Meet the Candidates: Megginson/Bohler 2018

By Morgan Givens
Staff writer

While the spring semester is winding down, one of the most important times of the school year is in full swing: student government elections. The office of SGA president is up for grabs, and this year there are three viable candidates running for the position with platforms and core missions they wish to carry out if elected.

One of these candidates is journalism and political science major Abigail Megginson and her running mate Nathan Bohler.

Megginson, a Pensacola native, was not sure how she would fit in during her first semester at the University of West Florida. After trying several opportunities, she still did not find exactly what she was looking for to make a lasting impact. That is when she founded Her Campus at UWF.

“I believe that when no pathways exist, it’s time for you to blaze your own,” Megginson said on her website addressing the establishment of Her Campus.

Abigail Megginson and Nathan Bohler

Her Campus UWF was founded by Megginson in her second semester, and it is an online magazine that focuses on college women. Megginson, who is the president and editor of the UWF chapter, assigns articles, manages a staff of more than 30 writers and hosts events on campus. The key message of Her Campus is to be educational for readers as well as empowering.

“A lot of our stuff applies to students from all backgrounds and all genders,” Megginson said. “We’re aiming to serve as a journalistic publication and also gives students the opportunity and experience to have their work published.”

On the other side of the academic spectrum is Nathan Bohler, who is running for the office of vice president alongside Megginson. Bohler, who is from Niceville, Florida, is a member of the ROTC and has had a different UWF experience than that of his running mate, but still a very positive one.

“I’ve enjoyed a lot of experiences and met a lot of different people here,” Bohler said. “And putting myself out there has made me want to run for office and try to make an impact any way I can.”

Bohler is one of the leading members of UWF’s ROTC program and heads many of the events which happen on campus at least twice a week, from things such as volunteering to hosting activities with other veterans. BWith being in a leadership position with a lot of responsibilities, Bohler said it has been a great opportunity to learn how to manage time and resources in an efficient way.

Coming from two different backgrounds on campus, Megginson and Bohler bring a wide array of experience to the table and that has helped form their platform. Their five main points include student life and experience, environmental sustainability, health, campus safety and transparency.

Megginson and Bohler tabling in front of the library and speaking to students with only a few days left before SGA elections begin. (Photo by Morgan Givens)

For Megginson, one of the most important policies she wishes to spearhead if elected is reviving the UWF app, which will be able to give students, specifically those who do not live on campus, the chance to be more involved with current updates and a constant feed of information. Another initiative she wishes to take on is restructuring the Argo Pantry business model to make it more sustainable.

“Argo Pantry relies on food drives, which does bring publicity and we do receive food,” Megginson said. “But there are some students who are barely able to buy food for themselves much less buy food to donate.”

Megginson’s solution for Argo Pantry is to initiate a program called “Swipe to Share” which takes the meal points left over on students’ nautilus cards and donates them to the Argo Pantry. This idea was shared with Megginson from a colleague that started the program at the University of Oklahoma and has seen great success, even being recognized by the Clinton Foundation.

Some of the policies Bohler wants to make sure is utilized during his term deal with safety. On a safety standpoint, Bohler wants to have more blue light pillars established on campus, especially in places where there are not as many which includes the nature trail. Another safety initiative is to promote the use of the escort services for those who take night classes.

Bohler also has a strong stance on food waste and has a simple solution to reduce the issue. The answer is smaller plates. After extensive research, Bohler is confident that utilizing smaller plates can combat food waste positively.

“Other colleges have used this method where they reduce the plates by 30 percent,” Bohler said. “And they have seen major declines in food waste. With this method you can still get as many plates as you want and still decrease waste significantly. And it’s something simple, and completely possible for us to implement.”

Both candidates bring experience and different perspectives to the campaign trail. If elected, they have a year to initiate policies and make an impact. For Bohler, his goal is to see progress with his own eyes.

“When I leave, I want to have something tangible.” Bohler said. “Along with having something tangible and long lasting I want to use this experience to help others and see them being benefited from policies we can implement.”

Megginson’s idea of making an impact is improving the use of the resources UWF already is gifted with and utilizing in a way to make them more beneficial.

“With my experience, I know the structure of student government really well and I can see the politics within,” Megginson said. “But I can also see it and other issues from an outside perspective with a little more objectivity and we can find a way to positively change it.”

The full Megginson Bohler campaign platform and other information can be viewed on their website www.megginsonbohler.comUWF students can cast their vote for SGA president online on Argo Pulse during April 2-4.

 

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