“My dad has this motto for my sister and I to be ‘Smart, Positive Leaders,’” said Sierra Sparks, student body president of the Lipscomb University Student Government Association.
This advice has influenced her mindset as a leader since joining SGA her freshmen year.
Sparks is a senior strategic communications major and journalism minor from Kansas City, Kansas, and has been involved in student government since the seventh grade.
“I’ve always had a passion for student life… for making sure that people feel welcome at this place that’s supposed to be their second home,” said Sparks, who hadn't always felt this way about Lipscomb.
Her freshman year, Sparks said she struggled with the adjustment to college life, especially being so far from home.
She found her place at Lipscomb as part of the Freshman Leadership Council, gaining her strength from the community of SGA.
“Things got better and I was able to pour into Lipscomb the way it was pouring into me,” said Sparks.
This experience was the basis of the platform from which Sparks and Vice President Annie Moore ran their campaign.
“A lot of what Annie and I ran on was community and in order to promote community within our entire campus we have to have community within our senate,” said Sparks.
Sparks' goal is for SGA to have a familial feel, to be a safe space to share the ups and downs of life. She believes this kinship will allow the governing body to be a better resource for students and administration alike.
Sparks chose to lead by example and show respect to her fellow students.
“I will never ask any of my senators to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself,” said Sparks.
And despite the school year only just beginning, Sparks is already thinking of the years to come; she often invites the junior representatives to shadow her in meetings to give them a taste of what being president looks like.
The SGA advocates for four key areas on campus; spiritual, social, academic and communication. For the 2018-2019 school year, each group is cultivating ideas to foster Spark’s vision of campus community. These include more late night chapel options, student accessibility to professors and the development of fun, small events to bring students together.
“There are a lot of things that cannot be changed in one year,” said Sparks. “We want to know what we can do to help and make the future of SGA beneficial to not only administrators but the entire campus as a whole.”
Sparks said she hopes more students will attend weekly meetings to stay up to date on school happenings and to let SGA know what they can do to advocate for the clubs and groups on campus.
The Lipscomb Student Government Association is comprised of 32 senators represented by freshman through senior students and meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Club 1891.
In addition to Sparks and Moore, executive officers include Treasurer Emilee Goss and Secretary Macy Glassco.