"Yeah, I'm Greek, but I'm also an SGA person, you know, I'm also a writer, I'm also a volunteer, I'm also in a major that many people probably haven't even heard of."
Katelyn Hadder, the student services director candidate for SGA campaign We Are UT, is a renaissance woman. A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Hadder is a sophomore in special education with hopes of specializing in deaf education. One of the youngest candidates on this year's ballot, she expressed that her passion for being a strong supporter of those around her is at the heart of her bid as one of the student body's executive leaders.
Why did you decide to run for this position?
"Both students and service, as cliché as it sounds, are just really important to me. I've prided myself on really being involved in service organizations because it's just something that's so close to my heart. It's something that I want to do, it's something I care a lot about. Having the ability to be able to really spearhead student services programs at the university is just something that I really feel called to do, it's something that I have a passion (for) and (am) going to be able to do and do it well."
What major issues do you plan to address, if elected?
"The biggest thing we're going to have to address, just because their term is coming to an end, is the student fees issue. That's actually something our current student services director, Grant Davis, has been working very closely with. So, probably continuing in his footsteps to ensure that the goals of SGA, in regards to letting student fees be in the hands of students, is continuing to progress and move forward, and that's something we can actually accomplish."
Hadder also emphasized making the Vol experience a strong tradition for all students, pushing for more school spirit initiatives and increased student involvement.
What aspects of past student services directors' terms do you think went well and what could have been done better?
"(Grant Davis) has focused a lot on school spirit, which I think is great. ... What I would like to do is definitely continue with that with the school involvement and the school spirit and rallying people together, but I think my biggest thing is making sure that everybody that wants to be involved can be. ... SGA, and student services in particular, have had kind of a cliché of being cliquey and political. ... Lots of times, I feel like it keeps us divided, it keeps us from getting everything done that we could get accomplished."
Why should you be elected as Student Services Director?
"The biggest criticism that I've gotten is that I'm too young, that I'm not experienced to be able to take on the role. ... First off, I do have experience. I have just as much SGA experience as a lot of the people running and a lot of the people in the SGA family as of now, anyway. So, I do have the experience. But one thing I want to say is, yes, I'm young, but I feel like that makes me the best candidate because I have a fresher perspective on things.
"I can more easily connect to freshman coming in and sophomores than a rising senior could, but I also am very mature for my age and I can understand the needs of the older students as well and can accommodate that. So, I think yes, I'm young, but I'm passionate and I'm ready for it. ... People can keep underestimating me, but I still think at the end of the day I'm the best person for this spot."