As the 2017-18 Student Government Association elections are drawing near, accompanying the speeches and debates comes the tradition of the SGA parody accounts on Twitter.
Starting with former SGA president Jack Hesser in 2015, the parody accounts have been used as a platform to spread both humor about and awareness of the elections.
“We created a fake Twitter account called '50 Shades of Blue,'” Hesser said. “The whole joke was that 'Fifty Shades of Gray' had just come out in theaters. We made up organizations and pretended like we were visiting the underwater basket weaving club and just had fun with it.”
Hesser said when transitioning out of office and welcoming in the new president after his run senior year, he and the other staff leaving behind SGA encouraged the incoming staff to continue the parody accounts each year.
Current SGA president James Wells said the parody accounts have been carried out in good spirit.
“It’s been kind of a tradition for the past couple of years carrying over from president to president that a fake slate appears at nomination convention,” Wells said. “Mostly for fun but also to kind of be another way of bringing attention to the SGA elections.”
Continuing with the Fifty Shades theme started by Hesser, the latest parody, @ShadesBSU, took on “50 Shades of Transparency," satirizing the presidential election along with the SGA elections.
“We knew we could capitalize on the previous election and what has happened there and use that to bring more attention to the SGA elections this year,” Wells said. “We use it as a way to bring attention to the elections and to try to keep the slates on their toes and feet.”
Concerns pertaining to whether students knew the accounts were parodies have been brought up in the past; however, Wells said it has not been much of an issue this year.
“For the most part, I think students that have contacted us have known that it’s a fake slate,” Wells said.
Hesser said in the past, the bio on the accounts stated it was a parody.
“Our bio straight up said we’re not an actual slate, but we’re here just to have a good time,” Hesser said. “We would occasionally tweet that."
When not running the parody account, the SGA president has many other tasks to attend to during and after the elections.
“I am constantly meeting with administrators and communicating with faculty members the concerns of students on various issues,” Wells said. “Other times I’m working with the Senate with developing legislation to send to the university senate for their consideration.”
Meeting with faculty isn’t the only task of being the SGA president, Wells said.
“I think the best part of my job, that I didn’t realize, has to be when I’m able to not do the things that are in my list of responsibilities, or in the job description, but to go out and visit student organizations and just sit down and get involved with them,” he said.