Veteran Student Senator Candidate

Jared Etheridge

Jared's photos were captured by:

Abbey Spencer / The Avion

Jared Etheridge

Senior, BS Aeronautical Science

"Hi, my name is Jared, and I'm running for Student Veteran Senator. I'm from Asheville, NC, and I love hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoorsy stuff. I'm a sponsored powerlifter, and you can usually catch me in the on-campus gym or at the Veteran's Center. As a US Army vet, I'm running for this position to serve our growing veteran community better and support those who have served our nation. Historically, the veterans on campus have been underrepresented; this is my first step to rectifying that. With this position, I can take advantage of the opportunity to speak directly to student government on behalf of the veterans, be a strong voice for those who have served, and amplify the voices of those veterans who may not have had an outlet to represent themselves to ERAU."

  • What makes you a qualified candidate for this position?

    "I am qualified to hold the position of Student Veteran Senator in a few different ways. As a US Army veteran myself, I understand some of the struggles we deal with every day. Being a veteran can be very difficult in that adjusting to civilian life after what we experience as service members can feel like being on an alien planet. I've had some years to adjust to civilian life and thrive since separating, and I want to bring those positive experiences to others. Secondly, I am already in a couple of leadership positions on campus (namely the Chairman's Advisory Council), and I understand the required commitments and have planned for them. I was in leadership positions in the US Army and have been in leadership positions in my civilian careers, and I believe that if the voters allow, I will be able to support our veteran community as a leader the best I can."

  • What is the purpose of the SGA Student Senate?

    "The purpose of the SGA Senate is to represent the constituents to the best of their abilities. As the Student Veteran Senator, my job will be to put veterans first, which means voting for issues that my constituents feel are important and voting against propositions that may unintentionally harm the veteran community. As the Student Veteran Senator, my job will also involve community outreach, events around campus, and supporting veterans. I will bring up issues that veterans bring to the main body senate and talk to veterans around campus to gauge interest in important causes to those who have served our nation. Veterans are very diverse, just like the students of Embry-Riddle, and they want to be heard just like any other student here. My job will be to hear them, act on what I hear, and continue providing the best support I can."

  • How do you plan to elevate and communicate issues that your constituents are concerned about to the Senate?

    "I plan to elevate and communicate issues that my constituents are concerned about via a three-step plan. First, as a member of the Student Veterans Organization, I have access to a wide and diverse group of veterans with whom I can discuss these issues. With regular meetings, semi-frequent emails, and even just passing them on the breezeway, I will be able to understand the viewpoints of the veterans and relay them to the Senate. Second, I will hold polls within the Student Veteran Organization to thinktank the issues into concise, reasonable proposals that I can bring to the Senate—conveying concisely what we need and why will go a long way towards getting what we need. Finally, I'll bring the categorized, summarized list to the Senate to vote. Representing the veterans, my job isn't to push through my own issues. My job is to push through the issues of my constituents at large."

  • How will you improve the ERAU experience for your constituents?

    "I will improve the ERAU experience for my constituents in a few different ways. First, creating easy-access materials for prospective students to view online to make the ERAU decision easier. Secondly, I plan to create materials that advertise the Student Veteran's Organization more readily and make it easier for veterans to find each other. From my experience, I didn't actually know we had a veteran's organization on campus until months after attending this school. This can't be the status quo, and it will be my job to change it. Finally, being available to our veterans to talk to, bounce ideas off of, give advice, and just be here to talk to should make the transition from Service Member to civilian much easier. I will be working closely with the VSS and the SVO to ensure that our veterans are getting the most support possible and being supported in the best possible ways."