Justin Smith is the newly elected Vice President of Auburn’s Student Government Association. He was born and raised in Auburn and is a junior studying chemical engineering and political science. Outside of SGA, he has been involved in the International Buddy Program, a social fraternity and is currently a co-host for WEGL radio show.
Why did you want to be SGA Vice President?
Serving as a senator for the College of Engineering last year gave me a lot of exposure to the role of the vice president and the responsibility the position demanded, which is to work in the interests of the student body. Before deciding to run for election, I believed I was capable of executing this role and fulfilling its mandate to serve Auburn University.
How did you get involved with SGA?
I was involved in student government at my high school, so naturally the SGA here on Auburn’s campus was always an organization that interested me since my freshman year. It was during my sophomore year, however, when I reached out to a student from my high school, who was also a senator at the time, on what steps I should take to get involved. Later that year, I was selected to run on a ticket as a senator for the College of Engineering and our ticket ended up winning all seats for the next term.
What are your goals for your term?
As SGA Vice President, one of my biggest goals this year is to introduce and pass meaningful legislation that represent the students’ voice and their interests here on campus. Collectively, among all the executive SGA officers, this year we want to focus our efforts in these main areas: improving our campus dining, promoting students’ academic success, increasing student engagement and reshaping the gameday experience.
What are the specific jobs you do as Vice President?
Here at Auburn, the Vice President’s primary role is to serve as the President of the Student Senate. In this capacity, I oversee all bills, resolutions, or other legislation that come through the senate during my term. Beyond the Senate, I also serve several University committees, including academic affairs, core curriculum and academic standards.
I was attracted by Auburn’s engineering program. Coming out of high school, I knew I wanted to get into a good engineering program, but I was also aware of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to afford any schools that were too expensive. Auburn offered the best balance of prestige and affordability from among the other colleges and universities that accepted me.
What do most people not know about you?
Most people don’t know that I’m kind of a linguistics hobbyist. I really enjoy learning about other languages and how they’re related or how they contrast from each other.
What are your hopes for after graduation?
After graduation I hope to work in the energy sector, either corporately within the industry, or for publicly for the government. I’m particularly interested in the legislation and laws behind the regulation of natural gas processing, nuclear power and renewable energy endeavors.
Written by Hayley Wright