Update on Debate at JMU


The Student Government Association is proud to announce that Republican US Senate Nominee, Mr. Ed Gillespie, has accepted an invitation to participate in a debate at Wilson Hall on September 10th, 2014. Mr. Gillespie is the former RNC chair and will be facing Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) this upcoming fall in the midterm elections. Mr. Gillespie’s campaign has notified the Student Government Association that he is very excited for this opportunity.

The Student Government is still waiting to hear back from Senator Warner’s Campaign team about whether or not he will be able to make this debate. We hope to report his official decision very soon.

The debate, a collaborative effort by the Student Government Association and the JMU chapter of Virginia-21, will be moderated by Dr. Michael Davis. We would also like to give special thanks to both the JMU chapters of College Democrats, and College RepuJMU-WilsonHallblicans for helping us reach out to the candidates to encourage their participation. It is our hope that these candidates can join us at JMU to discuss the issues relevant to our student body, to our Commonwealth and to our nation. We greatly appreciate all of the resources provided to us by JMU administration, our mentioned sponsors, the greater-Harrisonburg area, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. What better place to debate than the university named after the Father of the Constitution?


Continuing the Conversation on Sexual Assault

My fellow Dukes,

I am Taylor Vollman, your Student Body President. Now, more than ever, I am reminded we are “all together one.” Dukes continually amaze me by how much support is out there when one of our own is hurting. Sarah showed great strength to report her assault. While it is horrible, it did spark a necessary conversation about sexual assault on our and all college campuses.

At the end of last semester, I along with a couple other SGA members went to the White House to hear about the recommendations from the Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. We then realized the lack of dialogue within our own organization and were working to create a platform amongst the student body to engage in conversations about our own climate and policies at JMU. This provided a catalyst to get the conversation started earlier.

As a Student Government, our goal is to advocate for and serve the student body, while working to educate all Dukes on the policies and resources in place. With a national average of 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men being sexually assaulted during their time at college, there is clearly an epidemic that needs to be addressed. Currently, we are trying to gather as much information as possible on this complex issue in order to have a holistic view of where we are and where we need to go. We plan on taking our ideas to the administration and faculty to help create any necessary changes. More importantly, we hope to have a joint effort across campus, involving faculty, administration and other organizations, to spread awareness and training to as wide an audience as possible.

We look forward to working with JMU as a student voice. This issue is not unique to our campus, but it doesn’t make it any less personal. We continually strive to serve as a resource for any student and hope to hear from you on any comments, concerns or experiences.


Taylor Vollman

Student Body President



JMU’s Response: http://www.jmu.edu/news/2014/06/19-response-to-media-reports.shtml

Resources on Sexual Assault: http://www.jmu.edu/healthcenter/PreventionandEducation/sexual-assault.shtml


Commencement Information

Dear Seniors,

JMU album cover

With the number of days until Graduation weekend beginning to get smaller, we are now rounding out our JMU experience with finals, finishing off our bucket list and making sure to say thank you and goodbye to everyone who has made an impact on us at JMU. And, let’s be honest, that seems to be almost everyone we meet at JMU!

All of these little to-dos are leading up to the big to-do, Graduation Weekend. One of the main events is the University Commencement Ceremony, which will be taking place on May 9th at 3 PM in Bridgeforth Stadium. The event has been constructed to be a culmination of all your Madison Experiences into one ceremony. It is going to be an incredibly meaningful ceremony to share with your friends, family and guests.


We now want to give you a glimpse of the ceremony by sharing the program.

What: May 2014 University Commencement Ceremony

When: Friday, May 9th, 2014 3 PM

Where: Bridgeforth Stadium


Entering: Stadium doors opening at 1:30 PM

Graduating Seniors, wearing full regalia, enter through student entrances of Bridgeforth Stadium, Entrance D. You will gather with your friends under the end-zone bleachers, then ushers will escort you to the seats on the field in groups.  You will sit with your friends, not by college or major.



Come early to view the Senior Experience video, possibly see your cap decoration on the screen and view some pictures from our years here at JMU. You also may be enticed to come early as a guest in order to make sure you find seating closer to the field.

Parents and guests enter through entrances A and C of the stadium.  Doors open at 1:30 p.m. There is plenty of seating and no tickets are required or issued.

Plenty of parking is available all throughout campus as the university is closing at 1 p.m. on Friday to open up the parking lots.  There are also many HDPT buses and JMU shuttles running from all the hotels, off-campus apartment complexes and other locations.  Check the commencement website (jmu.edu/commencement) for the schedules.


Program: Beginning at 3 PM

JMU faculty, the Board of Visitors, administrators and program speakers will process to into the Stadium with music performed by the JMU Wind Symphony. Then, the Star-Spangled Banner will be performed by JMU’s a cappella seniors as a special treat for the audience and the seniors performing their last song as students.

President Alger will then address the graduates and guests, congratulating the class of 2014 on their accomplishments and conferring degrees.

Student Body President, Jake Jedlicka, will introduce the Student Graduation Speaker, Rebecca Lamb, graduating with a degree in International Affairs, who will give the Student address.

Senior Class President, Alicia Pettis, will next introduce the Faculty Graduation Speaker, Professor Rustin Greene of the School of Media Arts and Design, who will give the Faculty address.  A special thank you to the senior class for being a part of the process for honoring Professor Greene with the opportunity to be the first Faculty Graduation Speaker.

President Alger will then recognize and congratulate the Valedictorian, Ms. Melissa Lynna Von Wald for her outstanding achievement.

Ms. Jamie Jones Miller, President of the JMU Alumni Association Board, will give the Alumni address, welcoming the Class of 2014 into the larger JMU Nation. During this time Student Donors will be recognized.

President Alger will introduce the keynote speaker, Mr. Matt Wasniewski (’91, ’94 M), who will give the commencement address. His bio can be found here: http://www.jmu.edu/commencement/information/2014_commencement_speaker.shtml

As the finale to the ceremony, we will then be led in the new addition to Commencement, the throwing of streamers as the JMU fight song plays in the background.

After the ceremony has ended, graduates and their guests are invited to meet at Godwin Field for an “After Commencement Celebration” complete with refreshments and the ability to avoid the campus traffic for a little while. You may have your photo taken with 3 versions of the Duke Dog – the enormous inflatable used at football games, a smaller 6’ inflatable and our LIVE Duke Dog mascot!  The JMU Alumni Association, Athletic Department and the Duke Club will be handing out information and gifts.  It’s a great chance to introduce your friends to family, take great photos and relax before the craziness of Saturday. The ceremony will end at 6 p.m.

We hope this provides you with a vision for what the May 9th University Commencement Ceremony might entail.

JMU roommates walk towards Wilson

We then move on to the program for Saturday…


What: College Ceremonies

When: Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 9 AM

College of Arts and Letters Ceremony at The Quadrangle (approx. 1.5 hours)

College of Business Ceremony at The Convocation Center
(approx. 1.5 hours)

College of Education and University Studies Ceremony at Godwin Hall

(approx. 1.5 hours)

College of Health and Behavioral Studies Ceremony at Bridgeforth Stadium 
(approx. 1 hour, 50 minutes)

College of Integrated Science and Engineering Ceremony at UREC East Campus Fields 
(approx. 1 hour)

College of Science and Mathematics Ceremony at Alumni Centennial Park

(approx. 1.5 hours)

College of Visual and Performing Arts Ceremony at Duke Hall Lawn (approx. 1.5 hours)


Plenty of parking is available all throughout campus and in the parking decks. There are also many HDPT buses and JMU shuttles running from all the hotels, off-campus apartment complexes and other locations.  Check the commencement website (jmu.edu/commencement) for the schedules.

Please go to www.jmu.edu/commencement for any questions you may have or send an email to universityevents@jmu.edu.

For more updates please visit & join the facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/669391639776769/


We hope to see you at the University Commencement & the College Ceremonies!

A Letter to all JMU Seniors– Alicia Pettis

A Letter to all JMU Seniors,

I’m just going to go ahead and address the purple elephant on this campus….Graduation.

As the days start counting down, G-day is becoming more than a distant event, but rather a day that is right around the corner. Eek! So how do we take it all in without freaking out? I mean, there are literally less than 50 days left…

But, you have to #MakeItCount.

Wake up every day with the purpose of living the final stretch of your JMU journey as a time for celebration. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do. There is no time like the present to check off those bucket list items.

But, at the same time, remember that what made your Madison Experience so great was the people in this community – so share your celebration with everyone. Especially the underclassmen who can’t imagine JMU without you. Take the chance to pass on knowledge and tips on how to make their time at JMU as growth oriented and special as possible.

So spend time with the people who made Madison great by celebrating. Simple, easy, doable. And, Senior Class Council is there to support you.

To help you with accomplishing the must-do’s of your final weeks at JMU, the senior class council has been gearing up all year to put on events to help you finish off your time at JMU with spirit. Beyond making memories through your official Senior bucket list, make sure that you complete your own personal Senior to-do list. Doing so will make the final wave of excitement even greater. You will feel satisfied with your four (or five!…or six?) years on May 9th for whatever comes your way after completing these items and making the lasting memories that will accompany them.


Check out our very own Senior To-Do list to give you an idea of must-do items.


SENIORAnd, remember, that we are here to make your days the best they can possibly be, with restrictions of course (so no…we can’t open the tunnels for you). As your official senior class council, let us know what we can do to serve you.

#LovePurple #LiveGold

Stay golden Class of 2014,

Senior Class Council



2014 Minor Election Candidate Platforms

Class Council

Class of 2015


Lauren Holder

LaurenAfter serving as freshman class Vice-President, and then sophomore and junior class President, I feel fully prepared and ready to take on the role of senior class President for the class of 2015. I want to take my experience planning unifying events such as Ring Premiere, Ring Ceremony, and Tree Lighting, as well as educational events like How to Be Successful at JMU and So You Want To Be An Intern, to plan events for the Class of 2015 in our Senior Year.

I plan to continue the tradition of Senior Graduation Countdown Nights, working with restaurants and other downtown venues to provide entertainment and special dining opportunities for Seniors. I also plan to continue senior Dhall night, senior t-shirt design and sales, A senior football tailgate, and then a senior picnic and candle lighting ceremony in the spring closer to graduation.

Outside of continuing what has been done well in the past, I would like to put together and send out contact information for seniors attending the same graduate schools. This way, alumni dukes can meet up with one another in their graduate education programs and still feel connected to their Alma Mater.

I also hope to work closely with the Alumni Association, to make our transition from undergraduates to alumni of this amazing university an easy and exciting process, whether this is accomplished through tours of the unseen sections of Bridgeforth Stadium, or starting a culture of giving back among our class!

Vice President

Courtney Herb

Courtney HerbI, Courtney Herb, am running for the position of Senior Class Vice President for the 2014-2015 academic school year. As my final year at James Madison draws closer, I am incredibly excited to celebrate and give back to my class, as well as to this wonderful university. I have proposed a few points that I would like to implement should I be elected which are as follows:

Unify and celebrate the senior class through events and traditions

  • Help to plan and execute events that celebrate the senior class such as “100 Days to Graduation,” the senior candle lighting ceremony, and the senior picnic.
  • Work with the Department of Athletics to coordinate stadium tours for seniors, as well as meet and greet events with Coach Withers and his new staff.
  • Help design and create a senior class t-shirt that will be sold as a memento for the Class of 2015 to remember their time at JMU

Plan and execute 2015 commencement ceremonies

  • Aid in the application process as well as the ultimate choosing of the 2015 student commencement speaker
  • Listen to the student voice for opinions on graduation speakers and overall ceremony activities via social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Create additional commencement traditions that can be implemented for years to come

Cooperate and support fellow senior class council members

  • Actively participate in the brainstorming and planning efforts for all events, both traditional and new
  • Assist the President in any duties he/she may designate
  • Work collaboratively with the team to successfully complete all tasks



Class of 2016


Vice President


Brianna Hogan



Class of 2017


Victoria Atkins

Tory AtkinsTo continue providing the same traditions and events to the Class of 2017, and to add on events and traditions that the class would like to see. The Class Council of the Class of 2017, in its entirety, is running for reelection as a ticket. We are unified in our goal to represent and work for the student body of the Class of 2017 to the best of our ability.




Chase Maszle

Chase MaszleHello–my name is Chase Maszle, and I would be honored to serve as your Class of 2017 President here at JMU. I am a College of Business and SMAD major, a member of the Marching Royal Dukes and an avid advocate for my fellow Dukes here at the university. Additionally, I’ve felt blessed and humbled by the talents and aspirations of many of you, who collectively I’ve come to know as one of the most capable student bodies to ever pass through James Madison. Over the past semester, I have completely adapted to living the college lifestyle, and I am ready to serve you in office for Student Government. Together, I feel we can do more, become more, and of course…Be the Change.


The Class President serves to preside over class council meetings and activities. The position, for sophomore year will also be to play a major part in planning larger events, one of which will include the class ring release. Class President also helps to serve as a liaison between the Student Community and Administration through the channels of the Student Government Association.

Throughout my journey with SGA, I plan to advocate FOR YOU by doing the following:

TRANSPARENCY: Transparency in office is perhaps one of the most important characteristics to fostering trust between you and me, as your officer and representative. If you have suggestions, I feel it’s my duty to make myself accessible to you so that I can help address your comments or concerns, or help point you in the direction to someone that can help. My personal cell number is 412-722-2455.

UNITY: As I began my journey in campaigning, I discovered that many of us wish to get involved here on campus. I feel it is important to engage the students who wish to get involved here at JMU. Communication through multiple outlets is important, and I would be sure that necessary but not excessive communication is made to our class about things that are happening on campus without having to check one hundred different websites. We will focus on clear messages across strong, relevant channels to keep us all informed and engaged.

FEEDBACK: There may be events that you liked, and others–not so much. Nonetheless, it will be a major goal to collect data on what we’ve done, and what events we’ve put on for you. Analyzing and receiving criticism from the past is a great way to improve our future. So by all means, allow us to hear your voice—it’s our most valuable asset in Student Government.

PASSION FOR CHANGE: JMU is a dynamic University, always on the move. We need to be the voice of the University. Some of the issues that I plan to focus on include:

  • Hours of dining facilities for better convenience based on location
  • A safety and security seminar to make students aware of dangers and solutions to safety concerns
  • Streamlined communication of university sponsored events—Movies, UREC, TDU, Activities, etc.
  • Better awareness of places for quiet study
  • A MyResearch tab on MyMadison—to better enhance your awareness of campus-bought resources
  • Filtered email program so that you don’t get unnecessary and excessive emails


Vice President

Shane Van Hoy

Shane Van Hoy

To continue bringing our outgoing personalities, school spirit, diverse backgrounds, and skills to improve the bonding experience of the Class of 2017 through events.







Sydney Moreland

Sydney MorelandAs members of freshman class council we will strive to continue bringing our outgoing personalities, school spirit, diverse backgrounds, and skills to improve the bonding experience of the Class of 2017 through events.






Jenna Anderson

Jenna AndersonBecause of the previous experience of myself and the current class council of 2017 our platform to continue bringing our outgoing personalities, school spirit, diverse backgrounds, and skills to improve the unity of the Class of 2017 through events.





Academic College Senators

College of Health and Behavioral Studies

Johanna Madero

Johanna MaderoAs a Health Science major and previous representative and at-large senator for the Student Government, I strive to become an outstanding and dedicated senator for the College of Science and Mathematics. My strong organizational, listening, and strategic skills that I developed over the past two years years will help me become a better academic senator as I enter my third year at James Madison University.

College of Business

Cassandra Neville 

Casey NevilleAs College of Business Senator I will work as an ambassador for the students to the College of Business. I will use my prior knowledge and work in Student Government to address issues that may arise with the College of business students. I plan to hold town hall meetings to meet with business students and gather all their input. By working alongside all aspects of the College of Business, I will do my best to ensure that all students enjoy their academic experiences.



College of Integrated Science and Technology  (ISAT)


College of Math and Science

College of Arts and Letters

College of Education

College of Visual and Performing Arts 

Meet the Candidates!

Come to the Festival Lower Drum Feb. 24 & 25 at 6pm to hear the SGA candidate’s platforms! If you can’t make it check out their platforms here! Voting will take place on Feb. 26 & 27. Click here to vote!


Greg Bahou

photoHello Dukes! My name is Greg Bahou and I want to serve as your Student Government Association President for 2014-2015 year. I have had a passion for James Madison University from the first moment I visited. Serving as your President would allow me to give something back to this University that I love, and will give you a servant dedicated to improving this already great institution. Every Duke loves JMU and the traditions and spirits we live by, but there are a few issues I can work on during my Presidency that will make JMU even better. Let Us Start Thinking Differently Together.

NO MORE CROWDED ICS BUSES: The Inner Campus Shuttle Buses are too crowded! I experience it every day,  just  like  you.  Sometimes  the  buses  are  so  crowded  they  don’t  stop  at  the bus stops, so I have to
wait for the next one, delaying me and making me late to class. We have to find an answer – it may be a scheduling issue like hiring more drivers and compressing the route schedule, or it might be a resource issue, and adding another bus will fix the problem. It might be something else altogether — I’ll  work  with   the transportation officials to identify the cause of the problem, and make sure we have a lasting solution.

#STOPTheDrop: The new administration governing our Commonwealth is proposing a $25 million cut in the budget for higher education. What does this mean for you? It means JMU will lose about 46% of current financial aid funding, making it harder for students to afford higher education. #STOPTheDrop is a campaign by the Virginia21 Organization that helps lobby for young voters on a non-partisan agenda. They are focusing on higher education to keep it affordable. I stand behind this 100%. As your President, I’m  JMU’s  representative  to  a  council  of  other  college  and  university  presidents  in  the  state.    I’ll  work   with them to develop a successful campaign to lobby against these cuts. We have to keep education affordable, so everyone has the opportunity we have had to attend this amazing University.

Unity & Inclusion: I believe the relationship between the SGA and the student body can be better! With your  help,  we’ll make it just that – closer, more open and more effective! My staff and I will be open to discussion with any student about any issues happening on campus. I want us to start working together to make JMU better than what it is. I am here for YOU.

Let Us Start Thinking Differently Together.

Mckenzie Quinn

McKenzie Quinn

Student government is the voice for students across campus. We are an organization the prides itself on representing the needs and concerns of the students and doing what is in our ability to make the necessary changes on campus. However, both sides could do better with communicating to each other so that our organization could serve as a better representation of students. Student Government needs to be actively seeking student opinion whenever they can because administrators use us to represent the ideas and thoughts of the students. Students should also be using the Student Government as an avenue to administrators and a means to an end to bring about change on campus.

In order to obtain this vision, I believe we need to be discussing big decisions that the university faces with the students because we are the ones who are impacted by these changes. We gain knowledge and understanding about the wants of the students from this and it paints a better picture for administrators when they come to Student Government for the students’ voice.  I would be a valiant supporter for the students when representing them to the administration. I think student engagement is the top priority in order for the President to effectively complete the duties and tasks that he/she faces.

My overall goal and mission for the year is to change the way people view their education. With such an emphasis on grades and classes it is easy to lose sight of the ultimate reason why we attend James Madison University—to learn, meet new people, and gain new experiences that will aid us in the future as we move on to bigger and better endeavors. James Madison University offers so much more to learn than just what is relevant to our degrees. I would like to foster an academic community where we actively discuss current events and ideas we learn in class more openly and commonly. Knowledge and education is sexy and I believe people should wear it and own it as if it is an extension of themselves. This is something we should value. I believe collaboration with of other academic-focused groups on campus we could bring about change to our beautiful campus.

My years spent in Student Government has offered me unforgettable experiences and knowledge that is invaluable. I continue to grow with this organization and while at James Madison University. I hope that my vision is one that can unite JMU students and administration to actively work together with the great ideas brought up by student, faculty, and the JMU community.

Taylor Vollman

Taylor Vollman

Hello James Madison University, I am Taylor Vollman and I want to be your Student Body President. In my time at JMU, I have witnessed an intense spirit, a philanthropic nature and a studious attitude among my peers. As my love for this university grows each and every day, I hear a call to duty to accurately and passionately represent my fellow Dukes.

Duties: The Student Body President leads the Student Government Association in their efforts to fight for and enact change on behalf of the student body. The President serves as the main advocate to administration, conveying the student body’s needs and desires. This person sits on various committees around JMU, serving as the student voice and opinion. They take their role outside of JMU, working with various student leaders at other Virginia and national universities.

Students First: I believe it is the duty of the Student Government to work first and foremost on behalf of the student body. My reason for being at JMU is the same as all others, to be a student first. With such as strong commonality binding together members of the Madison community, it is essential to focus on academics and the students who comprise this university.

Accurate representation: No one student fits into a certain mold. While the Student Government has put forth considerable and successful efforts to reach out to the student body as a whole, I believe it would be effective to pinpoint the specific needs of various groups at JMU. I want to understand the balance of working students or student athletes. I strive to understand the needs of our transfer, graduate and nontraditional students. I would focus on creating a dialogue with various subsections, gaining feedback and really striving to understand their viewpoints.

A coalition of leaders:  Every year the conversation of forming a team of leaders from various organizations comes up. This year, I would love to do something about it. Starting small, with some of the largest groups on campus electing a representative to this panel, it would hopefully grow to a network and sounding board for many ideas. In cases of shortened timelines, this board could give a nice perspective into the way the student body would respond to various projects and efforts. This panel would also serve to promote projects to other organizations and hopefully foster further collaboration.

Embodying “Be the Change”: JMU fosters a student population focused on giving back to JMU and the greater Harrisonburg community. While the Student Government strives to be that positive impact, with projects like the Big Event, I believe it is important to try to cultivate this connection throughout the year. Putting forth joint efforts with the Downtown Renaissance and other service oriented groups around JMU, it would help branch the students off campus. I would also reach out to service organizations on campus to help foster their endeavors, whether making them aware of the Contingency funding SGA offers, helping with publicity or giving forth extra manpower on specific projects.

Transparency: I would champion further SGA transparency. I would ensure our budgets and resolutions are more easily accessed, as well as explanations about their meanings. I would also ensure the Student Government is helping JMU in their efforts to disperse information and provide explanations about how certain facets of JMU operate. I would hope to increase traffic to our office, Taylor 203, so we have more direct contact in order to give face to face responses and foster more in depth conversations with students from around campus.

Academics: JMU is first and foremost an academic institution. I would make sure to champion the academic needs and rigor for the bettering of the student body. I would convey the importance of academics to various councils and planning teams. I believe to have the best students, we much encourage and maintain the best professors and foster healthy student professor relationships. I would ensure the student perspective is being heard during any changes which may come, whether athletic or otherwise. During the lobbying trips every year, I would fight for student rights and funding in both Richmond and Washington, D.C. Many organizations, including SGA, offer out of the classroom learning experiences, which should be encouraged so they prosper and an academic culture is maintained.

Building a Foundation: I want to create a more solid foundation for students to understand JMU and SGA. With such an incredible Orientation Program, I would work to continue what they started by partnering to encourage year-long integration efforts and filling voids they have noticed in programs and initiatives. Moving focus of certain campaigns to First Years and transfer students would help grow they knowledge base. I really want to encourage the healthy introduction of new students to JMU and the greater Harrisonburg community.

Vice President-

Kathy Corena

Kathy CorenaI’ve been a member of the Student Government Association all four semesters that I have been at JMU. Since the beginning I’ve actively seeked ways to get involved and make a difference. The Student Body Vice President does a lot within the Student Government Association and outside of it. If elected Vice President, I will be able to help lead the organization and change the way students and the administration view the Student Government.

Serving as a primary resource and voice for students. We, as a Student Government, do so much more than is visible to students. I want students to think of the Student Government first if they have questions or concerns with anything at JMU. Given our connection to administration, we have the power to convey what the student body wants and cares about. We serve advocates and the student voice. We will be able to better perform our role if we have greater student input. One of the most effective ways to do this is to continue with the Town Hall meetings that were started this year. Another good way to get feedback has been by surveying students on the commons. We do miss a lot of the population on East Campus, therefore I would like to extend events to that side of campus to capture different views. 

Creating informed members. If we want to serve as a resource to the student body, all of our members have to be well informed and prepared. My hope is that any member be able to explain the various aspects of Student Government. I will work on developing our membership knowledge on both internal and external matters to make sure that the every student receiving the same information from our members. If we are able to do this, it will also increase the transparency of the organization because more students will be aware of what we do. 

Increased visibility among student body. As Student Government we also have to work on branding ourselves. Our visibility among the student body can be increased. The more students are aware of us, the more we can do to help them. I will do this by creating coalitions with other organizations that are already visible on campus such as UPB, Student Ambassadors, and Safe Rides. They can help us learn how to better publicize our events. Not only will not only work with these organizations, but also some that may not be as big. These coalitions would help us reach more of the student body.

Class Council: Leading Class Council is one of the duties that I will make the most of. The Class Officers have a greater reach among the student body because given their nature they are more recognizable. I will have each class pair up with one of our committees for their educational, unity or social programs. This would increase the bonds between Class Council and Senate and create a stronger Student Government.

Unity Events. Traditions are very important at JMU. The switch to Festival Lawn created a bigger and more efficient Purple Out, but there are still ways to improve upon this. I will make sure that the lines are clearly set and move at a fast pace so the event moves smoothly. Madison Week is a fairly new and exiting event. It is great way to establish our presence with the student body and celebrate James Madison. I would like to have events that are both educational and social.

I have learned many things from the opportunities that I have been given and grown as a leader. I know that I will continue to grow learn more with new experiences. Supporting me means that you believe in the vision for a better and more active JMU.

Kaitlin Thomas

Kaitlin ThomasI, Kaitlin Thomas, am running for Student Body Vice President of James Madison University (JMU) to bring inspiration and passion to my work and to foster meaningful relationships with students and administrators alike.  I am a junior Hospitality Management major who has served two years on Class Council and a year on the Student Government Executive Board as Director of Membership Development.  I plan to best represent the interests of the students through the strong pride and dedication I have for JMU and for the individuals who make JMU the best university in the world.  Through my role as Student Body Vice President, I plan to:

Strengthen the relationship between students and administrators.

  • Represent the student voice in diverse and impactful interactions with administrators
  • Develop and continue relationships with administrators and stress the importance of student opinion and essential JMU traditions
  • Continue to be a voice for the students in discussions on differential tuition and how it may affect student traditions and student life
  • Fill the UCAC committees with passionate representatives who are well-equipped for their responsibilities and commitments
  • Work with the Leeolou Alumni Center and SAA to create a variety of networking events to introduce students to administration and alumni to spark leadership and career growth

Inspire Class Council to positively engage with their respected classes in exciting and innovative ways.  

  • Revive student-centered town halls meetings that provide relevant outlets for students of all classes
  • Empower Class Council to think creatively and collaborate with different Student Government committees and organizations
  • Be a mentor to new Class Council members and acclimate them to their Student Government roles in a timely manner to ensure lasting productivity
  • Continually provide Class Council and the rest of Student Government with administrative contacts who can help turn great ideas into realities
  • Develop a uniform system to publicize and promote events

Continue making traditions on James Madison University’s campus and in the community.

  • Create “The JMU Limelight” – interview a different JMU student each week, who best exemplifies the JMU way, “Be the Change”
  • Continue to deepen the tradition of Purple Out by unifying the event and focusing on a higher retention rate
  • Work with the Presidential Office & University Events in uncovering past traditions in addition to implementing new ones
  • Be a voice for the students in the planning of Madison Week, a celebration of the James Madison Legacy with a week of fun activities and knowledgeable events
  • Establish ties with Renaissance Downtown to build relationships and traditions between the city of Harrisonburg and James Madison students

To most of us, James Madison University is more than just a campus.  It is a way of life where we ‘love purple and live gold.’  I want to make an impact as Student Body Vice President inside and outside of Student Government.  I want to encourage students to make their mark on Madison by focusing on their passions.  Most of all, I hope to inspire everyone I meet on this campus with the heart, soul and dedication I put into this school.  With my experience in Student Government, academic focus in event management, and love for JMU, I know that I will be an inspirational Vice President.


Aaron Brown

Aaron BrownAs Executive Treasurer of SGA I plan on expanding the position and adding more validity to the position. I plan on accomplishing this by having interacting more with other FEB (Front-End Budget) groups on campus to build coalitions to help accomplish each of our goals. I plan on working more with administration and trying to get more money allocated to student groups on campus, especially the Sports Club Council and Contingency. I also want to bring awareness of what SGA can do for student groups on campus. There is lots of money available for student organizations on campus and many of them have no clue of it.

As a member of the Executive Council I will represent all student voices and concerns to serve the student body. I will bring a lot of experience to this position, being in the Student Government since freshman year and being the Finance Chair for two years I have the leadership skills and knowledge to change this position for the better!

Student Representative to the Board of Visitors-

Nico Climaco

Nico ClimacoHi, my name’s Nico Climaco, and I am running to serve the JMU community as the Student Representative to the Board of Visitors. I’m a Junior Political Science major from Ashburn, VA. Throughout my past few years here, I’ve been involved with Student Ambassadors, Phi Alpha Delta, Virginia21, the Alternative Break Program, and the Office of Orientation as an Orientation Peer Advisor. My experience as a student ambassador and OPA has really helped me spread my love of JMU with future and current Dukes. With Vriginia21, I’ve been able to explore issues in higher education and serve as an advocate for students across the state. Now, I want to combine my passions of service, higher education advocacy, and JMU to serve the student body as your representative to the Board of Visitors.

Advocating for Student Opinion

During meetings, I plan to advocate for the voice of students, so members of the Board of Visitors know how students feel about certain issues.

  1. Continue a strong relationship with the student organizations on campus and speak to them about what happened after each board meeting.
  2. Hold town hall meetings quarterly to discuss what important issues impact our student body at JMU allowing all students to have a voice represented for them.
  3. Form a coalition with other student representatives across the state to discuss state issues that impact all students across Virginia.
  4. Spread awareness campaigns on big issues that relate to students and how students can get involved to share their thoughts.
  5. Develop connections with students on how they can engage directly with other members of the Board of Visitors.

Most importantly, I will serve as an open and transparent representative allowing students to connect with me to discuss issues and understand what steps the university is going in.

Josh Humphries

JOSH HUMPHRIESAs the Student Representative to the Board of Visitors, I will report to the Board at their quarterly meetings and inform them on student reaction, positions, and opinions regarding their decisions. Furthermore, I will seek to inform the Student Government Association of any decisions made by the Board that may impact student life at James Madison University.

As the student representative to the Board of Visitors, I want to cultivate meaningful relationships with the Board to accomplish today’s problems for tomorrow’s James Madison. I will make it my priority to actively pursue an engaged student body that seeks to leave their own legacy through their individual passions. Moreover, I will make it my duty to vocalize the passions and desires of students who want to make a positive change in this community.

Currently, I am a Senator in the Student Government Association and the first student representative to the Faculty Senate; in which I inform the Faculty Senate at their monthly meetings on the student perspective and inform committee chairs of the Student Government Association regarding decisions of the Faculty Senate as to have a free flow of information from all levels of the university. Since the student population of James Madison University is the main constituency of the Board of Visitors, I will keep students informed and represent the interests of all students to the best of my ability.

David Scala

David ScalaI, David Scala, am running for Student Representative to the James Madison University Board of Visitors. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to serve this great university. Here are a few ideas that if elected I will implement for the 2013-2014 year.

Establish a greater voice for the students on the Board of Visitors

  • If elected I would vie for a more dominate Student Representative voice on the Board, and in the administration, to listen to the concerns of the student body and be accountable to the students themselves.
  • JMU is at a crossroads when it comes to planning for the future and establishing the culture for the next 20 years. I will represent the student opinion at Board meetings including student opinion that is outside the leadership bubble of JMU.
  • Issues that I personally wish to speak about include: financial aid, general education requirements, strategic planning and the budget.

Be an open and transparent avenue for student input

  • Establish a Twitter, Facebook and Email address for the Student Representative to allow easy access for students to seek answers, be educated and provide feedback
  • Actively communicate with the JMU community to better understand their vision for the university.

Collaborate with campus leaders to best represent the student body

  • Work with the Student Government to insure there is collaboration between the Student Body President as well as other Student Government leaders.
  • Work with club, program and organization leaders to better represent the entire student body. This will allow for efficiency as well as working together to solve our collective problems.

Be an active and important part of the Board of Visitors

  • Work with the members of the Board giving them as much student information as they need.
  • Be an active participant in Board meetings and decisions.
  • Establish a positive and vital relationship between the Board and the Student Representative to allow better collaboration to solving university problems for years to come.