Looking to engage their fellow University of Louisiana at Lafayette students, the Student Government Association hosted their “Meet the Candidates” event.

Hosted in front of their SGA office in the Student Union, members of SGA handed out cupcakes, blue books, and if you can believe it, proposals, too.

Rachel Lautigar, a junior political science and history major said with the elections going on for this week, they wanted to engage the interest of the student body.

Lautigar, who is running for president of SGA, said she is part of the Engage ticket.

“Everything we’ve done recently is to drum up awareness since the elections are coming up,” Lautigar said. “And with a name like ‘Engage,’ you can have a lot of fun with that like ring pops, save the dates and with proposals.”

Lautigar said having Engage as the name of their ticket was a play on words.

“A lot of people hear ‘engagement’ and just think involvement,” Lautigar said, adding, “‘Oh, OK, I do a lot of things, I’m engaged.’”

But an engagement, at its core, to her, is a commitment, it’s one person committing to another.

Bethany Sistrunk, freshmen organizational communication major, and SGA member, said a lot of people still don’t know what SGA does.

“At SGA, we collaborate with city and state officials to make their college the best it can be for them,” Sistrunk said.

Sistrunk added how the “Meet the Candidates” is a good opportunity to tell them what exactly they do for the student body.

As UL Lafayette students passed by, ate a cupcake, one who was interested in Lautigar and Sistrunk’s platforms, Kamdyn Danenberg, a freshmen early childhood education major, said she hasn’t been informed fully about SGA.

“I feel like it’s something they would have to talk about more in UNIV or something,” Danenberg said. “It wasn’t something that was covered a lot.”

Danenberg added if incoming freshmen like her were told more about SGA and their goals for UL Lafayette, it could help change student involvement.

“It could open the doors for some who would be interested,” Danenberg said

For students like Danenberg, Lautigar said she feels they are disenfranchised with their university.

“They kind of just go through the motions and don’t take advantage of the administrations and the projects and services they offer,” Lautigar said, adding that maybe the administration focuses on other things because students aren’t engaging as much as they should.

Lautigar added the “Meet the Candidates” is putting the spotlight on the students to truly being engaged and to bring to fruition the relationship between the students and the administration that has always needed to happen.

“And by putting students ahead and going to them first, this is what we do,” Lautigar said.

Lautigar added what more can they do with SGA to help out UL Lafayette students, they encourage the feedback.

“What more do you envision for this university,” she said.

As she enters her third year with SGA, Lautigar always been motivated to be a part of Student Government.

“Because as someone who has always been fascinated by policies and by Government and to make things better around me, I knew that was my outlet,” Lautigar said. “And not just talk about what if UL can do this or if we can make this possible for students and actually try to make a way to do that”

Lautigar said being a part of SGA is the biggest honor she’s ever had.

“I want to be a voice for that students because I’ve lived that life and lived that struggle,” Lautigar said. “So just being a voice and having the opportunity to help them out through my own experience is the greatest honor and blessing I can give to this university.”

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