Election pair represents both campuses

Riley+Owens+talks+to+PNW+students+while+passing+out+his+campaign+flyers+for+the+SGA+presidential+race.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Election pair represents both campuses

Riley Owens talks to PNW students while passing out his campaign flyers for the SGA presidential race.

Riley Owens talks to PNW students while passing out his campaign flyers for the SGA presidential race.

Jenna Gloy

Riley Owens talks to PNW students while passing out his campaign flyers for the SGA presidential race.

Jenna Gloy

Jenna Gloy

Riley Owens talks to PNW students while passing out his campaign flyers for the SGA presidential race.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Riley Owens is running for president of SGA with Dustin Thibideau as his vice president for the 2018-19 election, on a platform of more transparency from the organization.

Owens, junior communication major, is the current chief of staff in the organization and was the CHESS senator for Westville last year.

“People are paying for SGA to exist essentially through the Student Services Funds created by the students’ tuition, so it’s good to know we exist and what we do,” Owens said. “It’s counterintuitive to not know what is going on when we’re the voice of the students.”

Owens said one way he would strengthen the transparency of SGA would be through making sure a savvy person is running the organization’s social media and updating their accounts with their plans.

Thibideau, junior communication major and current CHESS senator for Hammond, said one of his running mate’s strengths is that Owens is the only candidate from Westville.

“The biggest idea Riley has, and one that I share as well, is trying to give Westville more representation. Riley understands the issues Westville has and wants to bridge the gap that Hammond and Westville sustains,” Thibideau said.

Owens said that while it is one university, he still knows people who feel like there are two campuses operating under the same name.

“We want students to embrace the unified university and there’s plenty of opportunities. Take the campuses themselves for example,” Owens said. “If students want to attend a lush, beautiful campus, there’s Westville. If students want to go somewhere that’s urban with a focus on technology, there’s Hammond.”

Owens said his other initiative will be to make sure SGA is using Leadership Funds to the full extent. So far, SGA has only given out funds to two organizations this year: Circle K and the American Society of Civil Engineers. “We still have quite a bit left to give this year, and I feel like it’s one of the biggest services we have to offer. I want to make sure we’re using it since whatever is left at the end of the year goes away,” Owens said.

Owens and Thibideau also support the PRIDE system, a university system for students to rate professors, and a House of Representatives project that is being worked on by the organization. Owens said the House of Representatives would consist of 29 members and start next year.

“It’s a fantastic way to allow students who can’t commit the time to being a senator, but still want to volunteer and get experience,” Owens said.

Owens previously served as the elected president of the Dean’s Leadership Group during the 2016-17 year. He is also the co-director of the Programming Activities with Style board, a team of students who work with the Office of Student Life to assist in event planning. This year he acquired a license to organize a TEDx event in Fall 2018. It was originally scheduled for Spring 2018 but was delayed due to scheduling conflicts.

Thibideau said Owens is vocal, understanding and dedicated.

“I support him because he has leadership experience. He is not afraid to voice his opinion and that is something that is needed,” Thibideau said.

Owens said he sees the role of SGA as the voice of the students, and that the organization’s job is to take concerns and formulate them into arguments and ideas that are presented to the Dean of Students, chancellor, vice chancellor and the other members of the senior leadership.

“A lot of people won’t say anything because they think their opinion doesn’t matter and they’re afraid of repercussions. That’s not the case though, and the university does want to hear from students so we’re here to spread that message and communicate for them,” Owens said.