to better inform students of what happens in SGA meetings and the events put on by SGA. Along with this, I plan to create an easier system through which students can pass along their ideas, thoughts, and concerns. Such as implementing new ways to collect data from the student population so that all types of students are represented.

 

Paul DiCarlo

  • Hometown - Woodstock, GA
  • Major/Intended Major - Industrial Engineering
  • What organizations are you a member of? Kappa Alpha Order, Industrial Engineering Club Treasurer, Club Lacrosse
  • What qualifies you to represent the student body on SGA? I have held several different leadership positions in my fraternity, I have a strong work ethic, and I am dedicated to contribute to the changes that Mercer students, some of my closest friends, want.
  • What is your platform/what do you hope to accomplish on SGA? I hope to improve the hours of on-campus food options for the benefit of students, I aim to make SGA a more transparent and approachable entity to facilitate communication with students, and I strive to change Mercer for the better in any way I can.