Gillett Prevails!

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

    Matthew Gillett, a junior, was elected President  of the Student Government Association for the 2021-2022 school year at the University of Lynchburg on April 16.

    Gillett said, “The SGA election process was a whirlwind! Campaigning began April 1 and continued through election day, which was April 15. My campaign focused on reaching out to Hornets and meeting them where they are. I talked with students in the Burton Dining Hall, on the Dell, and in their residence halls, so that I might understand what they wanted for Lynchburg, and so they might understand the goals of my Presidency.”

     Gillett reiterated, “Just as I stated so many times throughout the campaign, my goal as SGA President will be a simple one: make everyone proud to be a Hornet.” 

     Gillett talked about the role of social media in the campaign process. He said, “Social media is always a factor in the decisions we make in our everyday lives. I used my social media to promote my platform, but also to answer questions people had about me or my campaign. Social media gives us a very unique opportunity to reach students right on their phones. However, good old-fashioned campaigning helped sway the results of the election more than anything else. I spent a great deal of my time during the campaign talking to my fellow students, and those conversations helped me to build a coalition of students who want to see Lynchburg be the best it can be.” 

     He explained why he ran for president, saying, “the SGA President wields the unique power of representing the student body to all who will listen. I have witnessed two great leaders take on this job since I have arrived on campus, each one acting effectively in their own way. I believe I have what it takes to serve in that role. I ran for the SGA Presidency so that I might enact meaningful change on this campus. I ran for the SGA Presidency so that I might lift up student voices, and I ran for the SGA Presidency because I believe everyone deserves to feel proud to be a Hornet.” 

     Gillett has also been very active around campus these past few years in many forms of leadership. He said, “In Student Government, I have been honored to hold the position of Senator, Director of Public Relations, and my current role: Vice President of External Affairs. I have always striven to lead authentically so that I might gain the trust of those I serve. Over these past three years, I have worked tirelessly to make sure all Hornet voices are heard. I have built important relationships with administrators and with you in order to promote honest and open communication so that no student is forgotten. My leadership in SGA has given me the experience to take on the role of SGA President.” 

     Ariel Lineberry, a junior, has become SGA’s Vice President of External Affairs. She discussed how the election process went for her, saying, “I would say that the election progress was something new for me, and it was interesting to see it unfold, as I was one of the candidates running. To apply to run as a candidate it required an application but other than that the process did not take too much time. It was different for me since I was running unopposed, and I was also running the social media account at the time.” 

     Lineberry also thinks that social media played a role in the election outcome. However, she said, “I think it had more to do with the other advertising that went on around campus, such as fliers.” 

     Lineberry discussed her new position as Vice President of External Affairs. “As a senator previously, I liked when I got to have meetings with faculty and staff about various topics,” she said. “I felt it was the best job for me to be able to fully represent the study body and take any concerns to these meetings.” 

     Continuing, she said, “I was a senator for Westover Residents my sophomore year, and this year I was able to hold the position of Director of Public relations. [I am] qualified for this position due to my previous interactions with SGA and my dedication to the student body. Aside from my academic studies, SGA is what takes up a majority of my time. I am able to use my skills I have honed over the past three years and pour it into this organization. I am an organized leader, who likes to speak for students when necessary, which is why I applied for this position in the first place.”

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