Officers Have Big Plans for Student Government

With plans to help make campus more eco-friendly and expand the Student Union, two UT Dallas undergrads have begun their terms as Student Government officers for the 2011-2012 school year.

Brittany Sharkey Andrews, a senior art and performance major, was elected president of the student body. Cody Willming, a junior political science major, is vice president.

Both Andrews and Willming had previously been Student Government senators and have been involved in other campus activities. 

As president and vice president, the two want to hear from their fellow students. They hold scheduled office hours in Student Union Room SU 2.604  and are available by appointment.

The new leaders answered questions recently about their plans for the upcoming school year.

What motivated you to run for Student Government?

Andrews: I tend to be futuristic, and thinking about what could be has always excited me. Combining that with my desire to leave this place better than I found it, the plan to run was a no-brainer. I love this University, and I want other students to have as great an experience as I have, if not better.

Willming: I ran for office because I want to make a difference, and as a first-year student last year, it didn’t take me long to realize I had an incredible opportunity. 

What do you plan to do this year in your new positions?

Andrews: Cody and I are particularly keen on making improvements and emphasizing the concept of leaving a meaningful legacy through the projects we take on. It doesn’t do anybody much good to throw a bunch of money at a great project that depends on the next administration to keep it moving forward. I hope to see more unity among fee-funded organizations. Finally, one of the most pressing issues on our agenda is the vote on two fee referenda: the Student Union expansion fee and the “green fee.” We’re definitely hoping to get these two on the ballot for spring.

Willming:  One area I’m passionate about is finding additional ways for student organizations and the administration to communicate with the student body.  As a University with a strong emphasis on technology, we should have an equally advanced infrastructure to supplement our use of social media. Throughout the year, I hope to work with fellow students, staff and faculty to develop lasting solutions to bring our community together.

What are some of the best things about UT Dallas?

Andrews: Students have the opportunity to grow and develop through leadership opportunities and the exploration of academic programs, and we’re often encouraged to blaze new trails. I also love the diversity of the student body, and I’m especially glad for the receptiveness of our administration.

What could be better?

Willming: As with any institution, there’s always room for improvement. Sharkey and I intend to advocate for continued improvements in parking and food quality. We believe we need to consider an expansion of our Student Union to match our unprecedented growth in enrollment, as well as consider a green fee to make the University’s environmental impact more sustainable.

If you were an electronic device, what would you be?

Willming: I would be a glass elevator in a really tall building because I like to help lift people to new heights.  I would be honest and transparent by showing people everything around them.

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?

Andrews: I would definitely be Scout of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Although sassy and straight forward, she never gives up on finding the good in people. I’m sometimes teased for that quality, but I don’t consider it negative. Scout is honest and deliberate, and I possess both qualities.

A “green fee” to support campus sustainability is on the agenda for Cody Willming and Brittany Sharkey Andrews, the student body's new vice president and president respectively.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].