News

New SGA Leaders Want to Focus First on Listening to Constituents

by Davidson College

Chris Ragsdale '14 and Nick McGuire '14 were recently elected and inaugurated as Student Government Association president and vice president, respectively, for the coming year. Ragsdale is an environmental studies major with a concentration in medical humanities from Jacksonville, Fla. McGuire double majors in political science and media studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and lives in Washington, D.C.

Ragsdale serves as a tour guide for the admissions office, manages the Annual Fund's call center, and is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity

McGuire holds a Terry Fellowship at Davidson. He works at Information Technology Services, presides over the Pre-Law Society, participates in theatre productions, and is also a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The two have worked together on SGA since freshman year. Ragsdale served as senator and was sophomore and junior class president for the past two years. McGuire served as a class senator, chairing the external affairs committee his sophomore year, and chairing the academic policy committee his junior year.

Ragsdale said his position as junior class president last semester prepared him to be SGA president. "Overseeing the junior class last semester helped me to realize my ability to oversee and manage groups," he said.

Similarly, McGuire felt prepared to assume the responsibilities of being vice president because of his previous SGA experience. Both men feel that assuming this new degree of responsibility and leadership will reflect their dedication to and appreciation of Davidson College.

"I have always held the possibility in the back of my mind to be SGA president, but I didn't see myself as capable of the position when I first joined SGA," Ragsdale said. "However, as I took on further responsibilities, the opportunity seemed more and more attainable. Honestly, I just want to leave Davidson a better place."

McGuire and Ragsdale share main objectives for their tenures. Both believe that a reevaluation of the social culture on campus is imperative, and welcome the Social Culture Task Force that previous SGA president Billy Hackenson recently created. McGuire expressed a concern about the issue of student stress at Davidson, and wants to address that concern through student and faculty engagement.

Ragsdale said they plan to make themselves as available as possible to the study body, and will establish office hours in the Alvarez College Union top-floor SGA office so students have more opportunity to communicate with student government.

They also hope to bridge the up-the-hill/down-the-hill gap, and look forward to relocation of the Patterson Court advisor's office to the College Union to develop more cohesion between PCC, Union Board, and the SGA.

Ragsdale said development of SGA senators' leadership skills is important. He said, "For the first couple months, I don't really intend for us to be passing a lot of legislation or putting on a lot of programs. We're going to spend that time bringing in people I think could be influential to the senate, including speakers from inside and outside the campus community. The SGA is going to be doing a lot of listening. I think if we take time to listen and understand the campus situation and student concerns, that will be useful for doing more starting next semester."