Austin Simpson, a junior financial management major, does not have normal days. According to him, every day in his life is different and exciting, which makes the day that he decided to run for Clemson University’s student body president just as unique as the day before.
Hallie Bowers, Simpson’s running mate and a junior construction science and management major, likes to stick to a routine. However, she still wants to make time for the things at Clemson that truly matter, which means she is willing to forsake her routine for the hustle and bustle of running for student body vice president. Considering how long the two have known each other, the decision to run together is far from surprising.
Simpson and Bowers met their first year at Clemson on Freshman Council. The next year, they both became tour guides, and this past year has seen them working together on CUSG Cabinet. With three years as coworkers and friends under their belt, Simpson and Bowers figured that being running mates would be an appropriate next step for their roles at Clemson.
“It has been cool to go through this experience alongside someone that I trust and respect but am also great friends with,” Bowers said.
Alongside sharing many experiences at Clemson, Simpson and Bowers also share a love for Clemson and the people that surround the school. From meeting people around campus to becoming part of the Clemson family, the two have found a home, and they want to use their passion to better the university.
“A key part of [being student body president and vice president] is being able to listen to feedback from people from all corners of campus and apply that knowledge to make Clemson a better place,” Simpson said.
With a platform revolving around student life, student experience and student voice, Simpson and Bowers’ efforts are aimed at ensuring that the students they are representing will have positive Clemson experiences. In addition, they want to change how each Clemson student is valued, regardless of who they are and what they do. The two candidates want to improve the lives of Clemson students, and as their slogan states, they want to “be the change” that will benefit all of Clemson’s student body.
“We chose this for a couple of reasons – one being our desire to put our money where our mouth is,” Simpson said when speaking about their slogan. “We don’t want the things we say on our platform to be things we say just to get votes. We want these things to be our actions if we are elected.”
Bowers agrees with Simpson’s ideals, and she particularly appreciates the tangibility of their platform. By focusing on issues that pervade Clemson, but might sometimes go unnoticed, Simpson and Bowers strive to give a voice to the students that make up the Clemson family.
“We are proud to run on a platform that we believe is inclusive to all students, giving not just Austin and I a voice, but a voice to the entire student body,” Bowers said.
Using the voice that they would possess as student body president and vice president, Simpson and Bowers are aiming to increase transparency for the student body. Regarding organizations, CUSG and the university as a whole, Simpson and Bowers see a lack of communication with students, and they want to change that.
As a result of such a change, Simpson and Bowers have one goal for the legacy they will leave behind at Clemson: service. Regardless of method, Simpson and Bowers simply want to serve their fellow students and give back to the university through its students.
“Students should vote for Austin and Hallie because of their passion to serve Clemson and its people,” Simpson said.
If elected, they aim to leave Clemson a better place than it was when they took office. However, they want this election to be far more than a popularity contest.
“I think students should vote for Austin and I because of our ability to enact change,” Bowers said. “Many candidates have filled their platform with shiny points to gain them votes, and while all of that is exciting, Austin and I are looking to represent the student body by fighting for the real change that students want and amplifying the entirety of the student voice.”
More information about Simpson and Bowers can be found at their website, https://austinandhallie2020.com/. There will also be continued coverage from The Tiger through elections.