After meeting with all four presidential candidates, UPUA President Christian Ragland selected the presidential ticket that he thinks would best take over his job next year — Travis Salters and running mate Maggie Quinn.
Rather than asking the four presidential candidates about their platform, Ragland (senior-political science) said he took the time to ask the candidates what they would do in hypothetical situations that may arise during their time as student body president.
“Over the past year, I’ve learned that it’s not about how great your platform is — there are times when you have the intent of the student body but protocol does not work in you favor,” Ragland said. “I wanted to know how the candidates would react in situations that do not go according to plan.”
Salters (junior-broadcast journalism and African and African American studies) spent the past year on the University Park Undergraduate Association Executive Board, as Ragland’s director of governmental affairs.
One of the main reasons Ragland said he put Salters on the Executive Board last spring was to help create the Pennsylvania Association of State-related Schools.
“I brought Salters on to the Executive Board to get things done — and he got things done,” Ragland said.
Ragland said Salters’ experience on the Executive Board this year will help him “run the Executive Board” next year, if he is elected.
“My entire year on the Executive Board I showed that I am about action,” Salters said. “I think Christian [Ragland] saw that and that’s why he endorsed me.”
Salters said he was not surprised by Ragland’s endorsement because he believes he is the best candidate.
“Christian [Ragland] knows that I am about advocating for the students — not the spotlights that comes with president of the student body.”
Though Salters is a close friend of his, Ragland said he made sure to “check his friendship at the door.”
Salters said he believes he and Ragland are extremely like-minded, especially when it comes to advocating for students.
Presidential candidate Joe Grimes said he does not believe Ragland’s friendship with Salters impacted his decision.
“Christian [Ragland] is a very unbiased man,” Grimes (senior-crime, law and justice and energy, business and finance) said. “He picked who he thought was best for the job.”
Ragland said endorsing a candidate is not his way of “choosing a successor.” He said he simply chose the leader he thought would be able to handle the position of president in all situations.
Overall, Ragland said selecting one presidential ticket was one of the hardest decisions he had to make this year. He said that all four presidential candidates impressed him.