By: Cody Muzio
photo by: Kelcie Hathcock
Absent from February’s Student Government Association election ballots will be one name many expected to see: current SGA president Will Thompson.
“After much thought and prayerful consideration, I have decided to serve one term as SGA president,” Thompson said. Thompson, a junior political science major from Montgomery, is eligible to run for a second term, but said that other opportunities would hold his attention after his term expires.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to join Mayor (Jason) Reeves’ staff and work with him on a number of different projects that will benefit both the community and the student body,” he said.
Thompson said several plans regarding his employment with the city of Troy mayor’s office were already in the works, but declined comment on all but one.
“One of the first things I will be working on is developing a city internship program in conjunction with the university,” he said, “but more details will be released on that later.”
Troy University chancellor Jack Hawkins said that while he was saddened to hear the decision, he still saw it as a positive reflection of the university.
“My philosophy on personnel is this,” Hawkins said, “if other institutions are not recruiting our people, we have the wrong people.
“While I would have encouraged Will to pursue re-election based on the job he’s done, I view it as a credit to Troy University and to Will that he’s been recruited by the city of Troy.”
Hawkins had nothing but praise for Thompson’s tenure as president.
“I think Will has shown exceptional leadership abilities,” he said.
“The essence of leadership is pulling people together, not dividing them, and Will’s done just that. He’s a good spokesman for the student body and a good catalyst for student leaders.”
Working with Reeves will be an “extraordinary opportunity” for Thompson, Hawkins said, also noting Reeves’s status as a former SGA president.
“I think Will is mature, perhaps even beyond his years,” he said. “He certainly represents himself well and has represented the university well. Serving with the mayor will be another stepping stone for him.
“I’m proud for the city of Troy, Mayor Reeves and Will Thompson.”
Thompson said that though he would be handing off a full-time seat in the SGA to someone else, he wished to retain some leadership role.
“I would hope that whoever the next SGA president is would allow me to serve as the director of the governmental affairs council,” he said.
Thompson began the governmental affairs council last semester to serve as a bridge between the Troy student body and the Alabama legislature. The council plans to host an on-campus town hall meeting with state politicians later this spring.
Both SGA vice presidents, vice president for legislative affairs Parker Smith and vice president for campus activities Cody Farril, have expressed their intentions to run for president in February.