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February 18, 2006

Five in the fray
Feb. 17 | With the deadline expired five candidates have thrown their names into the political ring for the job of SGA president.

Following Wednesday’s deadline to file statements of candidacy to the Dean of Students and the ensuing confirmation process, five candidates will be in the mix for this year’s SGA presidential election.

In the first week of February when initial applications for candidacy were due four UA students -– Michael Ingram, Adam Rankin, Justice Smyth and Robert Steiner – entered the presidential race.

In the past two weeks Ingram has withdrawn his name from consideration, reportedly in discouragement over the number of candidates, while Shannon Barge and Corbin Martin have come into the fray.

Rankin is a junior in business and current SGA senator for the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration who ran against Smyth last year for vice president of student affairs. Smyth, a junior in journalism and winner of last year’s race with Rankin, will try to elevate himself from VP of student affairs to SGA president.

“I enjoyed working with and helping people and seeing the results,” Smyth said about his start in student politics as a freshman at the committee level. “The office of the SGA president is where the most good can be done for more students.”

Smyth is a former SGA senator for the College of Communication and Information Sciences and a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. As the only presidential candidate with Greek affiliations Smyth has automatically brought talk of association with The Machine.

A transfer from Millsaps College, Steiner has spent no time in the SGA but the junior in psychology, history and political science has credentials as a tutor for the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education and mentor with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of West Alabama.

The pair of newcomers, Martin and Barge, are devoid of political participation at UA. Barge cites his membership in campus organization Fearless Achievers Mastering Excellence (FAME) as his civic experience. Martin previously headed up the now defunct Student Veterans Association on campus following his tour of duty in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Division of the Marine Corps and enrollment at the Capstone.

“I’ve had it in my mind for a while to take a run at the SGA presidency,” Martin explained. “I want to make big changes on campus.”

Election platforms cannot be disclosed by the candidates until Feb. 26 when campaigning officially begins.




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