New SGA President Barrett Cole Makes History and Gives a Voice to Students
Serving as UNT Student Government Association (SGA) president is a tough job, but 2017-2018 President Barrett Cole is up for the challenge. As the first female SGA president in more than 20 years, and as a part of the first winning dual female ticket along with Vice President Lisa Umeh, Cole is resolute in her mission of improving the lives of all students.
Cole, a Dallas native and an integrative studies major with focuses on international studies, College of Information and leadership studies, transferred to UNT her sophomore year specifically for the integrative studies program.
“After taking a gap year and working for AmeriCorps running a K through fifth grade literacy center at a Title 1 elementary school in Dallas, my passion for education policy reform was further solidified,” said Cole. “With my parents both being UNT alumni, I knew the university would be a great fit for me.”
Cole’s brother, a current UNT student himself, is also keeping the family tradition going.
Not knowing anyone on campus prompted Cole to get involved with student organizations, starting with serving on the Athletic Council, through SGA, and eventually leading to the Student Senate and then Vice President of SGA, in addition to participating in Greek Life and other campus organizations.
“I’m not a political person, but serving in SGA provided me with a greater understanding of how higher education works and fueled my desire to give a voice to students who feel they don’t have one,” said Cole. “I felt I could continue to do that as SGA president.”
One of Cole’s top goals is to make SGA more relatable and approachable for students so that they too will be motivated to get involved.
“Most students want to be heard, but they don’t understand what SGA does,” Cole noted. “We are working to educate them about how SGA can help them and the opportunities that are available for them to serve and make a difference themselves.”
Other items on Cole’s presidential agenda include addressing issues with parking and transportation, campus safety and diversity and inclusion.
“UNT is a welcoming campus with students from all walks of life, and our diversity is one of the things that makes us great,” Cole said. “I want to make sure all students continue to feel that they are included on campus, have a voice and are proud to be members of the Mean Green family.”