LBJ School Elections with flag

Published on February 24th, 2015 | by Jon Brandt

Graduate Public Affairs Council (GPAC) 2015 Elections

Editorial Note: This election has been decided. Check the bottom of the page for results. 

Who’s committed to the idea of electing leadership through democratic decision making processes? That’s right – as students at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, we all are. Let’s live out one of the most special political exercises around and vote to have our opinions heard. The Graduate Public Affairs Council (GPAC) is holding elections for student leadership positions between Wednesday (2/25) and Friday (2/27) of this week, so it’s our time to get out the vote. There’s a link in a recent GPAC email that will direct you to your civic duty. This isn’t the primaries, people; it’s show time.

This year the race for Student Life Director will be tightly contested, as several qualified candidates seek to win your approval. The Vice President position will also be decided on your vote. The remaining positions feature candidates running unopposed. Check out the videos below containing the stump speeches of your esteemed candidates, along with a brief description of their platforms.

Did you know voting is compulsory in Australia?

CONTESTED RACES

GPAC Vice President (2 candidates)

Wade Tanner

Wade advocated for increased focus on professional development. He wants to evaluate how well LBJ students are being prepared for careers, what students are learning in their internships, and how successful graduates are in finding jobs. Wade mentioned the need for better data collection on these subjects as a first step toward improving the professional readiness of the student body.

Wade also touted his experience with the Academic and Internal Affairs Committee as significant preparation for his role as Vice President.

Max Andonov

Max was unable to attend the election forum.

Student Life Director (3 candidates)

Jamie Klein 

Jamie emphasized her desire to continue the existing traditions of LBJ Student life, in addition to creating new ones. She pointed to the newly designated GPAC happy hour event as a successful example of new tradition.

Jamie also emphasized the need to continue increasing inclusivity, and promised to use her experience from Student Life Committee to achieve this.

She also hopes to increase collaboration among the members of the Student Life Committee and with other LBJ student organizations when planning events.

Camille Jackson

Camille plans to continue building on the Student Life Committee’s existing strengths, especially by continuing the committee’s efforts at reach out to students individually. She pointed to her event planning experience as a member of the Student Life Committee and Summer Transition Chair last year as noteworthy credentials.

In contrast to Jamie, Camille signaled her to desire to keep Student Life Committee members functioning more autonomously. But she agreed on the idea of increasing collaboration with other LBJ student groups as a means for building turnout to events.

Camille also mentioned the need to increase feedback from student body, proposing a formal survey system comparable to the method used for last semester’s town hall.

Sam Naik

Sam lobbied for better integration of LBJ student life activities into Austin-area events outside of the School. He pointed to popular events such as Trail of Lights and proposed that the Student Life Committee should base more GPAC social activities around these local occasions.

Sam also emphasized the potential for increased collaboration with other graduate student government bodies in the UT system. He pointed to this collaboration as an untapped source for both fun and networking.

UNCONTESTED RACES

GPAC President – Cameron Lagrone 

Cameron emphasized the need for GPAC to continue acting as a liaison between the student body and the LBJ School administration. She wants to build on what we’ve heard from town hall and other sources of feedback as a way of increasing involvement from the student body.

She also wants to increase turnout for noteworthy lunch lectures, and wants to find out what’s keeping people from student events in general.

Internal Finance Director – Ryan Wilson

Ryan pledged his commitment to making sure all LBJ student groups continue taking advantage of available GPAC funding.

Outreach and Professional Development Director – Darren McDivitt 

Darren cited his academic and professional credentials as proof of his readiness for the position, pointing to experience as a member of the Student Life Committee, a Student Ambassador, and previous professional work.

Darren wants to ensure that LBJ students are prepared to represent themselves and the school in a professional manner as they take on internships and jobs.

 Community Outreach Director – Courtney Weldon

Courtney emphasized the need for GPAC to get more involved with the rest of the UT campus, citing events such as UT Service Project and Relay for Life as prime activities to help increase LBJ student participation. She also lobbied for further GPAC collaboration with other UT graduate and undergraduate programs.

Courtney wants to hold more volunteer events with existing LBJ student organizations as well.

 

2015 GPAC Election Results

President – Cameron Lagrone 

Vice-President – Wade Tanner

Student Life Director – Camille Jackson

Internal Finance Director – Ryan Wilson

Outreach and Professional Development Director – Darren McDivitt 

 Community Outreach Director – Courtney Weldon

 

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About the Author

Jon Brandt

is the previous Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Baines Report and a 2nd year MPAff student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He graduated from Austin College and has mainly worked in the field of public health policy.



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