By Rebekah Crozier
On Wednesday, April 21, the new Student Executive Board, class officers and senators for the 2021-22 school year were sworn into office at the Student Government Association inauguration ceremony.
This was a school year like no other, and Hope Dawson, now the former SGA President, is proud of everything that SGA accomplished despite the many obstacles in the way. One major accomplishment was the Elevate Others Campaign, where SGA raised $12,152 for the Dr. Eric L. Motley Elevate Others Scholarship scholarship that will be distributed starting next year.
Dawson believes that SGA’s small victories from this year are just as important as the big ones. For example, the Student Activities Council sponsored two events per month despite COVID-19 restrictions. At times, the events were simpler and on a much smaller scale, but they were still a success.
“This time last year, no one knew what we were getting into for this year at all,” Dawson said. “But the executive board has done an incredible job of just remaining steady through every challenge and just trying to do what we can.”
Because of the difficulties that this year brought, SEB had to learn to be more flexible and open-minded. If they were unable to do things one way, they had to get creative and find a different solution.
“I am very much a control freak, and I like planning and knowing what’s happening, and this year I really had to learn that God is in control. I am not. I am not in control. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s so freeing once you learn it. The Lord’s plan is better than my own,” Dawson said.
In her time as president, Dawson intentionally challenged the executive board members to think long-term and consider solutions that would leave a lasting impact and legacy on the school and students.
“Quick fixes only create long-term issues,” Dawson said.
To Dawson, one of the best parts of her SGA experience was building relationships that will last long after she leaves Samford. When she was a freshman, older students poured into her, and she was glad to have the opportunity to pour into others.
Along with the lasting friendships she has formed with students, Dawson is grateful for the relationships she has built with President Andy Westmoreland and SGA advisor Amy Simpson. In her farewell speech at the inauguration on Wednesday, Dawson thanked both Westmoreland and Simpson for their guidance this year, along with her fellow SEB members for leading well during such a hard and unpredictable year.
Dawson is sad to be saying goodbye, but she is excited to see what the Lord has in store for herself and for Samford.
“I’m just very thankful for the opportunity to serve this year,” Dawson said. “It’s the year that no one expected, but I’m thankful for the opportunities that it brought and the growing experiences that I had. It’s just been an honor to serve.”