The Stout Student Association (SSA) held its 50th congress election, along with the advisory referendum of fee increases to support renovations for the Sports and Recreation Complex on April 11. Deon Canon is the presidential candidate and current director of communication. University of Wisconsin-Stout students expressed why they feel their votes matter towards the SSA elections and why the campus should care to vote.
The SSA, is a student government body at UW-Stout. This organization represents Stout and expresses any concerns to the administration, UW-System. They not only represent their fellow students, they also take on other initiatives like the renovation of the Price Commons. They also oversee all student organizations and handle budgeting for these organizations.
Canon, a double major in professional communication and emerging media (PCEM) with a concentration in digital humanities and applied social science (APSS) with a concentration in history and politics and a minor in peace studies, is running for SSA president during this election. He is currently holding his position as SSA’s director of communication.
“I am running for SSA president because of my passion for advocating on behalf of students. Before joining SSA and being actively engaged, I always thought that I just needed to get my degrees quickly and leave college as fast as I can. I didn’t think my voice mattered and if I saw something I didn’t like, I thought I was powerless and accepted that fact,” said Canon.
After joining SSA, he found the organization to be tool for students to make their voices heard. “I also don’t want a student to experience what I went through, so I want to devote the rest of my time to taking steps to fix important issues like mental health, diversity, accessibility and empowering the student voice,” said Canon.
Canon thinks voting is important because the power of your voice matters. He explains how SSA makes important decisions that all students should have a say in, especially if money is involved. He not only finds importance in the individual voices, but collectively as a campus as well. “You should know how the students that are running will represent your voice through administration, local, and state government,” said Canon.
A handful of students who voted told us why they feel voting during the SSA elections is important to them and why it should matter to the campus as well. “On a smaller scale, voting my voice gives me a sense of unity and brings out the value that I align with. Just like voting in the ‘real world’ because it can affect how things happen on campus,” said Vaughn Hess Jr.
Another student goes on to say, “I voted because it’s a civic duty of mine that I should vote and the change I want implemented on campus will never happen if I don’t vote. Campus should care because we get to make changes to the university. We choose our own destiny. That’s enough reason for anyone to care,” said Brandon Beaulieu.
Max Riley also cares saying, “Voting is important because they [the candidates] represent me, and the campus should care because they [campus] matter,” said Max Riley.
Chia Lor votes because she wants to support the people supporting her. “It is important that I support people who are willing to support me and be able to make my vote count towards something greater. Student government is important because students have a lot of power and are able to make a difference in a system that can be prohibiting and limiting,” said Chia Lor.
Election results are published Tuesday, April 16.