Spillers makes county proud

Elliot Spillers, a Pelham High School grad, recently was named the University of Alabama's Student Government president. (Contributed)

Elliot Spillers, a Pelham High School grad, recently was named the University of Alabama’s Student Government president. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

As a graduate of Pelham High School, my heart swelled with pride last week when I saw the results from the University of Alabama Student Government Association presidential race.
In what will likely go down as one of the most significant moments in the university’s history, fellow PHS alum Elliot Spillers united the campus and earned the SGA presidential spot. He is the first black SGA president at Alabama in decades, and only the second in the school’s history.
If you subscribe to the idea of “The Machine” dominating the university’s campus politics, it makes Spillers’ victory even more impressive, as he won without the Greek life support many of the school’s successful SGA candidates have relied on in the past.
Yet when I had a chance to talk with Spillers on the phone the morning after his election victory, he rarely made reference to his accomplishments, focusing instead on praising his team and sharing ways to move the campus forward.
“I want to create a more inclusive SGA that represents the entire student body,” Spillers told me. “I’m going to make sure my team is more representative of the diverse student body we have here.”
When Spiller decided to attend the University of Alabama, he already had dreams of unifying the campus and making a difference for the student body.
“He said ‘Mom, I want to make a difference,’” his mother, Wanda, told me. “So I said ‘OK, go earn your degree and make a difference.’ But he had bigger things in mind.”
The college junior is already looking to make a difference for UA students facing mental illness and for students who have been victims of sexual assaults, as he is working to initiate programs to support those groups of students.
Well done, Elliot. You’ve made your home county proud, and we look forward to seeing you holding even bigger offices in the future.