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Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

Penland and Vikraman run for SGA President and Vice President on a platform focused on funding, registration and transparency

Adam Penland, current sophomore and class president and Shruthi Vikraman, current junior and senator at large, built their platform on three main themes; funding, registration and transparency.



For funding Penland-Vikraman plan to re-allocate $8,000 to the Fiscal Affairs Committee budget according to their platform.

The duo also plans to speak to Board of Appropriations to ask for a 15% increase in SGA’s budget.

The larger budget aims to give more funding to student organizations.

“We approve between 8 to 12 new organizations a year yet our budget never seems to increase, well that’s a problem,” Penland said.

Penland-Vikraman also have an alternative plan in case they do not receive the budget increase from the Board of Appropriations.

“We’ve reallocated $8,000 to the fiscal affairs committee so they would have over $102,000 to give back to student organizations,” Penland said.

The $8,000 is money SGA already has.

“That's just from internal discretionary funds that we’ve allocated towards the committees that already are implemented in SGA,” Vikraman said.



According to the platform, Penland-Vikraman plan to “bring our campus’ brightest tech minds and policy makers together into the same room to formulate a solution.”

According to the platform, these minds include the Mercer IT department, members of the computer science department, SGA and university administration.



A renewed focus on transparency comes from to students feeling a barrier with the organization according to Penland-Vikraman’s Facebook page.

“When I’ve talked to different people they’ve asked me ‘cool you know you’re a senator, but we don’t really know what you do,” Vikraman said.

Vikraman plans to give students a more transparent view of SGA and make the organization more accessible to the student body with Senate meetings on Cruz Plaza and live streams of the meetings as well.

“Those are not the only issues we will tackle,” Vikraman said.

The Penland-Vikraman platform also includes changes to campus dining services, including new vegan and vegetarian options.

One planned way to implement this change is by adding to the menus at Chick-Fil-A and Panda Express.

Planned items at Chick-Fil-A include The Superfood side, salads with beans and corn substitutes and plain biscuits. Eggplant tofu would be included at Panda Express.

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Another issue the campaign plans to tackle is housing.  Penland-Vikraman plan to refurbish and update Garden, Adams/Winship and International House apartments.

According to the email, the planned refurbishments include exterminating mold and fungal growth.

They also aim to create better communication and transparency with the student body and residence life office.

Penland-Vikraman also have plans to tackle campus parking issues by “advocating to bring back plans for new parking deck” and to “limit parking areas that are closed-off during game days.”

“We want to represent student concerns no matter what it may be, no matter how small it is, no matter how big it is on campus,” Penland said.

More information and the Penland-Vikraman full platform can be found here.



Voting will take place March 28-29.


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