Students meets candidates ahead of midterm elections


Photo by: Jeffery Miller

Four of the candidates who attended the Meet and Greet sponsered by the Student Government Association line up for a photo.

On Oct. 21, 2014, the Student Government Association held a meet and greet with candidates running for office in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, along with Senate and Congressional candidates.

The event was largely considered a success by SGA president Adam Lefort who said, “It was a good turn out, and I think the candidates really appreciated it.”

The event welcomed candidates from all political parties and even featured Nicholls Alumna Myra Zeringue Luft, who is running for Lafourche Parish School Board District 7.

“I am proud of my university, and I want to thank them for putting this on today. It shows an interest that the youth will have in the future running our parish, districts and perhaps our country,” Luft said.

On her campaign’s Facebook page, Luft shared an exchange she had at the meet and greet, “I feel for the young college student who approached me at Nicholls with tears in her eyes to tell me about her educationally challenged sister who is being bullied at school and doesn’t want to leave the house.”

Luft continued, “She doesn’t even live in Lafourche Parish, but felt the need to talk to me. I hope that people feel that they can approach me with concerns in the future. Even if I don’t win this election, I can still bring your concerns to the right person.”

Luft encourages student to vote, saying, “The voice of students is probably the most important voice we can have. People fight wars to gain the right to vote. Students have the right to vote. They need to go out there to exercise it.”

This sentiment was shared by Martin D. Wade, another Nicholls Alumni, who is running for Constable of the 4th District Justice of the Peace in the Tenth Ward of Lafourche Parish.

Wade said, “Most people do not realize that the franchise to vote is something that is very near to each of us. If you travel the world, you learn that not everyone has the same freedoms to choose leaders on a local, state or national level. We must be very careful on how we use that.”

Eric J. Tabor, a Nicholls Business Administration graduate, shared his reasons for running for Thibodaux City Council, saying, “I am running for city council because I have a vested interest in the community with a young child that I am raising here. It is an exciting time for Thibodaux as far as growth, and I would just like to be a part of that.”

Candidates were encouraged to introduce themselves to student and staff while sharing their political beliefs. Lee Ann Dugas, a veteran running for congressional district 1, shared her goals if elected, “One of the first bills I want to work on is the student refinance bill. If I can refinance my house, students should be able to refinance their loans to reduce the interest rate and reduce the payment.”

Dugas also expressed her displeasure with the state of equal rights, “The Equal Rights Amendment has been sitting in the house since 1978. It has never been passed. It has been sitting in the house since. I want to give a voice to those who feel left out or marginalized.”

Dugas added, “We have gotten away from what this country was originally founded for.”

Eva Shanklin, who is running for the Lafourche Parish School Board district three, expressed her intent to mentor students interested in politics.

“I would like to take one young lady and one man to the school board meetings so they can learn what the school board system is all about,” Shanklin said.

Lefort pointed out that this event could be beneficial to Nicholls in the long run.

“When candidates who are running get elected, it helps them know that Nicholls is here for them and it can help them represent us,” Lefort said.