March 26, 2018 | by Erica Landreneau
Candidates for Big 3 Discuss Potential Plans

The candidates from the Connect and Reach tickets for SGA president, vice president and treasurer talk about their goals in running the student government.

Chandler Harris, Benjamin Messner and Ji’Carla Martinez are the candidates for the Connect ticket. Harris, a junior in organizational communication, is running for SGA president. Messner, a junior English major is running for vice president, and Martinez, a sophomore in political science is the candidate for treasurer.

“I decided to run for Big Three to hopefully connect with more students as a whole at our university,” Harris said.

According to Messner, the candidates on the Connect ticket want to rebrand SGA and connect more with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette students. Messner said they want the students to know about the resources SGA offers since every student pays a fee to SGA each semester.

Martinez said another goal of the candidates on the Connect ticket is working on building UL Lafayette’s multicultural center.

“We want to find a way to connect organizations that have international students and our current minority organizations and build a connection there,” Martinez said. “It feels like there’s a bit of a gap there.”

Another goal for the Connect ticket is to make the student union more “homey” for students, according to Martinez. Harris said she wants to see a food pantry on campus be implemented and supported by students as well.

Candidates for the Reach ticket are Grant Bernard, Anna Paddock and Reece Walker. Bernard, a junior kinesiology major, is running for president. Paddock, a sophomore civil engineering major, is running for vice president while Walker, a junior mechanical engineering major is running for treasurer.

“I’ve always had the thought of running for Big Three,” Bernard said. “It wasn’t until I was working closely with Mary McMahon, the current president, and Maddie Breaux, the current vice president, and I realized how everything worked and what a great position it is.”

According to Walker, he wants to see the funds SGA receives be “put to use.” Walker said each student pays $7.50 to SGA and “we should get what we put in.”

Paddock said she wants SGA to continue to create a place where students can come with questions, grievances, ideas and to have their voices heard.

Bernard said the amount of experience among himself, Paddock and Walker is greater than the candidates on the Connect ticket. Harris said the Connect ticket shows diversity and are more involved on campus with the students.

“We are trying to reach out to the campus and reach out to more people and reaching the goals we set in new standards for SGA and bringing the organization to the highest potential that we can bring it,” said Bernard.

Students can vote for the next Big Three on March 28 and 29 on


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Hey, everyone! I'm Erica Landreneau, and I am a journalism major. I'm 20 years old and originally from Evangeline Parish. I currently write for the monthly paper in Evangeline Parish called Bonnes Nouvelles. This semester I am the Campus Life reporter for Ragin' Wire, and I'm super exicted!

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