SGA Presidential Candidate Joe Herlihy hopes to bridge gaps in SGA and create a more cohesive campus


Student Government Association presidential candidate Joe Herlihy speaks about his plans for SGA if he were to be elected, like creating a more cohesive work environment for senators, executives and students alike.

After spending his freshman and sophomore years as a senator for UNC Wilmington’s Student Government Association, UNCW sophomore and history and political science double major Joe Herlihy finds that he has more to do in SGA and could do so if elected president.

“Freshman year I found out about SGA,” said Herlihy. “Dan [McCord, current SGA President and fellow candidate] was my Orientation Leader and [SGA] Vice President, and he told me about SGA.”

Herlihy remembers that he was immediately interested in SGA. “I was the freshman class senator last year, and I worked with business affairs and the governmental outreach committee.”

In his work with the outreach committee, Herlihy connected with Dakota Carrier. Carrier was the state-level Senate body for SGA, and this encounter inspired Herlihy to not only pursue being sophomore class senator but campus liaison for the whole state as well.

“Once a month I meet with 17 universities,” said Herlihy, “and we act as the central voice for the universities and speak with the higher levels of the administration, the Board of Governors. [This job] has shown me where our school can improve.”

One thing Herlihy hopes to improve is the connection between the executives in SGA and the senators.

“As a senator I have seen how senators and executives struggle to cross paths and stay connected,” explained Herlihy. “Executives work with administrators, and senators work with students. Working with Dan [McCord] and seeing those issues has taught me how the senate and executives can work together so that the students’ voices are heard all the way up to the administration. That’s where the change is going to occur; SGA is a great way to get involved but if the relationships with the administrations aren’t there you’re going to struggle to make changes.”

Herlihy hopes to accomplish creating a working relationship between the president and the senate. He wants to change the fact that the president’s work and his executive cabinet’s work is not connected with the Senate’s.

“They’re basically doing separate things throughout the year,” clarified Herlihy. “I would love to change that relationship and make the senate go out and talk to their students.”

One instance in which Herlihy wants senators out talking to students is in the case of Randall Library’s new budget.

The library is going to be improved with the new million dollar budget, according to Herlihy, but SGA needs to hear students’ voices and opinions on the matter, which is why it’s beneficial to send senators out to speak with students directly.

Another issue that Herlihy wants senators to get students’ opinions on is how Chancellor Sartarelli plans on increasing numbers to 20,000, which Herlihy says will require a lot of changes.

And since Herlihy has a good working relationship with most of the SGA members, he believes that with the retention of some of SGA’s members into next year will afford him the opportunity to get work done and work well alongside his peers.

“I’m a hard worker,” said Herlihy. “I take pride in what I do. I’m not just in it for the graduation cords. I want to give the time it requires to see the students happy.”