SGA president Jay Taylor says he won’t run again

The Student Government Association (SGA) has begun searching for the next SGA President and Vice President.The period to sign up for candidacy began Feb. 11, and will continue through Feb. 24, SGA Senator Katie Rifken said in an e-mail.”I’m looking forward to a competitive and exciting campaign,” Chair of Elections Seth Corthell said. “We have already given out eight packets so far.”SGA President Jay Taylor announced at an earlier SGA meeting that he would not be running for President next year.”Because I am a junior, I could technically run for President,” Taylor said at an SGA meeting. “Instead, I am going to be rallying next year at all hockey games. I’ve applied to be an AdvoCat [a campus tour guide], but I am by no means checking out.”When asked if he would continue to be a part of the SGA, Taylor said he wouldn’t. “I’m not going to [be a member of Senate],” Taylor said. “I’d love to be a part of the organization, but I think it would create a weird dynamic.”SGA Senator and IRA President Bob Just is currently debating whether or not to become a candidate. “I thought about running for SGA President because I am truly passionate about this school, and all the students that make this institution what it is,” Just said.However, his current dedication to the Inter-Residence Association (IRA) keeps the Senator from making a decision.”I have dedicated the past three years of my life towards [IRA] and have put in more time and passion than I can begin to recall,” Just said. “[IRA is] still growing, and to think that I only have one year left at this university, I question whether I should leave an organization that has given me so much in pursuit of leadership role outside the organization,” he said.”The campaign period is from Feb. 25 through March 24th,” Rifken said. “There is no campaigning allowed before Feb. 25; not even Facebook groups.”The Vice Presidential debate will be held on March 16 in the CC Theater, Corthell said. “It will be town hall style, and we are looking for panelists,” Corthell said. “UVM TV is going to be closely involved.”The presidential debate will be on March 19 in the John Dewey hall, Corthell said. “Even if people aren’t running, they should still come watch the presidential and vice presidential debates,” Rifken said.”I am honestly excited for the debates,” Just said. “It will be interesting to see what all the candidates have to say on each question that is brought forth.”The elections will be held on March 24 and 25. “I feel it takes a leader who is willing to set aside their own goals and initiatives in the effort towards bettering this great community that we are all a part of,” Just said.Packets for candidacy are available right now in the SGA office until Feb. 24, Rifken said. Candidates for SGA president must collect 500 student signatures in order to get on the ballot.