The University of Alabama has elected its first black student government president since 1976. Elliot Spillers defeated Stephen Keller, who currently sits as vice president of student affairs, on Tuesday and received more than 8,500 of the estimated 15,000 total votes. This was both the highest election turnout and margin of victory since 2009.
Elliot Spillers, a junior from Pelham, is also considered to be the first non-Machine candidate to win the election since John Merrill (now Alabama’s Secretary of State) won in 1986.
This will be Spillers’ first elected position within the SGA, where he has served appointed positions, most recently as deputy director of engagement.
Spillers contributes a large part in the success of his campaign to Greek organizations. He recruited significant support in the sorority community, and fraternities played a pivotal role — Alpha Tau Omega flew a giant Spiller banner from its house on campus.
With all the racial tension that’s received national attention lately, it’s hard to remember the significant progress this country has made over the years. Great to see a story like this to remind us just how far we’ve come.
Image via Youtube