Lexi Barlow didn’t count on being elected president of the Texas Wesleyan Student Government Association (SGA) until the last ballot was counted.
“The winning moment for me was when I got the call from SGA advisers notifying me about the election results. It had been such a stressful time during the few weeks leading up to that moment. So I was relieved and beyond grateful to finally receive the results and support of the student body,” said Barlow, a junior political science and mass communications major.
“The campaign process was really fun for me. It was my first time running against other candidates, and I was honored to have the support of so many students. More than anything, I was really happy seeing students share the flyers of all the campaigners because I wanted as many students as possible to participate and vote!” Barlow said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barlow has the challenge of conducting SGA meetings online via Zoom.
“I’m eager and confident to help establish the organization’s presence more on campus, even if it’s by word of mouth and less of a physical presence. I don’t feel as much pressure from this type of experience with COVID-19 because it’s something new that we are all going through together,” Barlow said.
Barlow’s goals for the semester will start with increasing students’ awareness of SGA and its functions. She also wants to improve communication between the students and the university’s administration.
SGA Vice President Christine Davis echoes Barlow’s goals for SGA.
“Lexi and I have some ambitious goals for this upcoming year. We believe that the connection between SGA and students could be stronger. We are working to hold monthly or bi-monthly forums with students to deepen that relationship,” Davis said.
Barlow and Davis also will pursue more open forums via internet so that students feel they have input in university decisions.
“As SGA leaders, we are here to serve our campus and amplify student voices. Now more than ever during COVID-19, we understand the need for connection and togetherness. We believe creating a safe space for students to voice their concerns and share their ideas for campus initiatives will harvest relationships and empower our students,” Davis said.
Barlow was a one-person Rams Return Task Force this summer, working with faculty to assist students wishing to attend in-person classes on campus in the fall.
“I attended weekly meetings with the faculty and staff as we discussed the new policies and plans for how this semester would go with bringing students back to campus and classrooms. After the new policies were finalized, that’s when I really began to engage directly with students on social media who had questions and concerns about the upcoming semester,” Barlow said.
While she was discussing safety protocols with returning students, Barlow also communicated with students who chose to attend classes completely virtually.
“I’m actually really confident about connecting with students even though most of our daily interaction is virtual now. Although SGA has social media accounts, we actively try to connect with students on a one-to-one basis. I think my years here at Wesleyan served me well in establishing myself as a resource on campus. Students know they can reach out to me for anything,” Barlow said.
“In regard to creating a stronger culture of unity and equality here at Texas Wesleyan, I think my main approach is to listen to the wants and needs of the students,” said Barlow, “to help set a tone for what will and will not be tolerated here, and use the power of SGA to address the feelings of the student body to administration and have SGA personally respond to them as well.”
Above all else the thing about Texas Wesleyan that Barlow loves most is the “RAMily”.
“I’ve always loved building strong connections and relationships with my peers and teachers, so coming to a small school like Texas Wesleyan made perfect sense to me because I could still have those relationships that I desire at the university level. I love that everyone knows each other here and the bonds I have with the students, faculty, and staff really do make this place feel like home away from home,” said Barlow.
Davis shared her thoughts on how she will be contributing to creating more unity around campus.
“We both love our ‘RAMily’, and we feel that a way to create more unity on campus is to reach out to students personally. We want students to know that SGA members are students just like them. Taking the time to have genuine conversations with people is vital, whether virtual, through social media, or a quick chat while waiting in line at Starbucks,” said Davis.
SGA Secretary Sam Berg commented on what it means to have Barlow as leader of the student body.
“Having Lexi as president simply means there will always be a voice for students on campus. Lexi has been involved on Wesleyan’s campus since her freshman year, and she cares about the concerns of her peers,” Berg said.