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The Blue & Gray Press | May 24, 2017

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New SGA President Has Ambitious Plan

By Eric Steigleder

Senior Samantha Miller was elected as the Student Government Association President last spring. In a student election season fraught with controversy, the presidency was one of the few races lacking major conflict. And while any political position comes with its complexities, Miller’s reasons for running and serving were simple.

“The school is on the path to becoming great,” she said. “And I want to help in that capacity.”

Miller’s drive to be active in the UMW community has manifested itself in multiple endeavors, with her tenure as president being only the most recent example.

She was a member of Hall Council during her freshman and sophomore years. In Student Government, she has served on the Legislative Action Committee and has been a Student Senator since her first year at UMW. Class Council promotions, Hillel, and Model United Nations make up her resume.

“I’ve always been very involved on campus,” Miller said. “I think it’s important to feel involved in the community.”

As president, Miller hopes to function first and foremost as a representative of the student body.

“It needs to be directed the way the students want, not just the administration,” she said. “There are 4,000 students and we only hear 100 or so voices.”

There is a campus town hall meeting planned for Wednesday Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall. According to Miller, this meeting will give students a chance to directly question and engage their student leaders, including the SGA President and the Executive Cabinet, as well as members of the University administration.

Miller also mentioned the creation of an SGA Leader’s Fund, to help struggling students with educational costs. She stressed the difficulties in creating such a fund, but emphasized her support and pledged to work towards such a goal.

In a campus community with a nearly 70 percent female majority, the three most recent SGA Presidents have been men. Miller views this, like many aspects of her presidency, as a welcomed challenge.

“There’s a difference in leadership,” Miller said. “I’m able to make a connection with the women on campus, different than the males. And I think maybe that’s a voice that isn’t always heard.”

Senior Ashley Davis, who ran against Miller in the SGA Presidential election, affirmed her abilities.

“I am very excited for the Sam Miller administration,” Davis said. “She has been so actively involved in school clubs and knows the things that students want changed. I am excited to work with her and help her in any way I can.”

In the long run, Miller hopes that her presidency will help to give a voice to those students that feel they don’t have one of their own.

“My biggest goal,” she said, “is to have a forum for students to share their opinions. We need to make sure we’re listening to students.”

Comments

  1. Stephen

    So let me get this straight, Sam’s ambitious plan is five-fold:

    1) Make the school great.
    2) Represent the student body (first, and foremost!)
    3) Create the SGA Leader’s fund.
    4) Connect to women.
    5) Create a forum for students to be heard.

    You’ll excuse my lack of enthusiasm. Let’s examine the points one at a time:

    1) I’m glad you’re devoted to making the school great. Really.
    2) So you’ll be fulfilling the capacity of the position you were elected for. Fantastic. Instead of telling us what you were elected to do, tell us what your actual plan is… oh wait, here we go:
    3) So, your telling me that one of the most difficult challenges you’ll be faced with is increasing the number of scholarships available at Mary Washington from “nearly 200” (as quoted from http://www.umw.edu/gift/scholarships/default.php) to nearly 201? Great. Good luck with such an arduous task.
    4) How do you plan to connect to women? Simply by being a woman? It would stand to reason that nearly 70% of the school is equally qualified for your role. Way to stand out.
    5) Each week a newspaper is put out- to the entire campus body. Student’s opinions can be voiced. It is cheaper than running a “town-hall” style forum and now, thanks to the wonders of the 20th century, it is online. Instead of using money to run your town-hall style meeting, allocate the funds to start your SGA Leader’s fund.

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