SGA president: Ballard steps out, Hughes steps in


Lou Foglia

Luther Hughes, a senior creative writing major was elected Student Government Association President during SGA’s membership meeting on Dec. 15 at The Loft in the 916 S. Wabash Ave. 

By Campus Reporter

Luther Hughes, a senior creative writing major, was elected Student Government Association President following former president Jerel Ballard’s early resignation.

SGA’s membership met Dec. 15 at The Loft in the 916 S. Wabash Ave. Building to vote for the new president as well as bid farewell to Ballard, who will intern with The Fund for American Studies program in Washington during the Spring 2016 Semester.

“I learned that I love helping others,” Hughes said during his election speech. “[That is why] I joined SGA—to help others, give students a voice and give them a platform to speak boldly and honestly.”

Hughes joined SGA as a senator and was promoted to vice president of Finance at the start of the Fall 2015 Semester.

Amanda Hamrick, SGA’s executive vice president and a junior interactive arts & media major who joined SGA in 2012 as a senator, also ran for president. 

The two candidates delivered 3-minute speeches outlining campaign platforms and goals and then answered questions from senators. Only Senate members were allowed to vote during the election. Discussion topics ranged from encouraging more diversity on campus to creating a stronger student voice in the community.

Kaela Ritter, a junior business & entrepreneurship major, was elected vice president of Finance to fill the vacancy left by Hughes in a vote held immediately following his win. She said she hopes to push SGA to be involved in the community more through volunteer initiatives.

Hughes said he plans to foster diversity by creating a community on campus where different communities can intermingle. He also said he wants to focus on multicultural awareness through departmental collaborations and more community engagement through volunteer outreach.

“I understand what it feels like not to be heard and [feel] misunderstood in a place where you think the opposite should exist,” Hughes said. “I know it’s my job to provide students [with] a platform to speak up, create and carve out a space to feel comfortable. It’s my job to support them.”