A lot has happened over the past week, and while I am sure the Bullet will provide excellent coverage on the latest news, I wanted to take a moment to speak about something that is very important to me.
The Student Government Association’s President Ashley Nixon resigned on Monday after serving the school for the majority of her career here. Instead of focusing on reasons for the resignation, I want to focus on the service that was provided to this school. I ran against Ashley Nixon for President when I was a sophomore here at the university, determined to change the way things were run.
I wanted more open government and a way for students to communicate more effectively with SGA and most of all, to be heard. Before running, I had only encountered Ashley from time to time at a few SGA events and in my political science classes. I had also seen her picture in the Bullet when she was first elected. Ashley Nixon has a sharp mind, but that was not all that intrigued me.
After the election was over and Ashley began her second term as president, we had several chances to speak to one another. I thanked her for a nice competitive race and she encouraged me to get more involved at UMW. Her story is a good one. She was a student senator her first two years here and even served as the parliamentarian in the Student Senate before running for SGA President and winning. Her accomplishments, while modest in her eyes, included fighting for affordable tuition and working to make sure students voices were heard when it came to many pressing issues, notably Seacobeck Hall.
The conversations I have had with Ashley Nixon have been enlightening; her eagerness to help the school has shone through every aspect of her life. You would think that after a fierce campaign, tensions would be high. Instead it was the opposite. I went into an election knowing nothing about her and have come a year later knowing much more about her caring spirit and dedication to UMW. We’ve spoken about school spirit. We’ve spoken about transparency. We’ve become friends.
Her decision to resign from the SGA is a big deal for this school. A leader is expected to lead and make the tough decisions. Deciding she could no longer serve as our honorable president was a big deal for Ashley, but an honorable decision nevertheless. I think we can all learn something from Ashley. It’s never to late (or to early) to get involved. We are all members of the SGA from the moment we step on this campus and believe me; great leaders are walking among us everyday. Ashley Nixon is one of those great minds, and we cannot take that lightly.
I say all of this to make sure we do not take Ashley’s service for granted. Thank you Ashley for representing us over the past year and a half, and good luck in all your future endeavors. Thanks for your time, your energy, but most of all, your service.
Jeremy Thompson is a junior.