Evolve election feature

(From left to right) 2022-2023 SGA Executive Treasurer Marshall Summar, Student Services Director Abbey Lawrence, Student Body President Jordan Brown and Student Body Vice President Mark Hancock.

After a challenging few years, the university’s Student Government Association (SGA) is hoping to reconnect with the student body and administration to spark more involvement within the community.

When asked about association and the overall goals, Student Body President Jordan Brown provided a description of the organization.

“The Student Government Association is a student-run body with the goals of supporting and advocating for students as they navigate campus life. Our organization is centered around providing all students with a place to share their experiences and views concerning student life. We aim to implement positive change and celebrate campus events through our programming and policy. It is a space to be heard, make connections, and become a more involved Volunteer,” Brown said.

The members of SGA are planning to pursue these goals carried over from their spring campaign, Evolve. This campaign had three main policy pillars – embrace, engage and energize – that are completely focused on building the community within campus, making every student feel that SGA is a place for them and bringing back the engagement involved with the university.

However, after their campaign ran unopposed, these members of SGA realized that very few students were informed on SGA and their missions as an organization, and they are working hard to change how things are done and turn over a new leaf within the university.

Brown has spent the past three years at the university as a member of SGA and has credited much of her growth to the organization.

“I have been involved in SGA since my freshman year. I began in the First-Year Council, then transitioned to serving as an Undergraduate Student Senator for the past two years. Throughout my time at SGA, I have served in various leadership roles that have been instrumental in my development and growth,” Brown said.

Marshall Summar, the treasurer for SGA, spoke on his engagement with the association and experience as a senior at UT.

“This is actually my first year involved with SGA. I’ve been involved with other parts of campus leading up to this academic year, but I decided to get involved with SGA because it presented itself as a more encompassing way of giving back to a university and community that I love… We have a team filled with capable individuals who I fully believe will give their all for the University of Tennessee and its student body,” Summar said.

Although the transition back to in-person has provided various challenges, the members of the association remain hopeful. Throughout this year, they are going to work towards filling the gap of disconnection between the members and programs on campus.

Brown expressed her excitement and hope for a new beginning at the university to grow the community.

“Personally, I am very excited about this upcoming year. As we have been navigating through the pandemic, this year looks to be a new beginning where more students will be on campus and engaged. I am looking forward to all of the events we have planned this year and making connections to strengthen SGA and improve campus for students,” Brown said.

To learn more about the student government association and to potentially get involved, visit their website.

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