March 31, 2021
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Huntingdon College 2021–2022 SGA Leaders Take Office
Image: L-R: Jasmine Paynter ’23, Director of Publicity; Emma Hallman ’24, Treasurer; Cam Nicely ’22, President; Chris Mayer ’22, Vice President; Kennedy Chambers ’24, Secretary.
Montgomery, Ala.—“If you had told me when I was a freshman that I would one day be SGA president, I would not have believed it,” says Cameron J. Nicely, the newly-elected and installed Student Government Association president at Huntingdon College. “HC has really helped me grow as a leader and as an individual.” Nicely, of Thomson, Ga., and his SGA executive board peers, vice president Chris Mayer of Bennington, Vt.; secretary Kennedy Chambers of Pelham, Ala.; treasurer Emma Hallman of Birmingham, Ala.; and director of publicity Jasmine Paynter of Pensacola, Fla., accepted their roles officially earlier this month.
A junior music major, Nicely is a percussion specialist for the Marching Scarlet and Grey marching band, Huntingdon Winds concert band, BallHawks pep band, Tuesday Night Worship Praise Band, and Huntingdon Jazz Band. He also sings in the College’s Concert Choir; is a member of the Black Student Union, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and Kappa Kappa Psi, the honor society for band members; and serves as a resident assistant. Last year he served as Junior Class president.
Nicely chose Huntingdon for the small college atmosphere and friendly environment. “You can really be yourself here and no one judges you for it,” he says. “I knew I could focus easily here. Our professors are here for you anytime, anywhere.” Following a difficult year for college students everywhere because of COVID-19, Nicely wants to focus on kindness and on bringing some normalcy back to college life. “I’m a man with a kind heart who always looks to put a smile on people’s faces. I always see the best in people even when they don’t see it in themselves. I want to promote positivity in this difficult time. I want to build relationships because relationships build a better community.”
Vice president Chris Mayer, a junior political science major and Presidential Fellow, presides over the College’s student senate. In that role he appoints students to fill any senate seats left open after elections and shepherds bills through the system as they are proposed, considered, and voted upon. Mayer has been interested in a life of politics from an early age and believes deeply in the call to public service. His family includes several members who serve or have served in the Vermont House or Senate. In addition to being heavily involved in campus life, Mayer works or has worked to assist political campaigns in Alabama, Georgia, and Vermont through meet-and-greet events, data analytics, logistics, and in other ways. “I believe that the best way to be there for people is to help them with the policies that improve their lives,” says Mayer. “I firmly believe that everyone has a voice, so giving people their voice is my vocational choice and my purpose.”
Kennedy Chambers, a freshman business administration major and a member of the women’s volleyball team, serves as secretary. She is a member of the Panhellenic Council and hopes to be involved as a Student Recruiter and an Orientation Leader in the fall. Chambers echoes Mayer’s and Nicely’s view of alleviating students’ pandemic stress and helping them find their own views and their own voice. “We are an extremely welcoming and loving campus that builds people up and develops people into the best they can be—whether that is through other students or through our amazing faculty and staff,” says Chambers. “I believe that Student Government Association has the biggest impact on changing and making the school better by getting the inside intel on what students want to see improved—and I want to make a difference in this place I love so much,” she says.
SGA treasurer Emma Hallman, also a freshman, is involved in Campus Ministries, the women’s golf team, Freshman Leadership Initiative, and Phi Mu women’s fraternity. Hallman says her task is to develop and keep a budget “so that we can make it possible for students to have what they want to have.” Hallman says her favorite place on campus is the Green, where she enjoys relaxing in her hammock when weather permits. She has also found a home with her golf teammates and the College community. “I love the people here,” she says. She envisions her role as monitoring and keeping a stable budget while financing as many opportunities for students to have fun as the budget will allow.
Sophomore Jasmine Paynter was inducted as SGA director of publicity. She is a member of the women’s golf team and Alpha Omicron Pi women’s fraternity, has served in the Freshman Leadership Initiative and the Orientation Leader team, and is majoring in both political science and communication studies. Next year she hopes to add resident assistant and Student Recruiter to her list of involvements. Paynter says she fell in love with the campus immediately upon visiting. “I love the small atmosphere,” she says. “I like that when I walk around campus and see my professors they know me by name.” She became involved in SGA after friends encouraged her. “Having the opportunity to help other students love it here is great.”
Each new SGA leader shares Nicely’s notion of promoting relationships and keeping the sense of spirit and community at Huntingdon strong. “I was raised to treat people how I want to be treated,” he says. “Our job is to bless others—it’s up to them what they do with that blessing. Sometimes everyone just needs a little push.”
Huntingdon College continues a legacy of faith, wisdom, and service through a liberal arts academic tradition grounded in the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United Methodist Church.