SGA executive council swears into office

SGA Secretary Jessica McAlister speaks with her family before being sworn in April 22. Many SGA members received awards at the SGA transition dinner.

The Student Government Association members shed tears and accepted awards as outgoing members and incoming members exchanged goodbyes at the transition dinner in the Guillot University Center April 22.

The executive council adopted their new titles and swore into office.

The new officers are President Sarah Green, Vice President of Senate Tyler Delano, Vice President of University Program Council Nick Smith, Secretary Jessica McAlister and Treasurer Nikki Mathews.

The event took a poetic turn when Director of Student Engagement Tyler Thompson shared a poem he wrote for the changeover of SGA members.

“The birth of brand new endeavors, always started by a few, who will carry them to the future, the torch is passed — will you?” Thompson said.

Freshman Forum members Marissa Deal and Ashton Geiger received awards for their dedication and leadership efforts. Both tied for Freshman Forum Member of the Year.

Deal “always has a smile on her face,” said Freshman Forum Adviser Kelsey Hyche.

Hyche looks forward to seeing Deal on campus because of her friendly personality, she said.

Geiger works tirelessly for Freshman Forum by designing posters and running their social media accounts, Hyche said.

“(Geiger) is one who doesn’t really make her presence known,” Hyche said. “She works a lot in the background, and a lot of people don’t always see all of the things that she does.”  

Jordan Cooper took home the Senator of the Year award for his determination in accomplishing his goals for SGA, including his efforts to clean Bibb Graves.

“I remember during the first week of my term (Cooper) actually came to my office and started listing idea after idea he wanted to do on campus,” said former Senate Vice President Nicole Gallups. “He was so fired up about it. It inspired me as a (Vice President).”  

Jose Figueroa-Cifuentes received UPC Delegate of the Year for his efforts in UPC.

“Personally, I’ve never seen someone with such a hard work ethic for literally everything,” said former UPC Vice President Adam McCollum.

An SGA member receives the R.L. Potts Award for three years of outstanding service, and Sam Satterfield was this year’s recipient, Thompson said.

“He’s a great communicator,” Thompson said. “He’s able to ask intelligent questions and help others make more informed decisions. This truly sets him apart and makes him a leader among his peers.”

Nick Lang gave his farewell address as the SGA president.

“I spent the majority of my last three years of college living and breathing SGA,” Lang said. “Being an SGA officer for two years has taught me so many life lessons such as time management, conflict resolution and listening skills, which I didn’t have. My mom would probably appreciate that.”

As Lang said goodbye, Green said hello to the students as the new president.

“I encourage you all to hold me accountable over the next year, to remind me of what I ran on, to remind me that I’m doing this for the students, to not speak for myself but to speak for the interest of the student body,” Green said. “UNA is our home, and we’re going to make it better.”