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Elizabeth Davis: The Woman Behind One UGA

Meet Elizabeth Davis. This third year communication studies major from Milton, Georgia carries high hopes of uniting UGA through her participation in the One UGA executive ticket for the Student Government Association (SGA). She aspires to serve as the next SGA President for the birthplace of public higher education, making her the first female SGA President the institution has seen in over five years. Davis plans to implement her executive ticket’s platform of community, accessibility and security throughout UGA’s campus. When Davis is not campaigning, she enjoys eating Cuban sandwiches from Cali-N-Tito’s and making efforts towards representing the various unique identities, passions and pursuits of every student in the Dawg Nation. Read on to see how this woman in red and black exemplifies that the future is female.

Who else is involved on your ticket, and what is the overall platform?

ED: I am running for SGA President on the One UGA executive ticket alongside Zack Ziegler for Vice President and Christopher Mays for Treasurer. Zack and Chris have become my family throughout this process, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world! Our platform is centered around the three main points of community, accessibility, and security. The main focus when developing our platform was ensuring that everything we include is something we can tangibly accomplish.

Community

  • Meal Plan: Increase student access, opportunity and choice by implementing a tiered system that enables students from all walks of life on campus to have access to a meal plan that best fits their needs.
  • Parking: Streamline communication between parking services and the student body while also advocating for parking options for on-campus student workers.
  • Transportation: Explore ways to make transportation more convenient and more cost-effective for students by increasing access to student discounts on rideshare programs, improving labeling and coverage for bus stops around campus, and redesigning bus routes to make them more efficient.

Accessibility

  • Student Sit-downs: Set aside time each week where the president, vice president and treasurer will make themselves available to students throughout campus to meet and address any/all of their questions and concerns.
  • True Representation: Revamp programs throughout the Student Government Association in order to ensure that the organization is truly representative of the student body.
  • Open Dialogue: Host monthly tabling events to build a conversation between the student body and their representatives. This would give an opportunity for the Student Government Association to hear directly from students about what they would like to see accomplished on campus.

Security

  • Campus Safety: Improve resources for survivors of sexual assault while promoting a campus environment where students can identify unsafe situations and feel equipped to intervene when necessary. As we improve the campus culture, we will advocate for more efficient and effective lighting along campus walkways so that every student feels safe on our campus.
  • Clear Communication: Improve communication channels between the administration/UGAPD and students via programs such as UGAAlert.
  • Building Trust: Facilitate opportunities for students to interact with local authorities in an effort to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the two. Such a relationship would safeguard the university community and ensure that UGA is a campus where all students feel comfortable reaching out for help.

Why did you choose to run for an SGA ticket?

ED: I chose to run on an SGA Executive Ticket because I found my passion for serving the student body my first year at UGA, and my excitement for making a difference on this campus has not wavered since. Although my roles in SGA have mostly been behind the scenes, I’m excited for the opportunity to have my own platform that I can implement with Zack and Chris.

How does it feel to be running for a prominent position within SGA as a woman?

ED: UGA has not seen a female president in six years, and I am honored to have the potential opportunity to fill that role, because I think it’s of the utmost importance to encourage women to take on important leadership positions. It’s hard to put into words how much it means to me to be able to fill a void on our campus and put my heart into a campaign that I truly believe in.

What advice do you have for women who desire to serve in leadership positions?

ED: Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something because you’re a woman. You will inevitably encounter people who will underestimate you. Prove them wrong.

Who has been an inspiration to you recently or throughout your life? Did they play a role in your decision to run on an SGA Executive Ticket, and if so how?

ED: My dad has been an inspiration, because he was the first person in my life who told me to never let anyone tell me I can’t do something because I’m a woman. Growing up with that constant message from him, it showed me what it looks like for a man to be an ally. I appreciate and admire my dad, because I think it’s important for men to make an effort to empower women. 

What excites you most about running and the possibility of serving in this position?

ED: Through my years in SGA, I have gained a unique perspective about what areas can be improved on campus, and I’m excited at the opportunity to take my own initiative in ensuring that students from every walk of life can confidently call our university their home.

What other organizations are you involved in on campus?

ED: My first year at UGA, I jumped into every opportunity that presented itself. I joined SGA Freshman Programs as a member of Freshman Board, served in a UGA Miracle color group, and was in a Freshley small group with the UGA Wesley Foundation. As my time at UGA has progressed, I’ve found my biggest passions in SGA, and I have been able to work with leaders from organizations all across campus in order to represent the unique identities, passions and pursuits of every student at UGA.

What do you appreciate most about the UGA community?

ED: The constant rejection of passivity. You’re surrounded by so many ideas, beliefs and passionate people at UGA that you have no option other than to be inspired. This community has pushed me to take on my own pursuits as well as empower those around me to do the same.

What is one thing that has had an impact on you while at UGA?

ED: Everyone’s desire to give back to the community. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the upperclassmen who took an expressed interest in me when I was a first year student, and I want to give back to the next generation of bulldogs at UGA by showing them the same encouragement that I received.

What is your favorite study spot (on or off campus)?

ED: The Georgia Center, because it’s a lively environment, but you’ll have no trouble finding a quiet, comfortable spot to get your work done when you need to.

What is your favorite restaurant in Athens?

ED: Cali and Tito’s! I always get the Cuban Sandwich with french-fries and extra pink sauce.

What would you consider your dream job to be?

ED: After graduation, I hope to go to law school and continue into a career that inspires me. From there, as long as I’m doing meaningful work and empowering others, the position doesn’t matter to me.

Is there a quote you live by or feel motivated by when you read or hear it? If so, what is it, and why is it so significant?

ED: “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving,”​ – Gloria Steinem. This quote is significant to me, because I’m passionate about the work that I do. I consider myself someone who is passionate about working for and serving others. That type of work requires you to stand up when it matters and fight for what you believe in. There’s no time for apathy when you want to make a positive change.

If you are a UGA student and want to support the One UGA executive ticket, voting starts online through the UGA Involvement Network on Monday, March 26th at 8:00 A.M. and closes on Wednesday, March 28th at 5:00 P.M. 

Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Davis

Kelsey is a fourth year student studying journalism with a minor in communication studies in Athens at the University of Georgia. As a social media specialist for the Charlotte-based digital branding and career consulting agency, The Dean’s List, she assists in developing strategy and repurposing content for audiences on multiple platforms After graduating in Fall 2020, she hopes to start a career in marketing and public relations. Kelsey is a former public speaking national champion and columnist for the Florida/Georgia star. This past summer, she helped welcome over 5,000 new students to the University of Georgia as an Orientation Leader. Some of her other campus involvement includes the Student Alumni Council, University Housing, UGA Career Center Brand Ambassadors and Georgia Football Recruiting. She's been dedicated to inspiring young women through her faith-based lifestyle brand, Uniquely You, since 2016. When she's not working for the Dean’s List or living her best life at UGA, you can catch Kelsey singing Beyonce’s greatest hits, journaling her thoughts or trying out the newest shades of Mac lipstick.
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