Schyler Burney is a junior in the College of Liberal Arts whose interest in politics has taken her across the state and nation to meet with state legislators and Auburn Alumni.
Burney, an economics major on a qualitative track, started her Auburn experience with the Freshman Leadership Program and help from Jacquelin Keck, SGA president.
“My senior year, a few things just led me to look into Auburn, and I came and visited the spring of my senior year,” Burney said. “The offer I was given, talking about scholarship wise, was too good to refuse with Auburn being the place that it is. Looking into what I wanted to go into, that initially being physics, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.”
Although Burney originally was in physics, she decided to change her track after speaking with Keck about her physics experience.
“I looked into it, I took some econ classes and realized you could find that balance,” Burney said. “You could find a major with liberal arts learning but also that analytical side of things. So I was hooked.”
Outside of Freshman Leadership Program, Burney was also involved with the Freshman Forum under SGA.
Burney has always found interest in politics, math and sciences as well as economics. Her plan is to take her economics major and attend law school.
“My family, my dad and my uncle and grand-dad, they have a firm, and so it’s all just been a family business I’ve grown up around,” Burney said. “I think as I’ve gotten older, I just see myself doing the work they do.”
Burney also worked with Lobby Board, which allows students to work with state legislators to learn and improve government relations.
“I think it’s been really neat to form those relationships with our legislators and people that are having the voice on issues that affect us,” Burney said.
In part with Lobby Board is Lobby Day and Higher Education Day. Lobby Day allows all students involved to take a trip to Montgomery to the State House to build connections with legislators.
“Around the same time we do Higher Education Day, and it’s when all of the public institutions in the state gather in Montgomery to express our opinions on higher ed funding,” Burney said.
In addition, Burney is a senator for the College of Liberal Arts. She works to represent Auburn students and their needs and desires.
“Just because I love the college itself, and so then being able to work on that side of things has been really rewarding to see that even as a student we can make a difference,” Burney said. “While we may not necessarily see these differences now and the changes now, I can be confident in knowing the kind of precedent we may have set or the initiative we’ve taken will play out in years to come, for auburn liberal arts students down the road.”
On behalf of Liberal Arts, Burney took a trip to DC to work on a newly initiated program for liberal arts students.
This program places current liberal arts Auburn students with alumni in the DC area for internships and other opportunities. The program helps save students rent and is especially helpful for unpaid interns, Burney said.
“I got to go up there and meet those families and assess the program in its first year, and I think that was really a unique experience,” Burney said.
Last year, three interns were placed in the DC area. Burney said they hope to expand this program across other Auburn departments in the future.
“We were really excited to see that especially with unpaid internships … but with an experience like that, it was neat to see,” Burney said. “Not only the convenience of it for students but the relationships that were formed across that Auburn Family still even through alumni and students.”
Although Burney represents the College of Liberal Arts, she said she has also been influenced through her school as well.
“Liberal Arts has a way of shaping the way that you look at the world and the way that you think,” Burney said. “It teaches you to think critically about the world around you and to really assess things.”
Burnley said one of her favorite parts of being an Auburn student is the relationships she’s formed. She said she believes the Auburn Family is a very real thing.
“I just think in every aspect of my Auburn experience, I find people that are pushing me to be the best version of myself, and if that’s all I got out of college, apart from the other things I think I have gotten, then I would be content to find those people that I think are going to be there for me,” Burney said.