SGA: New crop of students, same old problems

The new WCU student body president is Katherine Spalding, and new vice president is Adam Lytle. WCU also has 25  new senators who will be joined by five incoming freshman in the fall for a total of 30 senators.

This year the candidates for office promoted messages of growth and diversity as their colorful posters cover the walls of the University center, café and Instagram feeds.

What makes these officers better than their predecessor?  

The students of WCU will have to wait till fall semester to find out, but in the mean time, the officers are focusing on creating clear channels for student-administration communication and showing the WCU community exactly what SGA can do.

Katherine Spalding  is a sophomore from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. She’s majoring in psychology and a member of Phi Mu. Spalding is confident that she can bring positive change to campus with a little help from the students. Before being elected as SGA president, Spalding joined SGA as a freshman and became a senator, then chief of staff before becoming president.

Katherine Spalding, new SGA president.

“I ran for student body president because I think I actually can offer something valuable to this position and to this school. There are so many things I hope to at least start addressing (such as): create transparency (regarding) WCU SGA and create effective communication around WCU and within SGA (regarding) improving relationships with administration and student groups or organizations. Also,  advocating for mental health, financial literacy, diversity, community and the environment. I also hope to create a system or central location for lost and found on our campus.”

Junior Adam Lytle also has a plan to turn WCU in an optimistic direction. Lytle is a sophomore accounting major with a  minor in professional writing. He is a Chancellor’s Ambassador, manager for the baseball team, vice president of the Society of Professional Communicators and a resident assistant for Residential Living. Before Lytle became vice president, he served as pro tempore for the senate, joining SGA his freshman year.

Adam Lytle, new SGA vice president.

“As (newly elected) student body vice president, I feel it is my responsibility to advocate for the students here at WCU. In my opinion, the most important characteristic of any leader is their ability to listen. The network of students that I have been lucky enough to be a part of represents  many different organizations and backgrounds; those same students that I have formed connections with now can provide me valuable information about student affairs that I can use to bring progressive changes to our university. I would love to see more students taking advantage of the opportunities available to them on this campus and getting involved in their personal development which in turn increases their chances for future success. I would also like to start a movement of increased participation at all athletic events. Taking a break to enjoy a free game every now and again can be incredibly beneficial for mental health. There are many other changes I would like to see occurring on our campus and I think we have the students to make those changes happen. If we all work together there is nothing we can’t accomplish.”

Both, Spalding and Lytle, are excited to get in office and get their plans into motion. As they prepare for the excitement and hard work of their new position, current SGA president Baron Crawford had some advice to share with SGA’s new leaders.

Baron Crawford, current SGA president.

“As the current SGA president, this has been a challenging yet rewarding journey in this important role. As we are approaching the transitional phase with positions I would like to take a moment and share advice moving forward with your new position. First, you are a student and academics are to remain at the top of your priorities at all times. This means that time management is extremely important. There will be tons of events, meetings, and other things you will need to be involved with so prioritizing is imperative. Since you are only one person you can’t be everywhere at once so delegating is okay. Delegation is also important so that you don’t over work yourself. You will have to wear multiple hats so balance is key. Do not be afraid to say no or put your foot down. There is a lot of traveling involved so be sure to do planning in advance. It also imperative that you prepare in all aspects of this role. Whether it be for an executive meeting, a Board meeting, or traveling for Association of Student Governments (ASG). Be sure to stay on top of reading and respond to all emails, setting a limit on the amount of time you need to respond I found to be very helpful. Communication skills need to be sharp due to all the people you will come in contact with so stay aware of all things going on within SGA and the university. There are a lot of distractions, and it is easy to lose sight of your role so be sure to stay focused on what SGA stands for which is representing students. Lastly, have fun and don’t lose sight of why you wanted to be elected president in the first place.”

Out with the old and in with the new as the semester comes to a close but SGA has many internal issues that new members will be hit with. Read more about it in our next story.