Ole Miss student Elam Miller was elected the Associated Student Body President Thursday after a runoff election against Wister Hitt.
Miller, a junior, is a public policy leadership major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and currently serves as the vice president of the ASB. Miller first heard of Ole Miss through a high-school friend.
“It was the school spirit that sold me,” Miller said.
His favorite Ole Miss tradition is the saying, “Hotty Toddy.”
“I love being able to see other people around the world wearing Ole Miss apparel and being able to say ‘Hotty Toddy’ and know that this place holds a special place in our lives,” Miller said.
Miller’s campaign platform centers around the phrase, “Expect More,” which consists of several key ideas Miller believes will help to reinvent ASB as a student platform.
First, Miller wants to open ASB up to all students. He has designed a year-round opportunity for students to get involved within their student government by directly giving them information about initiatives they are passionate about.
Miller has noticed several disconnects and inefficiencies within the branches of ASB. There is a Chairman of Infrastructure in the Senate, a Director of Infrastructure in the Cabinet and a student representative on the Parking and Transportation Committee for the Chancellor.
“These three positions do a lot of the same work yet rarely meet with each other, causing several ideas to be lost, resulting in major inefficiencies,” Miller said.
Miller plans to hold a monthly open meeting so that each branch will work more cooperatively, and students will have an opportunity to voice their opinions vocally to the ASB.
Miller also hopes to add a bimonthly meeting, which will also allow student input, with the following ASB officials: executive officers, all senate chairs, all cabinet directors and all standing committee representatives.
“Essentially, the Collaborative Promise will serve as a bridge not only between the branches of ASB, but also between students and ASB, ensuring everyone is involved in the decisions that are made,” Miller said.
Miller also wants to implement an Idea Tracker program on the ASB website in order to address the lack of transparency between the ASB Senate and Cabinet and other students.
“As it currently stands, there is nothing holding anyone in ASB accountable for following through with ideas from constituents,” Miller said.
The final aspect of Miller’s platform focuses on creating and codifying a new Shared Governance Model, which he says will “elevate the role students and ASB play in the decision-making process of the university.”
“As it currently stands, items passed through ASB carry little weight,” Miller said. “They are just ‘suggestions.’ Through a new shared governance model, I will reinvent ASB to be a strong, meaningful platform for students to be able to lobby and push for what they want to see happen at their university.”
“It’s the combination of all of these ideas that will reinvent ASB,” Miller added.
Five other ASB executive officer positions were filled last week in addition to the presidential seat. Miller believes that he and his new team will be able to lay a strong foundation for years to come.
Miller and other ASB elected officials will be inaugurated April 13 to begin serving in their new positions.
By Trevor Davis
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