Tusculum University’s Student Government Association has a new executive leadership team following the recent election.
- President – John Lane
- Vice President – Savannah Rice
- Secretary – Edna “Mae” Jones
- Treasurer – Thomas “T.J.” Minton
In addition, the student body has elected five other individuals to serve on the SGA.
- Junior Class Senator – Caleigh Blair
- Junior Class Chancellor – Chloe Freischmidt
- Sophomore Class Senator – Bailey Jenkins
- Sophomore Class Chancellor – Kyra Byers
- Freshman Class Senator – Samantha Nelson
Recently, the new executive board’s members discussed what they hoped to achieve in the coming year.
Lane is a junior seeking a bachelor’s degree in biology, with a pre-med concentration, as well as in English, with a concentration in communication and public relations. He is a Pioneer Peer, a resident assistant, a Student Life coach and a member of the Green Team and Student Support Services program. He said he ran for president because he wanted to help people and be the person who initiated change. He wants to emphasize the “We” in “We are Pioneers” and listen to the students because they are the people the SGA serves.
“The major thing that I’ve heard is there is nothing to do on campus,” Lane said. “So I want to talk to the students and hear what they need and what they want to do on campus. And then I’m going to do my best to make it happen. We’re not alone during this experience, so we need to stick together. The best way to do that is with strong leadership and community-building, and I want to build a community. We are excited to start this experience with everyone.”
Rice is a junior majoring in special education with a minor in K-6 elementary education, who served in the SGA Senate representing athletics during the 2019-20 academic year. She is a member of Tusculum’s cheer team, serves as an RA and Pioneer Peer and participates in the SSS program. Those activities have given her the opportunity to hear the wants and needs from students in all sectors of the university.
“My main idea is to have a student body panel more frequently so students can come in and ask us questions and we can have conversations instead of avoiding them,” Rice said. “One of my goals is to make sure the cafeteria can stay open later – or some sections of it – so athletes receive the same level of nutrition as others when their practices run later. One of the main goals of the executive board is to emphasize to students that they can be whatever they want and that we are a family at Tusculum and are here for you.”
Jones is a junior majoring in English, with a creative writing concentration, and a minor in religious studies. She is part of the adult and online studies program and represented that group in the Senate the previous two years. She ran for secretary to be able to pass a couple of bills that interest her and to represent commuter students. Her major ideas are to open a commuter lounge on campus and bring more religious study courses to Tusculum.
“I want to be a leader for everybody,” Jones said. “I have a child that goes to Tusculum and another who has graduated from the university, and I want to keep it a family environment on campus and help students who are just starting at the university, such as freshmen. I am on the President’s Society, an SSS mentor and a peer tutor, and I just want to give back to everybody and help them understand that even though I waited so long to come back to college, you can succeed if you believe in yourself.”
Minton is a senior majoring in art, and he plans to pursue a master’s degree in education next year so he can teach the subject. He is in his second year as a captain of the cheer team and is in his fourth year with the squad. He said he ran for the office because he felt he had the ability to seek and make change and advocate for students.
“My biggest goal is student participation and awareness of events,” Minton said. “I just wish we could make more events for students to want to be on campus. I want them to want to stay at school because they know something fun is going to happen.”
The SGA meets every other Monday at 7 p.m. Half of the meetings limit attendance to elected members of the SGA, while the other half are open to individuals who have campus improvement ideas and club and organization representatives who want to request funding.
If you have questions, you can contact an elected member of the SGA or email Jessup Peterson, Coordinator of Residence Life & Programming, at firstname.lastname@example.org.