/SGA calls for representation in commencement ceremony
SGA RecapGraphic by Bell Jackson

SGA calls for representation in commencement ceremony

By Bell Jackson

The Student Government Association met on April 14 to discuss the possibility of adding a new committee. 

SGA Vice President Natalie Seavers, Senior Class President Solomon Balaam-Reed and Administrative Vice President Caitlin Blackburn drafted a resolution to form a committee of students to select future keynote speakers at the annual commencement ceremony.  

Every year, a notable citizen is chosen by the university to give a speech at the graduation ceremony. 

 At the last ceremony, in 2019, alumnus Dr. Richard D. Cummings, a world-renowned researcher, delivered the keynote address.  

Alabama Rep. William S. “Bill” Poole of Tuscaloosa was scheduled to deliver the address on August 7, 2020, but due to COVID-19, the entire ceremony was postponed.  

Resolution 2021-R-005, titled “Recommending the Formation of a Graduation Keynote Speaker Selection Committee,” aims to include student representation in the selection of speakers.  

“All in all, we understand that graduation is a big celebration for students who are completing academic requirements to wear their robes and walk at commencement. We want this committee to be able to honor that,” said Seavers.  

The committee will include the SGA president, senior class president and student trustee. 

The rest of the committee will be made up of other student leaders from underrepresented portions of the student body such as the Black Student Union.  

To conclude the meeting, Seavers reminded meeting attendees of the upcoming kickball game for SGA members on Flower Hill as a team bonding exercise.  

On April 21, SGA met to swear-in new officers for 2022. 

Seavers reminded members that this was the last meeting of the school year. “I just want to thank you all so much for being here with me on our little fun time being in SGA. We have made some great progress with the legislation we have worked with, and I hope you all have felt like you’ve earned something and learned something from being together this year.” 

SGA President Thomas Dillard then presented awards to outstanding members. “I have to say I have been able to see all these people do some incredible work in their areas, and I am so incredibly proud of the different areas that they’ve overcome in this really hard time.”  

The Freshman Forum members of the year are Nila Shipman and Dalton Brown.  

Executive Member of the Year is Jacob Heath. 

Senator of the Year is Jonathon Loria.  

Returning members were asked to stay on the Zoom call after the meeting was adjourned to be sworn in.  

Anakate Andrasko was sworn in to be the new SGA president.  

Andrasko’s first official business as president and last action of the meeting was to induct new officers of the Student Government Association.   

Bell Jackson
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