SGA treasurer-elect “always willing to work”

Student Government Association Treasurer-elect Nikki Mathews participates in discussion during the March 26 Freshman Forum meeting. Mathews said she hopes to make SGA more approachable next year.

Nikki Mathews is the youngest of the incoming Student Government Association Executive Council, but students should not underestimate her.

The SGA Treasurer-elect has a strong work ethic and a desire to reach out to every student on campus.

“It’s really easy working with Nikki because she’s very straightforward,” said Freshman Forum Adviser Maurice Mull. “She’ll put her ideas out there.”

But she takes time to consider her response before offering her opinion, which “works well with the (executive council) because we are all pretty opinionated so she gives a really good balance,” said SGA President-elect Sarah Green.

Mathews takes criticism well, Mull said.

“She’s always willing to work,” said Freshman Forum Adviser Kelsey Hyche. “If you ask her to do anything, she’s willing to do whatever, whenever you need it (done). She’s very reliable and trustworthy.”

At the beginning of the semester, Mathews was too intimidated to approach SGA executives, she said.

“I hope to make the SGA members more approachable,” Mathews said. “They were really intimidating because I was like, ‘Wow, I want to be them. I really want to be them.’ So that’s what I’m trying to do, make the students realize that we’re people, too.”

One thing Nikki has never found hard to approach is her television to turn on Netflix.

“She is addicted to Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix,” said Secretary of Freshman Forum Megan Statom in an email.

Mathews said she likes to watch the show on repeat when she is bored because it is one of her favorite ways to spend her free time.

Her favorite character is Alex (Karev), she said.

“He’s got a soft spot in my heart right now,” Mathews said.

Mathews often repeats the things she likes best, like rereading her several of her favorite books.

Mathews said. “I’m really big into Nicholas Sparks and The Hunger Games series. I’ve reread those two or three times.”

Eating potato soup is another activity she said she could do on a regular basis.

“Since I’ve been in college, I haven’t been able to get it a lot,” Mathews said. “I only get it when I go home.”

Although UNA does not provide Mathews with her favorite home-cooked meal, the university does provide her with plenty of leadership opportunities.

Mathews is currently a member of the Freshman Forum Leadership and Development Committee.

“Recently we did a leadership conference for high school seniors,” Mathews said. “It was a success. I’m proud that we were putting together a conference and asking people to come to campus, and they did.”

Mathews has many other memorable experiences with Freshman Forum.

“The funniest thing that happened was at homecoming,” Mathews said. “Freshman Forum did a float, and right before the parade the float fell apart,” Mathews said.

Mathews’ ability to handle unfortunate situations with a positive attitude is a characteristic her friends admire.

“Nikki’s just really happy and a go-with-the-flow kind of person,” Mull said.

Initially, Mathews is shy and reserved, Hyche said.

“But once you get to know her, she’s constantly laughing about stuff (and) cracking jokes,” she said.

She is a fun person to be around, Statom said.

“Everyone wants to be Nikki’s friend, and she is someone I know I can trust,” Statom said. “She’s always laughing at me and my crazy situations.”

Mathews’ favorite color made her attendance at the university seem like fate.

“Nikki loves anything purple,” Statom said. “Seriously it is an obsession. I sometimes wonder if she just came to UNA because of the colors.”

Regardless of why Mathews chose UNA, she is happy here and wants students to know she is just like them.

“I pay tuition,” Mathews said. “I make mistakes. I’m just a regular student. I just happen to have a higher position. I never thought I would get this position. But I’m very thankful that I have it.”