Executive Ticket #2

Mary Kathryn Brantley & Zachary Shepley

"Integrity, Accountability, and Progress"

Mary Kathryn & Zachary's photos were captured by:

Andrew Harker / The Avion

Meet Your President Candidate Mary!

Mary Kathryn Brantley

Junior, BS Aerospace Engineering

"Hi everyone! My name is Mary Kathryn Brantley, and I am a junior studying Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Geographical Information Systems. Joining the SGA during my first year, I knew I wanted to be an advocate for the students and influence positive change. Since then, I have noticed how much the SGA does, and I have been honored to contribute to this in recent years. A lot of what happens goes on behind the scenes, and I am excited to pull the curtain back and bring the students closer to the action. Currently, I serve as the Director of Student Services, where I help establish and grow new services to help make student life better. My team and I have done so much for this campus over the past year. If you see me around campus, ask me what we have done! The work has only just begun, and with your vote, we will do so much more."

  • What is your platform for this campaign? How does it stand out?

    "Our platform is based upon the last word of our slogan, "Progress." As chair of the progress committee in the SGA, I had the opportunity to serve the student body with initiatives to help decrease student stress and improve student life on campus. This year alone, I have implemented feminine products into all first-floor bathrooms on campus, created a study area with snacks in the event center during finals week, and much more!

    My team and I are working towards 3-4 main goals, such as increasing effective communication with the student body, incorporating more RSO involvement in the SGA, having accountability with what we say we are going to do, and trying to be more open with what initiatives we are going to do. We have already taken steps towards prioritizing student needs and student life on campus by providing feminine products and study areas with snacks during finals week.

    Our campaign stands out because we include achievable goals that prioritize the needs of the students, with examples including effective communication with the student body, RSO involvement, accountability, and transparency."

  • What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

    "I am a uniquely qualified candidate for this position because being a part of the Cabinet has really prepared me for the role of President. I know what the SGA can handle and where we can improve. I have communication skills from Orientation Team to be able to properly convey what I want to say without having to over-explain everything. I am also an extremely hard worker, as shown by the number of projects that I have been able to carry out over the past school year; if you want to know more about them, come and find me!

    I think being President is the perfect mix of creating an atmosphere of integrity, accountability, and progress on our campus with the student body and the upper administration. Having accountability is one thing that I know the SGA needs to work on, so knowing this problem and having a way to fix it makes me the most qualified candidate for this position."

  • As President, you would be a connection between students and the Administration. What do you do to ensure the voices of students are heard?

    "I want to have monthly meetings with both students and President Butler. In the current administration, Savanna has had a luncheon with leaders on our campus, and President Butler hosted this meeting. I was lucky enough to be invited. At this luncheon, we got to learn about President Butler's past, and he got to learn about us. I think having these meetings is a great idea and should continue.

    I believe having ways for the students to give constructive feedback to the SGA and the upper administration that will be heard and taken to create change on campus will be appreciated by both the student body and the administration. In addition, I would have open office hours to listen to any student who comes in to talk or voice concerns. Also, I will have town halls or general sessions for all students to come in and hear about any updates the SGA is making and have time for the students to voice any concerns or worries."

  • How will you improve the SGA to better serve the student body?

    "Improving the Student Government Association is a large task that takes many people, but we first start with small goals, such as improving and having effective communication so that the student body can see what the SGA does and be involved in the process, hopefully having more students be involved on campus. We want to encourage more representation from international students, by adding another international senator. We hope to create more shuttle routes to other off-campus apartment complexes, such as Legacy at Crystal Lake. I hope to help those who live on campus and have no vehicle for transportation to stores such as Walmart or Target on the weekends. Another goal is to help the smaller Registered Student Organizations get their name and goals out to the student body by marketing and communicating through social media. All these goals will help to foster a connection between the student body and the Student Government Association."

  • What does the SGA mean to you?

    "To me, the Student Government Association is a place for students to come and grow as leaders, whether that be joining Touch-N-Go because they are excited about entertaining or joining Student Court to be a neutral party in what goes on around campus. Or, in my case, joining Cabinet to really make a difference on campus by implementing initiatives to help all students. Joining the cabinet gave me a distinct perspective on the SGA as a student who had never been involved in student government before.

    This perspective helped me learn so much about the interworkings of the Student Government Association that students do not see. Learning about what goes on behind the curtain makes me want to pull that curtain back as much as possible so that students can see what we do and how it helps them. Belonging to the SGA has helped me bridge the gap between the upper administration and the student body, so there is no confusion about what we want to carry out."

Meet Your Vice President Candidate Zachary!

Zachary Shepley

Senior, BS Computer Science

"Hello everyone, my name is Zach Shepley, and I am running for SGA Vice President. Currently, I serve as the Student Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, and I am also the President of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. While I have only been in the SGA for one year, I have quickly grown to love the SGA, and I believe that I have created a significant positive impact during my tenure.

For my campus project as Senator, I was able to refurbish the study area on the 5th floor of COAS (go check it out!), and I am currently in the process of creating a Student Advisory Council that will meet with the Dean to help improve the college.

If given the opportunity to serve as Vice President, my main goal is to better involve RSOs in the SGA by having the new Student Senators meet with RSOs in their college to understand better what they do and what we as an SGA can do for them."

  • What makes your Executive Ticket stand out?

    "My Executive Ticket, consisting of myself and Presidential candidate Mary Kathryn Brantley, believe in the idea of leadership through service. We both have strong work ethics and are not afraid to get our hands dirty and accomplish our goals however we can. Our platform for our campaign is Integrity, Accountability, and Progress. Too often, leaders come into a new position with big, lofty goals that sound great on paper but are often extremely difficult to complete. Instead, our platform is founded on making progress and advancement day by day, month by month, and semester by semester.

    This progress can be identified in several initiatives on campus this year, including the installation of feminine products in restrooms across campus, the refurbishment of a study space for the College of Arts and Sciences, the creation of a "Finals Snack and Study Space", and many more. In our opinion, it is much easier to accomplish our objectives and hold ourselves accountable if these goals are smaller and well-established.

    In addition, both members of our ticket currently work in the SGA, with both of us working under the position we intend to succeed. Mary Kathryn is the Director of Student Services in the Presidential Cabinet, and I am the College of Arts and Sciences Senator on the Student Senate."

  • What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

    "During my three years in college thus far, I have had the honor to serve in several leadership roles both within and external to the SGA. In the SGA, I have played an active role in the Student Senate as well as the Progress Committee. In the Student Senate, I was able to learn under the current Vice President, Nolan, and provide an impact on the students of the College of Arts and Sciences. On the Progress Committee, I worked with Mary Kathryn to create positive change for students through multiple initiatives.

    External to the SGA, I have served on Pi Kappa Alpha's Executive Council for over 2 years. I began as Alumni Chairman, then advanced to Internal Vice President, and currently serve as the President of the chapter. These experiences as an executive of the fraternity taught me how to create positive change within a community, lead a large group of individuals, and ensure that they all operate smoothly and efficiently.

    If elected as Vice President, I will be able to handle the responsibility and ensure that the Senate functions efficiently and improves the quality of the college experience for as many students as possible."

  • As the Vice President, you have a supportive role to the President as well as being the head of the Senate. How will you use your position to ensure the needs of students are met?

    "As Vice President, I believe I will have the unique opportunity to reach the student body in a way that other branches of student government might not be able to. The Vice President leads the Student Senate, a group that is elected by specific groups of students for the purpose of making their college experiences better. With the help of the Senate, I will be able to reach each individual student and help improve their experiences both within and between their college, nationality, and housing status.

    To improve the Senate, I would like to add an additional International Senator and have each Senator attend RSO meetings from organizations within their college or group. Since there are such a large number of International students at Embry-Riddle, I believe there needs to be a greater emphasis placed on the success and growth of International students at this university.

    In addition, I am not satisfied with the level of RSO involvement in the SGA. In the past few years, organizations or students would have to actively seek out the SGA to get involved or get their voices heard. I believe a better way to incorporate these organizations into the SGA would be to send Senators to RSO meetings within their college or representative group to get to know their constituents better and see what the SGA can do to support them better."

  • How would you use the position of Vice President to create a positive and productive environment in the SGA and around campus?

    "If elected Vice President, a major goal I have is to make the Student Senate more efficient. I would work with all the Senators to create achievable and attainable projects and hold them accountable to complete these projects. Instead of having Senators from each college and group complete one project per semester as a group, I believe it would be more beneficial to the student body to have each Senator create and complete their own project each semester to benefit the student body. Around campus, I would like to work with the Senate to sit in on as many RSO meetings as possible to get to know our constituents and to see how the SGA can best assist each group. Most importantly, I pride myself in leading by example, as I believe it is impossible to hold people accountable for something I would not be willing to do myself."

  • What does the SGA mean to you?

    "To me, the SGA presents an opportunity for me to make an impact on the University, its students, and myself. It provides an opportunity for everyone to get involved in some fashion should they have the desire. There are several branches and departments within the SGA, with each department and branch having an opportunity for interested students to learn and get involved in it.

    Personally, by being involved in the SGA, I have been able to learn fundamental skills such as project management and balancing responsibilities. I have also participated in projects and initiatives that have enhanced student experience on campus, including refurbishing the study space within the College of Arts and Sciences and creating a study lounge that operated during Finals week last semester.

    I am running for Vice President because I love giving back to my community, and I feel that my experiences and work ethic put me in a good position to continue enhancing the student experience for everyone I can."