Mustain: Students come first

By Bethany Gallimore
On April 10, 2014

Few students enter college knowing exactly what they want to accomplish during their university careers. But that’s not the case for incoming Student Government Association President Logan Mustain. He entered school with a vision, and his new position as the voice of the student body has taken him one step closer toward achieving it.

Two years ago, the sophomore student stood in the office of then SGA President Hunter Petrus and pictured himself one day occupying that very seat.

“I actually came in knowing that I wanted to run for (SGA) president,” said Mustain, who also served as the student body president for his high school in Bryant. “Ever since then, I’ve been trying to make it happen.”

Mustain considers himself blessed to have this opportunity to serve the students of A-State. His campaign for office over this semester focused heavily on ways to encourage student involvement throughout the campus.

He has been looking for ways to increase student attendance for athletic events and distributed an interest survey during his election campaign.

“My responsibility as senator was to connect the student body, and that is my responsibility as president as well,” he said.

SGA Parliamentarian Dane Leake, a junior physical education major of Memphis, considers the new president to be ambitious and student-oriented.

“I feel like Logan’s highest interest is to get everyone in SGA involved and have everyone play a role in SGA,” he said.

Mustain’s experience as a freshman and sophomore senator allowed him a behind-the-scenes look into SGA, and gave him and the rest of the recently elected staff fresh ideas on how to improve the system.

In the previous government year, meetings were “short and sweet,” yet little real senator and student interaction was present, according to Leake.

“If we’re out of there in five minutes, that’s a waste,” he said. “(This year) we’ll get in there and discuss, talk about things and maybe have some heated meetings. But that’s the point of SGA.”

The new president also wants to promote an open door policy in all of the SGA offices to encourage maximum student feedback and input.

Incoming SGA Vice President Brooks Jones, a sophomore finance and accounting major of Monticello, said meeting the needs and knowing the opinions of the students is vital to the success of SGA and the university.

“One of the reasons Logan and I ran together in our campaign is that we have a similar vision for the university. We wanted to see transformation in the SGA office to a student-focused approach. That’s one thing we’re going to try to do throughout our administration, we’re going to try to include students, put students first and put first the issues that matter most to them,” Jones said.

Taylor Pannell, a junior radio-television major of Cabot and SGA Chief of Staff, agrees that students should come first for senate decisions.

“It’s not about what SGA wants to do, it’s about what the student body wants to do,” he said.

A few of the issues on 2014-2015 SGA agenda are ways to make the A-State dining options more weekend friendly, adding more bikes to the free rental program, creating a rivalry game for ASU athletics and continuing to develop the game day student section.

“Hearing what students want is going to make my term a lot easier,” Mustain said. “First I need to know what their opinions are, then I can voice them to the faculty and staff.”

Mustain said he is already getting comfortable in his new role. Recently, he has reached beyond the limits of A-State and begun attempting to reboot the Sunbelt Leadership Conference into a viable leadership and visionary team.

“It dawned on me when I didn’t see any results (in a Google search) that the conference has never taken place,” he said. “I decided I wanted my staff to be responsible for creating it.”

In looking to begin the Sunbelt Leadership Conference again, Mustain has been reaching out to leaders of other universities across the mid-south.

“We’ve really had some good dialogue here recently, and that’s been really interesting to me to see how their campuses are shaping up,” Mustain said. 12

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