SGA president leads campus into green initiatives

Will Riley, the newly elected SGA president, argues his platform at the SGA Presidential Debate this year. 

Will Riley, senior majoring in public relations, officially became Student Government Association (SGA) President April 26, 2012, at the SGA Transition Dinner. This year, Riley plans to further the three-tier platform that he promoted during his election campaign. The three tiers are “conserve, coordinate, and communicate.”

“On the conservation piece—just a personal goal—I just want to continue the recycling efforts implemented by SGA last year and continue to explore all routes of where UNA prints paper and how we can save the university money,” Riley said.

The ultimate goal Riley wants to explore with the conservation tier is the option of UNA going paperless. He wants to further the SGA’s past goals of recycling and making UNA greener, hopefully one day allowing the option of students’ refund checks being direct deposited.

Riley said he is already in action fulfilling the coordination tier of his platform. He has been speaking to UNA officials and campus leaders to get their feedback.

“That is something that I have committed to during my platform, and I am living it out,” Riley said. “In addition to what ideas the staff and faculty have, I am going to send some type of mailing piece to the Registered Student Organization presidents to get feedback from the students.”

Riley wants to use the feedback to gain influence to set SGA goals. Riley “wanted to clean up our act of how many goals we had” but do this by making semesterly goals. Riley seeks more tangible accomplishments of the SGA in the near future.

“I think what we have been missing in SGA are those monumental changes,” Riley said. “I think it is time for us to see more landmarks. I want to see big picture what we can do in a year to see these big changes.”

Tammy Jacques, director of student engagement, has worked with Riley for three years, in the capacity of SOAR and SGA. She said she believes he will be a good SGA president because of his ability to see the big picture and that his abundance of ideas is his greatest strength.

“Will is a dynamic leader,” Jacques said. “He is one who has a lot of ideas. He is very positive. He thinks big picture and is always thinking about how we can make things bigger and better.”

Jacques said she believes Riley is approachable and encourages students to reach out to him.

As far as communication goes, Riley plans to use the third tier of his platform to have interpersonal communication with the UNA community.

Riley said he wants to make SGA video updates more consistent, bi-weekly for example, and to clean up “the bombardment of emails.”

Riley advises freshmen to get involved at UNA. He believes that getting involved will help students remain at UNA and in higher education because “everyone belongs somewhere.”

“You affect the trajectory of your college career by your freshman year decisions,” Riley said. “Everything I have senior year is directly impacted by my decisions freshman year.”

Riley is also head SOAR counselor, a LaGrange Society ambassador, vice president of PRIDE (UNA’s public relations RSO), and an active member and officer of a fraternity.