- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - University of Alabama students on Tuesday elected the second black Student Government Association president in the organization’s 100-year history.

Elliot Spillers, a junior from Pelham, was elected president for the 2014-15 school year, defeating junior Stephen Keller of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Spillers will succeed SGA President Hamilton Bloom.

Spillers could not be reached Tuesday night for comment.

He will be the first black executive to lead the student organization since Cleo Thomas, who was elected in 1976. Thomas, a 1977 graduate and trustee emeritus, was UA’s first black president of the student organization, which was founded in 1914.



Students cast 14,931 votes Tuesday. Spillers received 8,602 votes, according to Richard Le Comte of UA Media Relations.

As part of his statement of candidacy, Spillers said he planned to develop a healthy campus initiative that will increase transparency, provide wellness resources for students, and cultivate change in the SGA as well as work to make the SGA more receptive to the needs of a diverse campus.

Spillers is also among a handful of non-Machine candidates to win the presidency. The Machine is the bloc of Greek-letter organizations on campus that typically turns out student voters during elections to back its candidates and has used its clout to dominate campus politics.

Branden Greenberg of Montgomery was elected vice president of student affairs.

Addison Arnold of Lexington, Kentucky, was elected vice president of academic affairs. Jonathan Hess of Tuscaloosa was elected vice president of external affairs. Ben Leake of Normal, Illinois, was elected vice president of financial affairs. Polly Ricketts of Birmingham was elected executive vice president.

Katrina Swarthout of San Jose, California, was elected executive secretary.

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Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, https://www.tuscaloosanews.com

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