UTxYou Election Workshop helps students plan Student Government campaigns

Dylan Rasbridge

Student body president Camron Goodman gave campaign advice during a workshop Tuesday to prospective Student Government candidates and encouraged students to run for positions before the filing period ends Thursday. 

The workshop targeted students who had doubts about campaigning for positions and was a part of Goodman’s UTxYou series, which is a movement to give more students a voice for change, Goodman said.

Goodman said some factors that discourage students from running include lack of previous government experience, lack of diversity, feeling jaded by past elections or feeling like the organization does not represent them. 

“I would say for the people who are on the fence (about running) that there is no mold for anybody to be in Student Government,” Goodman said. “You don’t need to have experience in government. What we need is you to provide a voice in Student Government that we may not have.”

Goodman said in the lecture that it is important to develop a mission and a vision during a campaign. He said he ran four consecutive years in student elections for various positions.

“I actually have lost more elections than I have won, and I have learned a lot about leadership,” Goodman said.

Goodman, who came to UT as a transfer student, said he developed his campaign with the mission of advocating for unengaged and marginalized groups.

Shay Holt, European studies and history senior, said he thought the workshop was helpful for prospective candidates strategizing campaigns. He also said Student Government is an essential mechanism for student participation in University policy. 

“More people need to vote, because at the moment a very small minority of the students decide the entirety of the student government,” Holt said. “I think it’s important that students run for Student Government … because it’s the only form of authority that students are given here at The University of Texas (at Austin).

Journalism senior Jacqui Briddell said Student Government is an avenue for making change, especially for underrepresented groups. 

“I think Student Government is one way for students of color or students with minority backgrounds to advocate for change,” Briddell said. “There’s no way for changes to happen if people with certain backgrounds aren’t in the room to speak up for their communities.”

Many positions, including college representatives, remain uncontested approaching the noon Thursday deadline to file as a candidate, according to the presentation.