By Ashley Williams
Following recent elections, 2023-2024 SGA Executive Cabinet members had a lot to share about their prior experience with SGA and their goals for next year.
Freshman Aubree Stricklin, an accounting major, was elected as the new SGA Treasurer. Her prior experience with SGA was serving in this year’s Freshman Forum.
“The reason why I ran for the SGA Treasurer position is to get more involved in our great university,” said Stricklin.
“I also wanted to assist my fellow students and the student body. Finally, since I’m an accounting major, being Treasurer aligns with what I enjoy and my objectives,” she said.
As the new SGA Treasurer, Stricklin’s goals for next year are to handle SGA’s budgets and accounts effectively and efficiently. On a more personal level, she also wants to assist people in achieving their goals and to improve both her communication and leadership skills.
“I always believe that the best way to achieve any goal is through dedication and great teamwork. With these two components and with additional planning and strategizing the goals of both SGA and mine will be achieved,” Stricklin concluded.
Junior Riley Watkins, a biology and chemistry major with a math and philosophy minor, was elected as the new SGA Vice President. Her experience with SGA was serving as an Arts & Sciences Senator during her sophomore year and serving as the Head of Governmental Affairs Committee.
“I am currently the senate clerk; in this position I have worked closely with the current Vice President Abigail Heuton, and have a good understanding of the expectations of the position,” said Watkins.
Watkins ran for Vice President because she wants an opportunity to help senators achieve their goals on UM’s campus. She personally enjoys being a guide to others when they’re in need, which she says is a natural fit for her.
As the new SGA Vice President, Watkins’s goal is to ensure that senators have the required resources to bring change on UM’s campus.
“I think the best way to achieve this is to develop good working relationships and friendships in the Senate. This year I am hoping to have events that give senators the opportunity to bond so that we can work as a cohesive unit,” Watkins concluded.
Junior Abigail Heuton, a communication studies and political science major with a public relations, pre-law and peace and justice minor, was elected as the new Senior Class President.
Her prior experience with SGA was serving as a Freshman senator and a Director of External Affairs. Heuton is currently serving as SGA Vice President.
“I wanted to be Senior Class President because first and foremost, I honestly thought it would be fun! I love being able to represent the senior class and trying to make a positive impact before I leave the university,” said Heuton.
As the new Senior Class President, her goal is to have one or two events for seniors so that they can create some memories before they graduate.
“Another idea is maybe doing some social media posts to honor our graduating seniors and what their future endeavors are! Creating a 2024 Instagram or Facebook could be a great way to engage the senior class,” she added.
“I can’t wait to get started and finish my year strong!” Heuton concluded.
Junior Colton Rodano, a political science major with a pre-law minor, was elected as the new SGA President. His prior experience with SGA was serving as an Arts & Sciences Senator, which shortly ended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rodano later served as a Sophomore Senator, where he represented his sophomore class, collected feedback from other sophomores and worked on legislation that addressed that feedback.
“I am now the President Pro-Tempore, which is a position that serves as both a senator and Executive Cabinet member. I am a voting member of both bodies and I serve as Vice President’s stead when they aren’t present,” said Rodano.
Rodano ran for SGA President because of his passion for politics and government and his friends and family encouraging him to do so.
“My support net has assured me that I’m capable of doing great things. As such, I’ve decided to put my passion for politics and government to good use through serving my peers as SGA President. I love the University of Montevallo’s student body; having the ability to serve and represent them is an honor that I look forward to,” said Rodano.
As the new SGA President, his goal is to push for changes requested by the student body, despite any hardships.
“One example that students give a substantial amount of feedback on comes to mind, the quality of internet services on campus. If feedback continues along its current trajectory, improving university internet services will be one of my primary concerns,” Rodano added.
According to Rodano, SGA receives a large amount of data through student feedback surveys, focused on issues that students care about the most.
“Given that I’ve been chosen to represent the student body, their concerns are my own. I’ll be looking for data, past, present and future, to determine what issues my constituents want me to focus the most on,” he said.
In order to accomplish his main objective, Rodano plans to communicate clearly and work with other members of SGA and accurately explain objectives and the reasons behind them.
“I look forward to serving the student body as their next SGA President. I will forever be thankful for the opportunity that has been provided to me by my peers. The campaign trail was something special, being part of such an engaged atmosphere was phenomenal. If involvement with SGA maintains the course it did throughout the election, we should have great things in store,” he concluded.