SGA President Elliott Spillers discusses campus issues at State of the School AddressBy Nick Privitera | 10/14/2015 9:29am
SGA President Elliott Spillers gave his State of the School Address Tuesday at Gorgas House.
Spillers discussed campus issues, as well as initiatives and goals for how SGA plans to make the University better than ever before for all students.
“This generation of trailblazers marks a new era at The University of Alabama, where students are able to thrive by their own merit and develop skills that will breathe new life into our state and nation," Spillers said. "For the first time in over two decades, the students can now harness the concept that there is nothing they cannot achieve."
Spillers touched on important subjects such as sexual assault prevention, noting the success of the It’s On Us campaign. According to Spillers, more than 900 students participated in the campaign, and the video for the campaign received over 26,000 hits on social media. The campaign even drew national recognition from the White House.
“Achievements like this are a testament to the passion, unity and tenacity of our student body," Spillers said. "It proves with one direction, one vision and one shared purpose there is nothing the SGA team cannot do."
Part of Spillers’s plan to create a more effective SGA is to introduce and expand programs aimed at student input. There are plans to introduce a program called Ask SGA, which students can use to send in comments and suggestions about their concerns on campus. Additionally, the Say Hey SGA campaign would be expanded to reach more students on campus.
Spillers talked about suicide prevention and mental health awareness, as well as creating a more welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students. According to him, SGA has been working on implementing programs with different resources across campus to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.
An initiative that Spillers discussed at length was the push to develop an office of diversity at the University, which exists in some form at every other SEC university. Spillers hopes to foster a culture on campus in which differences can be celebrated.
“For over four decades this issue has persisted and prevented our students from achieving their potential,” Spillers said. “Waves of student activists have fought for social equality across our campus, and though their efforts have brought us to this point today, and I stand here indebted to their leadership, none has made a lasting impact, until now. My administration will continue achieving new heights and fostering an environment of success, but none will matter until this issue is resolved.”
According to Spillers, the goal is to ensure that race, group affiliation or gender makeup will not prevent any student from accomplishing their goals.