EDITORIAL: Electing a diverse SGA signals student progress


Since Auburn University was founded more than 160 years ago, its student body has elected only three female presidents — Cindy Holland in 1988, Lauren Hayes in 2009 and Jacqueline Keck in 2017.

It’s no secret that diversity on SGA’s executive team has been lacking in recent years. Before this year, the last time a woman even ran for a major position was when Chelsea Crooks was defeated by Harrison Mills in 2013.

The last time an African-American student held any major position was in 2014 when Olabode Anise was elected vice president.

Last month, however, a woman campaigned for every major office — Keck ran for president, Sarah Beth Cape for vice president and Gabrielle Pollard for treasurer.

Keck, a woman, and Justin Smith, an African-American man, hold the two most important positions in student government.

The Auburn Plainsman’s editorial board believes a wide range of perspectives in our leaders is vital to ensuring all students’ voices are heard, not just a select few.

No matter how well-meaning they may be — and we think they have been, for the most part — a small group of white men in fraternities cannot possibly relate to the experiences of more than 27,000 students of various backgrounds.

Every member of the Auburn Family deserves to feel like their voice matters.

We commend the student body for electing a group of men and women who represent a diverse Auburn.

Editor’s note: Weston Sims, opinions editor, is a member of SGA. He did not contribute to this editorial. 

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