An Installation Ceremony was held for Stillman’s 2013-2014 Student Government Association (SGA) President Rio Jackson (front row, 3rd from left) and her 14 cabinet members on Thursday, September 26.
Jackson, a senior from Los Angeles, California, who is majoring in psychology, admits that she was “thrilled, excited and honored”—but not surprised—when she was elected president last spring.
“In freshman year, I was a class senator. Later I was appointed a junior representative, and I was a vice president last year in Shalyn Smith’s cabinet. I always wanted to be SGA president. I love Stillman. I love our students. And I love the environment here,” Jackson says joyfully. “I was fortunate to learn from so many of our former SGA leaders. Now I have the experience to lead, and I’m so fortunate to have an outstanding cabinet.”
Although she notes that her full name, Rio Estrella Jackson, which translates to “River Star,” reflects her mother’s Panamanian heritage, Rio has a Golden State disposition. She is a perfect poster child for those who claim that Californians are among the most cheerful people in the nation.
Fortunately, she has an equally exuberant crew. Her cabinet members share her vision and, together, they hope to make Stillman one of our nation’s happiest campuses. After being elected last spring, they spoke to alumni and perused old yearbooks seeking ways to encourage student involvement, which is often directly linked to success and happiness in college. After reading an old yearbook article about “Clash of the Classes,” a campaign to encourage friendly competition among students, they decided to incorporate this theme into SGA Week activities.
Jackson says that she and her cabinet are inspired by memories that alumni have shared with them. “Alumni are like extended family. We really appreciate all that they do, and we like to hear about their experiences when they were here,” she says enthusiastically.
SGA has already hosted numerous activities this semester, including a toga party, a movie night, and a dating game. But Jackson says that one of their most challenging group activities was selecting suits for the Installation Ceremony. “Finding our suits is a dilemma every year, but it’s also a bonding time. I’m really happy with what we found. We all have blue suits and the males have yellow bowties—our school colors.”