On March 5, the results of the 2015 West Virginia University Student Government Association elections were officially announced. The election was a clean sweep, with all 19 winners belonging to the Make a Difference (MAD) Movement. Four College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences students with unique platforms for WVU are among the newly elected MAD Movement.
Ashley Morgan, a senior sport and exercise psychology major, was elected as vice president. Having served two terms as athletic councilor, Morgan has a vision forWVU at the student, local, state, and Big 12 level. Creating a student summit is a top priority for Morgan, who believes it is vital for “the voices of student leaders across campus to be heard no matter what their major, club, or organization.”
Expanding on this goal, Morgan is focused on getting an ex-officio student member on the Morgantown City Council, appointed annually to a one-year term by SGA, as a student voice. She hopes to continue community service and outreach to local areas and working with extension offices across the state to give back to West Virginia.
“We want to showcase the true pride and spirit of Mountaineers,” Morgan said. “We want to make sure the world knows what it means to be a Mountaineer and get rid of the negative attention we often times receive.”
Matt Ferrara shares Morgan’s goal of changing perceptions of WVU. A junior sports management student, he has many plans for his new role as athletic councilor. His main objective is to change the way WVU students behave after winning games through different sports traditions. Ferrara has already taken steps to accomplish his goal of respecting and taking care of our school.
“I’ve created a new tradition I would like to implement this upcoming fall football season called the fifth quarter,” Ferrara explained. “I want to provide students with a safer alternative than rioting. I also want to work on showing students the true traditions of WVU sports.”
Sommers Taylor, a sophomore sports and exercise psychology major, has plans of her own as the other newly elected athletic councilor. Taylor’s platform centers on athletic transportation and support. Her goal is to obtain transportation to the new baseball field at University Town Centre and further extend this transportation to other sporting events as well. Taylor’s platform focuses on gaining support for women’s teams, which includes increasing low attendance rates. Taylor’s “focus on women’s teams” will make her an advocate for female athletes at WVU.
Amanda Hutchison, a junior sport and exercise psychology major, is already an experienced student advocate at WVU. She is one of the 15 students elected to serve on the Board of Governors. Hutchison’s previous accomplishments include the creating the director of accessibility position within the SGA, which focuses on advocating for accessibility issues affecting students with disabilities. She also convinced the athletic department to build ADA-approved seating in the football stadium for the 2016 season.
This year, Hutchison is striving for a medical amnesty policy that would help students who need a break from school due to an illness, death in the family, or mental health issue. Hutchison believes students deserve other options than simply withdrawing from the semester or university.
Morgan, Ferrara, Taylor, and Hutchison will assume their SGA positions at an inauguration in April.