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A spirit that is not afraid

Will Goodner announced as 2024-25 SGA treasurer

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.

Will Goodner, junior in finance, was elected the 2024-25 SGA treasurer late Friday night on the steps of Cater Hall overlooking the quad.

Goodner and his supporters waited for the votes gathered throughout Friday to find out if he had won the election. Among the crowd stood the two other SGA treasurer candidates, Ainsley Neil, junior in finance and business analytics, and Jonavin Smith, junior in finance and interdisciplinary studies.

The election was close between Goodner and Neil after the instant run-off, with Goodner earning 51.64% of the votes and Neil 48.36%. 

Cheers erupted across the quad as SGA officials announced Goodner as the new treasurer. Goodner's win means he will replace current SGA treasurer Ashton Dickinson, senior in finance. Dickinson, who served as the 2023-24 SGA treasurer, said he was proud of Goodner and his accomplishment.

"I'm super proud, [and] I'm super excited to watch him lead and to see all the work he will do throughout his time," Dickinson said. "Communicate well with your team always. When you're leading, a good leader isn't always the loudest in the room – lead well."

Dickinson also advised the new treasurer to stick to his platform points and stay passionate about why he ran during his tenure. Dickinson said that Goodner should let his assistant vice presidents use him as a resource for guidance and mentoring. His last piece of advice for Goodner was to pave the way for those following him.

The win came after a week of campaigning by Goodner's supporters, with "Growing with Goodner" being the slogan used to garner interest in his platform. Campaigners for other SGA treasurer candidates, Miss Auburn and minor titles stood across the Haley Concourse and other areas of campus to inform students about their candidates throughout the week. 

Goodner's platform focused on three main points: financial literacy, bettering scholarship accessibility and opportunities and providing a database to connect employers to students. 

Goodner has served on the SGA board of directors for class rings. Goodner's platform will continue to highlight the Regions Next Step program, a financial literacy program operated by Regions Bank that the university utilizes for students. Goodner also hopes to create workshops in investment and financial planning for students.

Goodner said his first priority will be ensuring that the scholarships on the Auburn University Scholarship Opportunity Manager are viewable for all students and all of the information and deadlines are accessible. 

Another part of Goodner's platform involves adding more funds to student scholarships through the Balfour Ring Fund, which currently goes into the reserve fund. 

Goodner also plans to begin creating his career database plan for students. The database will connect employers to students looking for jobs on- and off-campus. He also wants to increase compensation for teaching and learning assistants, who are also students themselves.

Goodner thanked his campaign manager, Abbie Hathcock, his campaign crew and his supporters. He also thanked Neil and Smith for fostering a "loving" and "respectful" environment for all three of them as they ran against each other. 

Goodner promised the students who didn't vote for him that he would work daily to better the Auburn experience, and he would not disappear from the public eye. 

"I want them to be super proud of the treasurer they elected. I want them to see that I care about them and that I care about Auburn," Goodner explained. "I love this place more than any other location on the entire earth, and I want them to see that I care about it."

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Michaela Yielding | News Editor

Michaela Yielding is a senior in journalism currently serving as the news editor. She has been with The Auburn Plainsman since fall 2023. 

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