On Your Marks, Get Set, RUN (for Office): incumbent Dan McCord’s plans for next year


Incumbent candidate Dan McCord speaks about how his position has helped him grow this year and the plans he hopes to establish if he were to be reelected.

On Feb. 9, the Student Government Association candidates began campaigning for the 2016-2017 school year, and The Seahawk was fortunate enough to sit down with one of the presidential candidates, Dan McCord.

McCord, current SGA president and incumbent candidate, spoke about what his plans are for office for the 2016-2017 school year and why he believes he is the best candidate for the position.

McCord, a junior at UNC Wilmington and a history major, finds that “politics is what [he’s] good at,” and he has learned to be patient and self-reliant since assuming the role of SGA president.

“Things take a lot of time,” said McCord about his experience of getting work done in SGA. “You can’t rush the system. I have tried above all else to keep a level head. I have never lost my cool or yelled at members of SGA. It’s important for the president not to take those things personally.”

Apart from his ability to be patient, McCord also prides himself on his newfound ability to trust and depend upon himself.

“As president, I’ve learned to rely on myself more,” said McCord. “Everyone is making it up as they go. You have to trust yourself. [And] at the end of the day you have to trust you know what’s best for the job you’re doing. You have to take in as much input as you can get. I’ve learned to take criticism so it doesn’t command me but it guides me.”

However, not every candidate exhibits only strong suits, and McCord is no exception. McCord explained how his room for growth lays with delegation.

It’s hard to pass off a task, according to McCord, and he likes to do work himself. However, it’s possible to take on too much. McCord said that you need to acknowledge your weaknesses and balance those weaknesses.

To combat this, McCord said he would like to form a more cohesive team to balance the workload.

Regardless of these issues, however, McCord has plans he wants to put in motion for the 2016-2017 school year.

“The big one is to start the conversation about an A+ system,” said McCord. “Right now we have a 4.0 system. Our new provost from ECU had the A+ system, and it stinks when you have a 4.0, get an A- and then can’t get back to a 4.0. The A+ system would allow [students] to get over a 4.0, and would give room for mistakes.”

Another important aspect that McCord hopes to keep instilled in SGA is a sense of community, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Part of UNCW’s mission statement is a commitment to diversity, inclusion, student engagement, ethics and integrity, and McCord reads this as an idea for community building.

“The idea is enhancing each other,” said McCord. “I have always been an inclusive leader, and I have been involved in some of the diversity issues for SGA. Here in SGA we’re not cheating or deceiving; we’re an honest group. We strive to be open and approachable.”

Nevertheless, none of these issues can be properly addressed without the help of UNCW students and their ability to vote. The voter turnout of UNCW students in last year’s election and in previous years has been rather low.

“We had some poor advising and marketing last year, and as a result, there was a low voter turnout and few candidates,” said McCord about last year’s election. “What we did this year was make the elections longer. We’ve added marketing requirements to the bylaws. I won in an election to a vote where 500 voters voted [out of the entire student body], and it wasn’t very gratifying. I’m much more optimistic this year.”

Be sure to cast your vote from Feb. 22-25. Polls will close on Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. More information on the election can be found on SGA’s webpage.