On March 9, the LSU Student Government election results were finally announced after a week of tough campaigning. According to the presentation online, over 10,000 students participated in the election, a record-high for voter turnout.
After much anticipation, it was revealed that the Forward ticket secured the chief offices. Zachary Faircloth and Lindsey Landry had won the election for president and vice president, respectively, by a margin of nearly 20 percent.
Zachary Faircloth is a junior double majoring in electrical engineering and political science. During his time with SG, Faircloth has served as a senator for the College of Engineering, chairman for the Student Senate Budget and Appropriations, and chief advisor for the Executive Branch.
Lindsey Landry is also a junior, majoring in child and family studies. Before being elected as vice president, she served as a University College: Center for Freshman Year College Council Member and as senior advisor to the vice president.
Although the election was held in March, Faircloth and Landry have been working on their campaign since August.
“We began to meet as a group in August and reached out to over 100 student organizations and visited nearly 50 of those to try to give as many students as possible a chance to be a part of our student government administration,” Faircloth said via email. “From there, we held information sessions in November and December for over 500 students. Next, we populated the ticket with those senators and college council members who showed interest.”
After the fall semester, Faircloth and Landry began working for these student organizations’ support. On Feb. 14, they released Forward’s social media accounts. Their final work was the week before Election Day, March 7, when they devoted themselves to active campaigning on campus.
Like any government election, Faircloth and Landry ran for office because they felt very strongly about which issues on LSU campus need solutions immediately.
“The budget is the most impactful and imminent issue facing LSU,” Faircloth said. “As long as there is instability in LSU’s budget, we will never be at our maximum potential. I want the next student body president’s primary issue to be something other than a budget cut.”
Landry followed up with another problem she wants to address in the LSU community.
“Another issue facing LSU is that in a student body of over 30,000, students don’t feel connected,” she said via email. “Zack and I intend on having a Director of Student Outreach on our Senior Staff who will be directly responsible for making sure Student Government is a constant a resource for all students, and we plan to connect students to administration by hosting open forums with administrators.”
When asked about their ability to solve important issues, Faircloth and Landry had a similar response. Rather than dwelling on obstacles in the future, their focus seems to be on increasing the effectiveness of student government.
“We are not going to set any parameters on what we can accomplish,” Faircloth said. “From the beginning, Lindsey and I have wanted to instill a new student confidence in student government. We want students to know that student government can solve issues they are facing no matter the magnitude.”
Landry followed up with specifics about how the pair plans to go about increasing this confidence.
“As Vice President, I oversee the individual College Councils,” Landry said. “The College Council Presidents, which represent all 12 of LSU’s senior colleges, have already developed their own college specific initiatives that cater to the needs of students of all disciplines. By improving College Councils, I believe students will feel a stronger Student Government presence.”
Although difficulties will always plague those holding office, it is clear that Faircloth and Landry believe hard work will overcome any barriers they may face.
“We want to be remembered for our student outreach and incessant effort to make LSU a better experience for every student,” Faircloth said. “I know hard work and student input will lead us to a successful term.”
Photo courtesy of Belin Landry.