SA presidential race heating up as third candidate emerges

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The election for Student Association president has become wide-open, as current President Jarrod Eaton has announced that he will not run again for his current position.

In a year full of ups and downs, Eaton announced that he would be graduating a semester early in December and would not be able to run again.

Association Speaker of the House Cody McKay and Ombudsman Jeremy Flood have been deemed likely candidates and early frontrunners for the position.

However, the race for the presidency could soon become a three-way competition, as momentum for junior Brandon Errer has picked up to run.

Currently the president of Living Proud, Errer is a former member of the Association. After his first year as a representative, Errer was appointed to become the Legislative and External Affairs director. Additionally, he served on Student Association’s board of directors providing support and advocacy for legislation statewide.

“I have traveled across this state with Student Association of Michigan, and I have been given the privilege to advocate for the student body at the university level as well as the state level,” Errer said.

In addition to advocacy statewide, Errer said he also has experience advocating for students on campus.

“I also spent a large amount of time working with the Pride Center steering committee, whose role was the creation of the Pride Center,” he said. “It was a humbling experience to be a part of the creation of something that so many people have advocated for in the past.”

However, a year away from the Association was needed to allow Errer to focus on other endeavors, he said.

“This past year was spent largely working in my community,” he said. “I was able to work with community groups, like the Ezekiel Project in Saginaw. I worked on issues such as transportation insecurity in the greater Saginaw region.”

Despite being a year removed from Student Association, Errer has closely followed the progress of the Association. Self-described as being similar to Elizabeth Warren in the American political system, Errer is tired of complaining about the issues that have continually plagued the organization.

“I am sick and tried of being that kid that sits on the sidelines and shouts about how things are being done wrong, but isn’t willing to take the plunge and work toward a better Association,” he said. “I am a very firm believer that Student Association has the ability to create positive change, and that is my goal going into my senior year.”

The Student Association presidency has never been as important as it is right now. The Association is entering a key period in the organization’s history while attempting to modify its current charter in order to make the organization more inclusive, functional and modern.

Because of the major changes, the president will likely shape the role of the Association for the next years.

“I think that this year is very important,” Errer said. “The Student Association has been criticized a lot recently, and some of it came from me. With that being said, I hope people realize that it is not because I am Anti-Association, it is because I care about the Association. I have seen this Association do amazing things and successfully support and advocate for students, and I want for us to return to that time.”