>>By Payden Hall, Staff Writer
Executive Secretary of the Student Government Association Daniel Anderson is a candidate running for SGA President.
He plans to graduate in May 2015 with a degree in business management and a minor in marketing.
Anderson’s involvement in SGA began in the second semester of his freshman year.
“There was an opening in the senate for a College of Business seat,” Anderson said. “Trent [former SGA president] asked me if I wanted join SGA to speak on behalf of the students in the College of Business. I accepted … After being elected the second time … I submitted my platform and was then elected … to fill the position and serve as executive secretary for 2013-2014.”
Anderson considers one of his most effective pieces of legislation one passed during his second term as senator. With the intention of doubling the productivity of the senators, the legislation now requires them to write two bills per term instead of one.
Anderson said he approaches the opportunity with a set of uniquely developed leadership skills.
“I have experience working in both the legislative and executive branches of our Student Government,” Anderson said. “I’ve spent three summers abroad specifically developing my leadership abilities in countries such as China, Israel, Italy, Slovakia and Puerto Rico.”
In addition, he has served as a student body representative on various committees, as well as serving as an APSU delegate to the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature 2013.
As the current president of the Laurel Wreath Honor Society, Anderson studies leadership in the Honors Program and the Provost’s Exemplary Leadership Program.
“Daniel Anderson is an extremely dedicated person,” said freshman Morgan Talley. “He’s personable, hardworking, and I think he has a lot of experience that qualifies him for the job.”
Anderson said his focus as president would be “…inspiring and motivating our senators to reach the height of their potential. This will include generating creative initiatives to build relationships with our new administration.”
Because SGA is the official liaison for the student body, Anderson said his challenge would be to influence the strong network of student leaders within SGA to impact the lives of students.
When discussing aspects of leadership, Anderson referred his father as his role model for personal conduct.
“He and I both believe … that you treat people right, you work hard and you act with honesty and integrity, no matter what the task is,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he considers the most essential quality of a leader to be “the culmination of their heart and determination … Leaders must have integrity, courage and a personal driving vision. It is their day-to-day conduct that gives them credibility, and it is this same conduct that enables them to become trustworthy.”
Anderson was also a resident assistant for a semester and said he made a lasting impression on several residents. “Daniel Anderson is a down-to-earth guy,” said nursing major Ashlee Dover. “I’ve been his friend since freshman year when he was my RA. Just knowing him, I know he has a heart for the people, not just the position.”
As a presidential candidate for the Student Government Association, Zachary Gillman’s experiences include mission trips and redesigning the SGA logo in 2013.
Currently, Gillman is a junior and plans on graduating with a degree in business management and a minor in marketing.
“During freshman year, I ran for freshman senator on a whim,” Gillman said. “I wasn’t involved in student government in high school but wanted to become involved in college. I did that for a year before I switched to the judicial side of things and participated with the SGA tribunal for two years.”
Gillman said one of his achievements that has benefitted the student body is getting lights put on a timer for the intramural field so students are able to play after dark.
When asked what from his various involvements qualified him to be SGA president, Gillman said, “Part of the reason would be that I have experience in both the senate and judicial side of things.”
Gillman also emphasized the importance of interaction with staff and administration on campus.
Because APSU will be welcoming a new president and provost, Gillman said having an SGA president who is willing to talk to the new leaders while representing the students is necessary for an effective transition. Gillman’s leadership roles are not tied only to campus organizations.
In 2010, Gillman founded the nonprofit organization ReLove Haiti, which has raised over $20,000 for the Haiti relief effort in the past four years.
“Although I don’t know Gillman personally … I think his achievements speak for themselves,” said freshman Mallory Covington.
Additionally, Gillman serves as the current president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and said he relates well to the Greek population of APSU. However, Gillman never indicated his campaign would focus solely on the Greek students.
Instead, he said, “The motto for APSU SGA is ‘Let your voice be heard,’ and that is part of my platform. I attend senate every Wednesday even though I am not required to. The first 10 minutes are reserved for concerned students. We have never had a concern brought up during the meetings.”
Gillman said even if students do not show up to the meetings, they have turned to social media to voice their opinions.
“Students are still complaining,” Gillman said. “Senators need to represent … It’s part of our job to communicate to the students and to listen to their concerns. It boils down to the president holding the senators accountable for the legislation they present.”
Gillman said he thinks approachability is the most important quality in a leader. “Hopefully, I will represent the campus,” Gillman said. “If they can’t approach me, I’m not doing my job right. For example, we need to follow office hours. If you reach out to me, I am going to respond.”
When asked for his opinion of Zac Gillman as a candidate, graduate student Christopher Tablack said, “Zac Gillman is trustworthy, dependable, smart and has the biggest heart a person could have … He truly has the students’ best wishes in mind and would make an excellent student body president.” TAS