Student Government Association President Al Carroll will not be running for reelection this year, despite speculation from student body members.
“For me, it’s all about helping the next person that comes in be successful,” Carroll said. “I can see myself as happy, if not happier than I am now, if I’m helping someone be successful.”
The question that kept coming up was whether SGA can be better next year than it was this year, Carroll said.
“I kept having to answer that question with ‘maybe,’” Carroll said. “Because it was a maybe, I figured that you all deserve better than that.”
Carroll will be completing a full-time internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers as he enters his senior year next semester. He said that it is time to start thinking about life after graduation.
“Student government has been a great outlet to meeting people, and it’s been a very positive experience for me, but it’s not what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life,” Carroll said. “It’s time to start focusing on what is next for Al.”
He said that he still plans on being involved with SGA, but he is not certain yet what position that means.
“I will serve at the pleasure of the next president,” he said. “It’s more important that I help the next president be successful regardless of me. This is about making sure that this is a positive organization and not that Al is the leader.”
From what he knows of the candidates that have submitted applications, Carroll said he feels confident that the next student body president will do an outstanding job.
“I’m very comfortable stepping down because the next president is going to do an awesome job,” Carroll said.
“It’s never been about me in this role,” Carroll said. “When you’re deciding to run, I suppose that it’s about you, but then when you get elected, you realize that it’s about the students.
“This decision is the least about me, because if this decision was about Al, there’d be one more year.”
When Carroll ran for president last February, he stressed the importance of being available and visible for the student body. A full-time internship, Carroll said, could have kept him away from the students.
“Part of being student body president is just being on campus and walking around and just being there,” Carroll said.
Carroll said that it’s important for the next president to realize what duties the title brings with it.
“The amount of responsibility that you have and the decisions that you’re making is a little daunting at first,” Carroll said. “At the end of the day, you are dealing with $700,000, and it’s a little overwhelming sometimes.”
He said that during his tenure, he’s learned the importance of delegating tasks to other executive board members.
“Surround yourself with the best possible people available,” Carroll said. “They may not be your best friends or the people that look like the easiest answer, but surround yourself with people that you trust and the people that are the best.”
Overall, Carroll said that his tenure so far has been successful but like anyone else, he said he realized that nothing goes exactly as planned.
“The perfect world that I was describing when I ran was not what I got, but what I got was better than what we had,” Carroll said.
Criticism has been one thing that Carroll said took a little bit of time to adjust to.
“It’s important to get some thick skin,” Carroll said. “I’m so passionate about the things I do, so it’s hard for me to hear critique about what I’ve done.
“The person that comes into this role should realize that they’re putting themselves under a spotlight that you can’t hide from. And you shouldn’t hide from it.”
Carroll, who will finish out his tenure as student body president at the end of this school year, said that he’s confident that he’s done a good job and is looking forward to seeing what the coming months bring.