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Melanie Smith and Her Journey to the (Vice) Presidency!

This week, Her Campus Auburn caught up with Melanie Smith, the new Vice President of Auburn University’s Student Government Association. We aren’t playing favorites, but Melanie may be the most passionate, driven, and hard-working collegiette we’ve ever interviewed! Melanie gives us some insight into the Student Government Association and what it took for her to get there!

HC Auburn: What responsibilities do you have as the Vice President of Auburn’s Student Government Association?
Melanie:As the SGA Vice President, my main job is to preside over the student senate. I work very closely with the Office of the Provost to work on academic initiatives while also working with the SGA President and the executive officers to carry out SGA Initiatives. As SGA Vice President I will also serve on various boards and committees and stand in for the SGA President when need be.

HC Auburn: What made you want to become a leader in Student Government? What leadership positions did you previously hold that prepared you for this position?
Melanie:I was motivated to run for SGA Vice President by my passion and my desire to serve the SGA and the Auburn University student body. 
Leadership Positions in SGA prior to holding the position of Vice President:
-Secretary of Community Outreach, Senator for the College of Human Sciences (Code of Laws Committee & Organizations Board), Director of the Beat Bama Food Drive, University Scholarship Committee, and Tiger Tuesdays: Emerging Leadership Institute. 

HC Auburn: How does it feel to be the only woman with an Executive position in SGA?
Melanie: Running an SGA campaign as the only female was a great experience. I learned a lot about courage, leadership, and perseverance. I also learned a lot about what it means to be a strong confident woman. I hope that my campaign inspired women across campus to follow their passions, and to stand for what they believe in without fear of discrimination or support.  I never could have run my campaign without the encouragement and support of women all over campus. While at times I felt intimidated running as the only female SGA candidate, I confidently stood for what I believed in and running as a woman only motivated me to work even harder.  

Now that all of the SGA executive officers have been selected, I am no longer the only female executive officer. Sarah Beth Worsham as well as Collier Tynes now serve as SGA executive officers as well. 

HC Auburn: With all your activities, how do you stay organized and find time for yourself?
Melanie:When I learn the answer to this question I'll get back to you. (Haha, just kidding!) 
I stay organized because I use my i-cal planner on my computer religiously. I write everything down and keep everything in one place. I try to keep things as organized as possible at all times, though when things get hectic, this is often hard to do. I make myself get organized before I start anything new so that I can focus and be at peace knowing that everything is in its place. 
When do I find time for myself? This is definitely my weakness. While my passion for serving the SGA is abundant, sometimes my passion drives me to work too hard so that I forget to find time for myself. The other executive officers, SGA advisors, friends, and my family also make sure that I take time for myself and away from SGA. 

HC Auburn: What is your favorite event you have participated in through SGA?
Melanie:My favorite event that I have participated in while in SGA would be a tie between: AU Dance Marathon when we raised $66,000.00 for Children's Miracle Network, and set national records, or the 2010-2011 Beat Bama Food Drive when we raised 234,116 pounds of food for the East Alabama Food Bank setting a new Auburn record, defeating the  University of Alabama and being able to serve 30,000 families on Thanksgiving Morning. 

HC Auburn: How would you encourage others to become more involved in SGA and on-campus activities?
Melanie:I encourage people to follow their passions and to do what they love in order to give to the Auburn Community. I truly believe that there is something for everyone to get involved with on campus.

Melanie and Campaigners at Kick-Off

Melanie after Call-outs!

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