Mental health and GAF money some of Grote, Peterson campaign goals



Nick Grote and Trinity Peterson are running for Students’ Association president and vice president.

Gracie Terrall, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Students’ Association elections begin March 21 this year. As President Blake Pulse and Vice President Anna Shane complete their tenure of leadership, two new candidates are vying for the position. Here is a look at Nick Grote and Trinity Peterson’s campaign. 

Grote is a second year junior and serves as a College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences senator. He’s worked on the strategic internal communications committee, academic affairs and was the vice chair for the finance committee.

“I have a ton of experience managing finances and I think it’s really important that we do that responsibly,” Grote said. “I think I’ve built up those skills quite nicely and am able to make decisions for others. And you know, Vote Grote is a good tagline, it’s fun.”

Peterson is a senator for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. She serves on the Senate communications committee, university food service advisory committee, finance and the Student Union advisory committee. 

Grote and Peterson’s campaign focuses on three platforms: invent, impact and inform. 

Under their invent pillar, Grote and Peterson want to create tangible achievements that benefit students during their term. Peterson is currently working to get a second scoreboard installed at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium across from the student section. Grote recently introduced legislation and is working with administration to bring electric scooters to campus.

The pair hopes to impact SDSU by creating more healthy food options and more food service hours, ensure the diversity liaison position is funded and secure in the Senate and advocate for the removal of the lockdown browser camera scan for remote exams. Recently, a student at Ohio State University sued the school for invasion of privacy. 

“That court case found that it was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, its unreasonable search and seizure,” Grote said. “We don’t want SDSU to get a lawsuit and we also want to protect the rights of the students. Getting rid of a camera scan of a room would is a really big thing. We want to promote student privacy.”

Their third platform, inform, focuses on notifying administrators about student needs and informing students about what is happening in the Senate, like the General Activity Fee (GAF) Strategic Plan.

Every four years, SA is in charge of allocating a portion of the GAF dollars to student organizations on campus. Next year will be the time to review and confirm the budget for the next four years. 

“There’s a ton of work that goes into this, and it’s a huge responsibility that the next administration is going to be charged with,” Grote said. “It’s important and we need people who have been around the block and can handle this responsibility.”

Another area that Grote and Peterson would like to inform students about is the mental health resources on campus. The South Dakota legislature passed HB 1076, which provides the Department of Health $2 million to support mental health programs. 

“What we really want to do is connect students to services in the community, and maybe even expanding to Sioux Falls if need be,” Peterson said. “We want to just compile that information so it’s easily accessible to students so they know the phone numbers and what counselors are available and what insurances they might accept. This is a really big struggle for students.”

Sen. Hayden Bentz and Sen. Katelyn Mahan nominated Grote and Peterson for the presidential position at the Feb. 13 SA meeting.

“They’re wonderful people, and I think they’ll do excellent things for SDSU,” Bentz said. “You see time and time again, the resolutions that they support and things that they’re pushing for on Senate are going to impact the day to day lives of every single SDSU student.”