Meet the newly elected SGA officers

Alex Hopper, News Editor

UNA’s Student Government Association held elections Feb. 15 – 17. The results of the election are in, and it’s time to meet the new SGA officers. 

Jake Statom is the new SGA president. 

Statom is an engineering major, minoring in chemistry, from Tuscumbia, Ala. 

Statom felt lead by his faith to run for president and serve the students of UNA. 

“I am so excited for my role as the voice of the students of UNA,” said Statom in a social media post. “I want to personally thank all the students for making this university one of the greatest places on earth.”

“First and foremost, I want to thank Jesus Christ, my family, and students of UNA for this opportunity,” said Statom. “I could never have done this without you; I hope and pray I can represent you in the best way possible.” 

Kayla Walton was elected as vice president. 

Walton is a junior computer science student from Florence, Ala. 

Kayla hopes to continue the work she has already done with SGA as the chairwoman of the Student Welfare Committee.

“I am so excited to be the 2021-2022 SGA senate vice president and to serve alongside great student leaders,” said Walton. 

“I look forward to continuing my work in SGA to better the lives of all the students at UNA,” said Walton. 

Ethan Dempsey was elected as treasurer. 

Dempsey is a Finance and Accounting double major from Madison, Ala.

“I’m looking forward to serving the student body as treasurer this upcoming school year,” said Dempsey. “Responsible fiscal policy is more important than ever right now.”

“UNA is in good hands, and I believe this new exec can tackle the challenges presented to us in the future,” said Dempsey. 

The secretary position is still undecided. 

Ahead of the election, a “meet the candidates” event was held so that students could make informed decisions about their vote. 

Each elected officers’ answer shed light on the next year of SGA. 

 Here are the highlights from the winners.

Dempsey overviewed his hope for SGA’s fiscal policy. 

“My goal is to advocate for responsible fiscal policy within SGA and ensure that all groups and activities no matter their diversity or their make up receive the funding they deserve,” said Dempsey. 

Dempsey explained how he plans to manage his personal time while also helping other members of SGA. 

“Definitely keeping a tight schedule,” said Dempsey. “Allowing open time for me to be able to answer any questions that members of SGA might have.” 

Walton detailed her plan as vice president to keep “persisting, working, and advocating” for all UNA students. 

“As your vice president, I will work to increase accessibility by making your representatives available to you, diversity and inclusion by encouraging feedback from all students, and transparency by making SGA decisions known to all students,” said Walton. 

Walton wants to create an open line of communication between SGA and UNA students. 

“I want to keep working with organizations. Let them know about the issues we’re facing and the issues we are talking about. Especially if they have a vested interest in the topics that come up in senate conversations,” said Walton. 

“It’s so important that every student has a voice and every student feels welcome in SGA senate,” said Walton. 

Statom relayed his platform for his presidency.

“I want to increase the involvement of SGA,” said Statom. “I want to increase the individual student’s knowledge of SGA to increase transparency.”

“I also want to increase SGA’s involvement in the Shoals cities…and state government,” said Statom. 

Statom wants to proliferate the already established liaison initiative on the Shoals city council to act as a voice for UNA students. 

As it pertains to the state government, Statom hopes to work on “Project 208,” which is an initiative to obtain more state funding to compensate for the inequity between UNA and other universities of a similar size. 

Statom explained how he will handle conflict as a leader. 

“I’ve always been one to mitigate conflicts,” said Statom. “I will always, as president, sacrifice my own interests.”

“One way to setting conflict is through wdiscussion and debate. I think conversation is key there,” said Statom. 

He also commented on how he plans to recover from any errors throughout his presidency. 

“You have to rebuild trust,” said Statom. “That comes through a process of being dedicated and intentional.”

Lastly, Statom encouraged students to attend senate meetings to be informed about SGA decisions that affect them. 

“We want to hear your voice. We want to hear what you have to say,” said Statom. 

In the upcoming week, SGA will hold a run-off for the secretary candidates: Javia Warner, Abigail Eggemeyer, Ansley Brooks, and Grace McChristial. 

The new officers of SGA have been elected and now their job of representing all students of UNA begins. 

Jake Statom, SGA President
Kayla Walton, SGA Vice President
Ethan Dempsey, SGA Treasurer