Mary Margaret Turton, junior in business analytics and public relations, will be the next SGA president.
Friends and family swarmed Turton as Bri Thomas, SGA executive director of elections, announced the results on the back steps of Cater Hall Tuesday night during traditional Callouts.
“[I am] truly honored,” Turton said. “Honored is the only word I think I could come up with to describe it.”
To read a full profile on her and her campaign, click here: 'It's feasible': SGA presidential candidate Mary Margaret Turton has a plethora of ideas to bring to campus if elected
Turton is the fourth woman SGA president ever and the first since the election of former SGA President Jacqueline Keck in 2017.
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Turton said although campaign week was a fun ride, a small part of her is glad that it is over with how hectic it was.
“Two more days would have been hard,” she said with a laugh.
Turton ran against two other candidates, Daniel Calhoun and Brooks Jones. She won with 44 percent of the vote. A runoff is only required if no candidate reaches 40 percent of the vote. Calhoun followed with nearly 35 percent of the vote and Jones with 21 percent.
Nearly 40 percent of student voters cast a ballot.
Turton commended her two opponents and said she was proud that Auburn was able to offer three worthy and qualified candidates who would all have done a good job in the position.
“Brooks and Daniel are both two of my very good friends,” Turton said. “They both ran incredible campaigns, and they should be really proud of that. I hope to be able to work with both of them.”
Calhoun offered well wishes to Turton.
“Mary Margaret’s one of my best friends, and I’m so happy she has this opportunity,” Calhoun said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to work with her because our talents combined would be able to make an unstoppable Auburn.”
Jones expressed his gratitude toward his campaign team and also provided support for Turton.
“Mary Margaret ran a great campaign, and she was incredible,” Jones said. “Her team truly showed out, and she’s got a passion for the Auburn Family, and I’m really excited to see what she does for the next year.”
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 in SGA cabinet.
Her campaign, “Turton on Target,” had three main platform points — campus life, innovation and wellness.
Turton said the reason she chose to run was the same reason she fell in love with Auburn and decided to come to the University for school. That is the people.
“Just genuinely honored — so excited to be able to serve this world, to represent the Auburn voice, to be able to listen to students — that’s been the best part of this week,” Turton said. “It completely reinforced why I wanted to do it, hearing those stories. I’m pumped.”
To read Turton’s full platform, click here.
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 told The Plainsman last week. “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 by 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 will also look to bring popular dining options such as Italian, Mexican and all-day breakfast to campus.
It also said she will 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 said she will look to partner with the Med Clinic to provide on-campus students with free golf cart rides to and from appointments.
She also wants to 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.
“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.”
Turton said she is excited for the work ahead and preparing for the next year.
“It’s going to be a big year,” Turton said. “It’s going to be a year that’s full of challenges and excitement and celebrating the Auburn Family because we have so much to be proud of. Everyday I just want to work to unify that student voice.”
Turton will succeed SGA President Dane Block after transitions later this spring.
Turton will soon begin naming her executive cabinet. Last year, Block named his cabinet in late February.
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