For Mary Margaret Turton, the decision to come to Auburn never really was a decision. The desire was always to come to Auburn — it was just a matter of making it happen.
“Once I realized the scholarships worked out, and I was able to come, I knew for sure that’s what I wanted to do,” Turton said.
There isn’t a specific moment that stands out in Turton’s mind that explains why she wanted to come to Auburn, but there is a single reason that validated her desire to come to Auburn, she said — the people.
“There’s just something about being here,” Turton said. “It’s different. You can see the difference in people as well as just the atmosphere. There’s nowhere else I’d want to be.”
That reason is the same reason the junior in business analytics and public relations decided to run for SGA president this year.
After leaving the small town of Americus, Georgia, to come to a place that none of her graduating class came, Turton quickly immersed herself into the Auburn Family.
“Once I really started finding people who were like myself, whether that’s in SGA or other things being involved in, that’s when I felt like I found myself,” Turton said.
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Turton has been heavily involved with SGA during her time on The Plains. In addition to being a Lobby Board member, she is currently a College of Business senator, which has included serving on the Budget and Finance Committee as well as being the director of city relations.
The campaign “Turton on Target” has three main focuses in the platform: campus life, innovation and wellness.
Dovetailing off her love of Auburn people, one of Turton’s goals as president is for SGA to partner with other organizations to produce a biweekly podcast to spotlight a student that will share a diverse pool of stories.
“SGA’s mission statement is ‘serve, promote and unify,’” Turton said. “So, I think it would be really cool on that promote and unify piece.”
Turton also set out in her platform to start a student-run task force to shorten the lengths of lines at basketball games, potentially developing a lottery-ticket system for conference games.
For dining, Turton would like to work in conjunction with Tiger Dining to make a system for students to donate unused dining dollars to Auburn students who are food insecure.
According to her platform, she would also look to bring popular dining options such as Italian, Mexican and all-day breakfast to campus. She would also advocate for a food truck stationed in front of the Rec Center that would offer healthy, post-workout options.
Under the innovation focus of her platform, Turton would like to centralize Auburn-sponsored phone apps into a single app where students could go for all of their Auburn-related needs, from a comprehensive campus calendar to academic resources and ticket portal.
For wellness, Turton would look to partner with the Med Clinic to provide on-campus students with free golf-cart rides to and from appointments. She would also work with the East Alabama Medical Center to advocate for a team of sexual-assault nurses to be incorporated into the city’s upcoming 24/7 emergency care plans.
With a wide array of goals laid out in the platform, Turton wants students to know ahead of voting that they’re not just lofty ideas.
“It’s feasible,” Turton said. “I have talked to the staff and administration that I’ve needed to talk to for the base of every single one of these platform points, and as we work together, making sure goals align, but also that it is something that we would be able to deliver.”
As a student, Turton has learned who she is as a person through learning how to make an impact, which is the exact experience she would like to provide as president.
“That’s why I want to do this — to give that opportunity to all students,” Turton said.
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