SGA president announces no plans for re-election

Student Body President Spencer Copeland announced Tuesday that he will not be seeking re-election for the 2015-16 school year in order to focus on graduate school as well as a potentially superior position.

Jay R. Jordan | The Houstonian

Jay R. Jordan | The Houstonian

“I’m going for a higher position, but I might not find out about that until after the deadline to file [for presidency] so it wouldn’t be fair to run again if I get both positions and I would have to turn one down,” Copeland said.

Copeland has served as student body president for only one year but has been an active member in Student Government Association since 2012. As Copeland reflected on his time spent in the organization, he said his greatest accomplishment was ensuring the security of students.

“I think as a whole, from even the beginning, a lot of the things that I’ve been working on have [involved the] safety of students,” Copeland said. “My first semester, I restarted the safety walks. That led to a safety report the following year, which led to a lot of the improvements that we see now on campus. I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve been fighting for safety of students, in all aspects.”

Every project was faced with its challenges, though, and Copeland eventually learned throughout his presidency how to work around those roadblocks.

“You have to understand the large picture that the university and the city have,” Copeland said. “We want to do a lot of really cool things right now, but we want to make sure the campus is going to continue to function properly after we leave. [It’s a challenge] trying to understand that even though you have a good idea, [that] doesn’t mean it’s best to do it right now.”

According to Copeland, his journey through the presidency began with little preparation from the former Student Body President Ramiro Jaime, Jr.

“When it came down to it, I helped him pack up the office and he tossed me the keys and said ‘good luck,’ and that was the coaching we had,” Copeland said. “So, I got my team together, the [executive] board, and said ‘look, that’s not going to happen this year.’”

In order to ensure that each member is fully prepared for their position after the upcoming election, Copeland and the current executive board are putting together informational booklets that will include the position’s responsibilities as well as what to do in certain situations.

“That way they will at least have a base idea of what does work and what doesn’t work,” Copeland said. “It’s up to them if they decide to read it or even listen to it, but I’m at least going to give them the tools so that they have it.”

Although Copeland will offer his guidance to his predecessor whenever needed, he is shifting his focus to graduate school and a future career.

“Right now, grad school is where I’m heading,” he said. “I would love to come back five to 10 years from now as an alum of Sam and see some of the projects we’ve started since I’ve been a senator, blossom into something more than I could have imagined.”


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