Virtual campaigns are underway for the next Student Government Association president

Two students are taking their campaigns online to see who will be Alcorn State University’s next Student Government Association (SGA) president.

Patrick Mason, a biology/pre-medicine major from Indianapolis, Indiana, and James Upton, a pre-physical therapy major from Memphis, Tennessee, are in a race for next year’s title of SGA president.

In this transition to social distancing, the two candidates are challenged to switch from traditional campaign activities to virtual promotion. The students, with the help of their campaign teams, are adjusting to spreading awareness via social media and other messaging platforms.

“One of the biggest adjustments for me was figuring out how to reach everyone because some people don’t use social media,” said Mason. “So I had to find different avenues to reach out to others. I’ve connected with so many people through the GroupMe messaging platform and text messaging. My campaign team has also made a significant difference in these efforts.”

“The virtual campaigns have positioned me to use social media more than I initially planned,” said Upton. “I had to adjust and figure out ways to create engaging videos and interactive posts. I asked my campaign team to repost and share my campaign to help reach more of my peers on campus.”

Both students have the desire to make Alcorn an even better place for their peers to experience.

“When I served as sophomore class president in the 2018-2019 school year, I traveled to a meeting with former SGA President, Robert Tatum,” said Mason. “I saw how hard he worked and how rewarding it was. I realized that I could make a difference at my university by uplifting our student body.”

“I aspire to be a leader,” said Upton. “I have seen my peers ask for improvement, so I want to step up and help them. This position would allow me to help our students love this university even more. I intend to be the best student body representative I could be.”

Mason and Upton have goals of forming a better connection with the student body while sharpening their skills as leaders.

“Being elected would help build my communication skills and to interact with the student body, even if they are not able to attend events due to social distancing,” said Mason.

“Becoming the next SGA president would help me to connect with the students,” said Upton. “I am interested in knowing how all of the students feel and what changes they want to see at the institution. Leading such a large group would improve my social skills, polish my work ethic, and challenge me to be a better Alcornite.”

Election Day will take place online Tuesday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about online voting, contact Devina Hogan, director of Student Engagement, at [email protected].