Anisa Sumlar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Winston Tucker of Wetumpka became the second black elected president of Auburn's SGA in April 1995. Now, looking back on his time in office, he hopes other students will look at his example and be challenged.
"I hope I made an impact by students saying 'We've got an African-American president and look how well he's done,' " Tucker said.
Tucker also ran and won on an independent ticket -- a tough task considering most candidates are part of Auburn's Greek system.
"He (Tucker) was an independent student who showed you don't have to be Greek to be elected," said Grant Davis, executive director of student life at AU.
One goal Tucker had for his presidency was to increase the retention rate of minority students at AU. Although he said he doesn't know how successful his efforts were because he didn't have any data on the number of students who remained in school, one thing the SGA did accomplish during his presidency was increasing voter turnout.
When he was elected, voter turnout was about 18 percent. The next election it increased to 24 percent, Tucker said.
"I think we got a lot done," he said, adding that students are beginning to realize the importance of the SGA and voting.
And it was Tucker's ability to get things done that impressed Davis.
"He's been an excellent role model for all students," Davis said. "Winston is a very level-headed leader who listens, makes wise decisions and then takes action to improve programs that will serve the students well."
Tucker, who switched from a building science major to a management major, said his time in office "made me realize what I really wanted to do."
"It taught me a whole lot of real-world skills," he said, skills he hopes to be able to use after graduation in his job at the First Union Bank in Nashville, Tenn.
In addition to the SGA, Tucker also participated in Auburn's Black Student Union and University Program Council.
"I'm going to take away the full Auburn experience," Tucker, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Carrell Tucker, said. "Auburn University is a wonderful place to get an education, but it provides you with so much more than just the education. I'm going to take away so much -- a knowledge of self, great friends and memories."
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CONTACT: Tucker, 821-4295; and Davis: 844-4710.