Helms, Albrecht want balance between investments at SDSU

One of the main tasks the elected president and vice president of Students’ Association will tackle next year includes establishing the next General Activity Fee strategic plan.

This task impacts students, but SA will also have to consider the next strategic plan for the university and Brookings’ 25-year plan.

Current SA President Ally Helms and State and Local Government Chair Taylin Albrecht believe they’re the right pair for this challenge.

“We’ve been in these roles already, we understand what’s required of the time and position and how to best invest in students and utilize the relationships we’ve already formed,” Helms said.

Helms wasn’t originally planning on running for president again because she was content with her accomplishments this term. But seeing how the election was setting up, she decided she wanted to continue her role.

The pair’s platform focuses on the GAF strategic plan, mental health among students and strengthening the relationship between SA and university administration.

“Something that we’ve noticed going on at SDSU is we’ve done a great job of expanding campus, growing, keeping up as a Division I university, recruiting students, things like that,” Albrecht said. “But we want to shift that focus from recruitment to retention and make sure that we are putting just as much investment into our students, into our departments, into our programs as we are to our facilities.”

Mental health is something Albrecht is personally invested in as a human development and family studies major. She hopes to model the City of Brookings’ work in establishing a mental health task force.

“I think overall health of students directly affects their success on campus and directly affects their success in the future,” Albrecht said. “It’s something that is not something we should ever be complacent with.”

Helms herself is working to create a mental health student organization.

“It really focuses back on investing in students and balancing the investment of infrastructure with the investment of people,” Helms said about their plan.

Helms and Albrecht consider SA a voice for students among SDSU administration and state leadership. But that role requires experience, Helms said, which both have in SA and other areas of campus. Helms has been a teaching assistant in the pharmacy program and the Honors College. Albrecht served as the state FFA president from 2014 to 2015.

“At the end of the day it’s leadership, experience and success,” Helms said.

The two said although they have what it takes to be president and vice president, they want it because they’re passionate about bettering the university, building trust and investing in students.

“That’s what these positions are for,” Albrecht said.