At the annual SEC Exchange, 14 universities made up of over 120 student leaders and advisors from the Southeast Conference met up in Lousiana for a weekend of camaraderie and leadership education.
Out of seven awards given, Auburn’s student government association took home “SGA of the Year” and “Program of the Year” for Hey Day.
Auburn’s SGA President Jacqueline Keck said their success at the conference was thanks to previous generations of Auburn leaders.
“This award is not only for this year’s SGA team, but also the year before that, the year before that and the year before that,” Keck said. “Our projects sometimes take a long time to come to fruition so some of the projects that allowed us to win the award were started by student exec four or five years ago.”
Before the conference, the universities involved sent in applications for the awards that listed the SGA’s impact on campus, attention to constituents and success in the previous year’s programs. Universities are judged in categories like “advocating and supporting student needs on campus or at the local/state/federal government level, developing/implementing innovative programs and necessary services and engaging with diverse student populations."
Another aspect judged in the competition is the SGA’s ability to work with their school’s administration, something Keck says Auburn does best.
“The relationship and respect we get from the administration is unparalleled and that allows us to get things done in an efficient manner,” Keck said. “It was a huge game changer."
Overall, Keck thinks Auburn won the title of SGA of the year because of their tradition of listening to students above all else. She said the current student government, like those in the past, creates initiatives based on what is beneficial to the school as a whole.
“Winning this award was a lot of people taking a posture of humility and saying ‘I’m going to do what’s best for students and what’s best for Auburn and not necessarily what brings my name the most glory,'” Keck said. “We are on the ground, we know what’s going on, we really try to represent our constituents well."