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A spirit that is not afraid

Jack Hilton announced next SGA president

Winners of Auburn SGA Elections are announced (from left to right): SGA President Jack Hilton, SGA Vice President Cara Herring, and SGA Treasurer Will Goodner.
Winners of Auburn SGA Elections are announced (from left to right): SGA President Jack Hilton, SGA Vice President Cara Herring, and SGA Treasurer Will Goodner.

After a week of campaigning unopposed, Jack Hilton, junior in finance, has won the SGA presidency. The victory was announced late Friday night on the steps of Cater Hall.

Hundreds of students gathered in the quad around 10 p.m. on Feb. 2. Many wore shirts in support of particular candidates, grouped together in bright pops of color amid the dark lawn.

After the announcement of the minor candidates and other major candidates, Hilton's win followed. He received a total of 6,737 votes.

When the presidency, the last position announced, was called, the crowd erupted in cheers, and Hilton's friends surrounded him. After he made it to the top of the stairs, Hilton was embraced by J.D. Jones, the current SGA president. 

An awestruck Hilton said he felt "so many emotions" after the announcement. 

"I love this place so much," Hilton said. "This place has meant the world to me and has given me just so much purpose in life."

Although he faced no opposing candidates, Hilton said he still felt some stress during the week leading up to the election. He felt a pressure to "do everything the right way," regardless of the outcome.

"Our campaign might not be about votes, but I think there's power to that, because the student body is trusting," Hilton said. "It's trusting me and trusting our team, and that's a responsibility — it's not a gift."

Through a week of campaigning along Haley Concourse and throughout the Auburn campus, Hilton believes he earned that trust. He spent $1,273.53 of the allotted $1,500 for major candidates.

Hilton’s platform engaged perennial issues to SGA campaigns, promising to promote service and communication and unify members of the university. Each of these points were marketed on some spin on his name, encouraging students to “Back Jack.” 

Previously serving as a senator at-large, Hilton heads the SGA’s student affairs committee, which focuses on developing legislation concerning the university’s student body. Prior to his senatorial position, Hilton worked as an aide to SGA’s cabinet and as a member of Freshman Forum.  

Hilton is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a leadership and academic honor society, the WINGS Peer Mentor program, which supports EAGLES, and Alpha Tau Omega. 

Jones, senior in biomedical sciences, described the end of his term as surreal and bittersweet. When he graduates in May, he said he looks forward to seeing the work the incoming SGA will do. 

"It's so cool to see so many people that you've known for a while get to experience what you've gotten to experience," Jones said. "Whoever the candidates are, I'm really excited to see them lead. SGA does a really good job of bringing out the next leaders."

Connor Copeland | Campus Editor

Connor Copeland, freshman in English literature, has been with The Plainsman since fall 2023

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