Meet the family: SGA leaders talk office life

Meet+the+family%3A+SGA+leaders+talk+office+life

SGA President Elliot Spillers encourages students to come to the organization for questions or concerns regarding anything on campus. CW | Layton Dudley

Arielle Lipan

At The University of Alabama, it’s important that the student body thinks of the SGA as a governing family – a family there to help with everything from new campus initiatives to cat troubles.

President Elliot Spillers dedicates his whole self to his role in the SGA, even taking his work from his home in the SGA office to his home off-campus, 
he said.

“My girlfriend, she hates me for it, but, you know, she supports me and gives me advice,” he said.

It’s no surprise Spillers takes his work home with him since his roommate and close friend is Chisholm Allenlundy, his chief of staff. In his position, Allenlundy works closely with the executive cabinet to make sure that all of the paperwork and processes that go into starting a project get done. Allenlundy supplies the extra hands that Spillers needs in order to complete all of his
 campaign promises.

If needed, he said he can also supply sultry background music, thanks to his years in the Million Dollar Band as an alto saxophonist.

Together, they are gearing up for a possible diversity caucus in November, collaborating with Spencer Cornelius, the director of engagement, and organizations like SafeZone. Spillers will be sitting in meetings when he can with other SEC SGAs to tackle the issue of inclusion across all SEC campuses.

“I work with everyone to form this community that is SGA,” he said.

He occasionally gets up close and personal with the work, but most of the time, he delegates to Allenlundy.

“It’s so hard for me because I’m so Type A,” Spillers said. “I have this tendency to be the helicopter parent who just hovers, which is not good, but I’m learning. It’s a process.”

Since Spillers is the SGA’s designated helicopter parent, Executive Vice President Polly Ricketts is the 
super supportive mom.

“We’re kind of a team,” Ricketts said. “I call him my work husband because we talk all the time.”

Ricketts’ boyfriend, Snacks, gets along well with her work husband and her other boyfriend.

Snacks is a cat.

“We always joke we’re going to make him a miniature white house and put it in here, but he’s never actually been here,” she said.

So, if any of the student body needs tips on how to take care of a cat during their college years, Ricketts is the one in the know.

Other than doling out cat lovings, Ricketts said she ran for executive VP because, as a senior, she wants to help the other, younger SGA-ers succeed and help continue the initiatives she started last year. Also, because she was executive 
secretary last year, she wants to work closely with Katrina Swarthout, this year’s 
executive secretary.

“[As executive vice president] you’re literally helping every vice 
president with any initiatives they might have,” Ricketts said.

Right now Ricketts is helping Swarthout with Ask SGA, an initiative Ricketts started last year to make 
SGA more accessible to the 
student body, and organizing a spring 
concert for the college.

This year’s SGA has constantly stressed their want to be here for the student body, and now the student body knows just what to ask.