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One-on-one with the candidates: The Cardinal talks to AJ Bucci and Megan Mercer
By Genevieve Mills–
AJ Bucci is a candidate for SGA President. Megan Mercer is a candidate for SGA Senate.
Q: Why did you decide to run for SGA?
AJ Bucci: Since my first year at the University of Louisville, I have seen the same election platforms followed year in and year out. SGA candidates come in with very concrete ideas about what they want to change and accomplish the following year. I, however, intend to bring a fresh perspective to student government. I am running for Student Body President in order to make sure the student voice is heard. I want to consult the individuals who make up this campus and work to improve their UofL experience.
Megan Mercer: I decided to run for senate because I wanted to get involved in Student Government. SGA attracted me because I want to have an input in changes made on campus. I think I am a good fit because I am very involved on campus, and I feel like I could represent a broad range of students effectively.
Q: What do you think the important issues of the upcoming election are? What kind of changes would you like to help SGA make for U of L?
AB: I see four major issues being faced by this University of Louisville at this time. First we have on-campus dining. We as a university need to further explore more quality food options as well as more flexible hours of operation for the eateries that are on the meal plan. Next would be parking at the university for students. The reason this is a reoccurring issue is because parking continuously fails to be properly addressed. Together I believe we can create far better parking accommodations for students. Another issue we face is safety on campus at UofL. I would be looking to work with the university community to come up with possible solutions to reduce our on-campus crime rates. Lastly, we have the A+ initiative. As a university community we must ask, is this really going to happen or are we wasting our time and resources on an unrealistic goal.
MM: To keep it short, I think SGA should be more transparent with its decisions. We need to let the students know what’s going on. We need to keep campus growing and stick to the 2020 Plan. Two issues I think should be focused on are the grading scale plus-minus system and improving parking availability.
Q: AJ, I read your bio on the SGA election website and the line “I have a passion for U of L and for its students, NOT for SGA.” stuck out for me. Would you mind going into a little more detail on that line?
AB: Student government at the University of Louisville should not be used as a resume builder, a position of authority, or a job to be taken lightly. Those elected to SGA office serve a very important role on this campus. However, to whom much is given, much is expected. I feel I can represent the student voice because I am part of that voice. While I may not have SGA experience to date, I feel that I have the experience that counts. This experience comes from holding many leadership positions on campus and working with students on a daily basis. I have an enormous passion for UofL and for its students. This passion will result in us, as a university community, getting things done and not wasting time on means that have no end.
Q: What would you say to students who think this election won’t affect them at all?
AB: Many students don’t think SGA Elections impact their experience at U of L because they feel SGA doesn’t handle the topics that are important to them. As an example, many commuters may choose not to vote because they don’t think student government is willing to work at bettering their accommodations on campus. If elected as President of the Student Body, I intend to take a more active approach in listening to these students and seeing what improvements we can make together. SGA has a huge budget and I’m running because I feel like that budget has not been spent correctly in the past. I want to take to the streets in order to address legitimate student concerns and use the student government funds and resources to fix those problems.
MM: Students should care about elections and voting because it affects campus and academic life directly. SGA has a hand in everything from campus food, to grading scales and drop-add dates. Who you choose determines what gets changed.
Photo courtesy of ileadlou.com