Eaves candidacy to focus on building relationships

TJ Eaves, SGA's new president

WCU’s recently elected Student Government Association president, TJ Eaves, is planning his upcoming term with diligent motivation to build relationships between students, faculty and the new SGA team.

Eaves, who has previous leadership experience from working with SGA and working as a traffic court justice, saw many goals that SGA could accomplish and believes he could make them happen.

“You kind of get that pride for how SGA is run,” said Eaves. “I saw things I would like to accomplish and I felt like I could be the biggest asset to SGA.”

Eaves was determined to get the word out during the month of elections. He campaigned by visiting intramural teams, talked to Greek Life, his classmates, and many other organizations on campus.

All of his hard work paid of when he was officially elected as president on Tuesday, March 29, winning 63 percent of the vote, or 602 votes versus the 345 his opponent received.

Eaves will be staying over the summer to start building relationships, specifically with Western Carolina’s newly selected chancellor, David Belcher. Belcher was publicly announced as chancellor on Friday, April 8 at the UNC System Board of Governors meeting that took place in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Eaves was in attendance for the big reveal.

Eaves biggest challenge will be working with the new administration and building a relationship with the staff. His main goal for his term as president is to getting the student voice heard.

“I want to get a lot more involved with students,” said Eaves. “I think getting more involved will help build respect for SGA and will build better relationships.”

Eaves also discussed the option of possibly becoming a co-sponsor with Last Minute Productions, WCU’s  main source for entertainment. He mentioned the idea of implicating a “lottery” selection process in the fall semesters to randomly choose the musical guests that will appear each spring.

Overall, Eaves duties will include participating on the Board of Trustees, attending Associated Student Government meetings, and ultimately serving as the direct voice for the student body. Vice President-elect Alecia Page will be in charge of the senate, dealing with matters involving a constitution, and will handle many behind-the-scenes duties.

When asked about working with Page, Eaves answered, “She’s going to do an excellent job. She is very outspoken and I think she is going to be very successful.

Eaves encourages all students to come by his office and get to know him. He reports that there are always opportunities available to get involved.

“There is always something you can do with SGA,” Eaves said. “If you want to know more about me, feel free to walk in and talk to me, or talk to me about an issue. I’ll be happy to work with anyone.

Eaves also mentioned Greek Life and called it a “high priority” because of Greek Life’s active involvement on campus. He expects to work with Greek Life during his term and hopes that Greek students will be open to talking with him personally about any issues.

“I want people to look back and say I was the voice of the students,” said Eaves. “I don’t have an agenda – I have an agenda to respond to the students.”