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Candidates make their pitches

By Billy O'Keefe

TRACY CHAN / The Working Press
National SPJ delegates gathered Friday for the annual pre-election opening business session.
The delegates vote for positions on the board—including president-elect, regional directors, secretary-treasurer, and campus representatives.
This year, most of the slots are uncontested, but two candidates are vying for the position of president-elect, and two more for Region 4 director.
A delegate could have nominated a new candidate for any position during Friday’s meeting, but no one did.
Candidates for the only contested slots are Kevin Smith and Ron Sylvester for president-elect, and John Head and Jeremy Steele for Region 4 director.
“I am a working journalist. I am also the educator of tomorrow’s journalists,” he said in his speech at the opening session. He added that he would base his platform on “experience, vision and achievements.”
His campaign included an ad on the back page of the SPJ conference program, fliers and “Kevin Smith ’08” buttons.
He opened his address to the delegates with an acknowledgment that the news industry is in upheaval.
He said he would help “support, give hope and training” to SPJ. He called journalism the “original social network” and emphasized the importance of reaching out and connecting with the world.
His campaign included fliers and the “Vote for Ron” chocolate bars you may have seen around the registration area.