‘Small improvements for bigger change’–freshmen student-athletes join SGA

Bailey Hierholzer (left), freshman class president and Keely Brown (right), freshman class vice president. Photo by Hannah Haggerty.

By: Matthew Johnson

In the midst of school work and soccer obligations, two freshmen have decided to take on roles as Student Government Association’s (SGA) freshman class president and vice president with the goal of enhancing the student experience at Gardner-Webb.

Bailey Hierholzer, freshman president, and Keely Brown, freshman vice president, are both part of the Gardner-Webb women’s soccer team. Hierholzer is from Heath, Texas majoring in Elementary education. Brown is from Cincinnati, Ohio majoring in Public Relations.

Bailey Hierholzer is a midfielder on the women's soccer team. Photo by Hannah Haggerty.
Hierholzer is a midfielder on the women’s soccer team. Photo by Hannah Haggerty.

The new roles they have taken on as of Sept. 17 add extra responsibilities to their obligations as student-athletes. On average, they spend about eight hours a week practicing soccer on top of 15 credit hours’ worth of class. Rather than spending their spare time entirely with social events, the two freshmen want to use their time making a difference at Gardner-Webb. “I think [SGA] will be difficult no matter what you do; it’s just time management and organization skills,” said Hierholzer.

In just the first six weeks of school, Hierholzer and Brown have already noticed some aspects about student life on campus that need some attention. When they saw a flyer for SGA elections, it was a given they would check out what it would withhold.

Keely Brown is the goalkeeper on the women's soccer team. Photo by Hannah Haggerty.
Brown is the goalkeeper on the women’s soccer team. Photo by Hannah Haggerty.

After meeting the SGA members at the interest meeting, they both felt this was something they wanted to be a part of. “We loved the people in charge of it” said Brown, “We loved what they want to do.”

Hierholzer and Brown’s goals for their term in SGA are to foster more student activities and higher attendance during the events while also finding more ways to improve the cafeteria, wireless internet and parking. They plan to look into the requests of students and do their best to get them approved.

They believe that even if they just dedicate time toward improving the little things, there will be a larger change on campus. “Small improvements make a bigger change,” said Brown.

Hierholzer and Brown are currently working on preparations for homecoming weekend. As they do on the field, they plan to overcome obstacles and accomplish their goals as a team.