SGA officers named

Alexis M. Johnson, Staff Writer

Francis Marion University’s Student Government Association (SGA) will welcome a new executive branch for the 2011-2012 school year. The executive elections were held on Tuesday, April 5 at The Grille and Wednesday, April 6 at the fountain to elect a new president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.

Cody Simpson, SGA treasurer and former President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, was elected to serve as president for the upcoming year. He plans to increase the relationship among students, faculty and SGA.

“The main thing we want to work towards is building bridges,” Simpson, a sophomore majoring in business, said. “We need to build bridges with the students and the faculty, but also with the students and SGA.”

Simpson will replace Shayla Williams, who will serve as secretary in the fall. Williams said that she hopes that SGA will continue to grow stronger.

“I hope the SGA platform is better than it was last year, because this year it was better than it was the year before,” Williams, a senior majoring in elementary education, said. “I’m excited about next year and looking forward to it.”

Simpson said that SGA will look to Williams for guidance during the next semester.

“We’re very lucky and fortunate that Shayla Williams will be back as our secretary,” Simpson said. “In case we need advising or we need that extra hand, and we when want to make changes, she’ll be there.”

Ron Gailliard, SGA senator and Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, will serve as vice president for the upcoming year. Gailliard also has plans to unite FMU.

“I want to unite the FMU community through leadership and experience,” Gailliard, a senior majoring in finance, said. “I would like to uphold the standards that previous vice presidents have set and make changes that need to be put into place to better serve the FMU community.”

Miesha Thompson, SGA senator, will replace Simpson as treasurer. She said that she believes that the newly elected members will continue to serve the students.

“I feel as if the new executive team will serve Francis Marion the proper way, and we will continue to be the voice of the people with the new executive team and oncoming senators for next year,” Thompson, a sophomore majoring in pre-nursing, said.

All of the elected executive branch members said that they felt this year’s elections were successful.

“The elections went really, really well,” Williams said. “I think everyone campaigned extremely well and there was a lot of organizational involvement. There was a lot of faculty and staff involvement.”

In the fall, Simpson and Gailliard plan to work closely with student organizations to increase their relationship with SGA.

“We plan on connecting with student organizations by holding a special meeting in the fall to learn what we all do, and how SGA can better serve the organizations,” Simpson said.

Initiatives are being planned to strengthen the bond between SGA and students.

“We may do a newsletter for student organizations so they will learn about what SGA is doing to help them,” Simpson said.  “We may also produce a newspaper column for FMU students who are not members of an organization to let them know what SGA is doing for them.”

Simpson hopes that by building a relationship with student organizations, members can encourage other students to get involved.

“We hope to encourage the organizations to push different initiatives, such as the new honor code,” Simpson said.