Newlin elected 2019-2020 Undergraduate Student Government president


Isabel Miller | @IsabelMMiller

Colton Newlin smiles after winning the election for USG president on April 10, 2019 inside the Student Center.

By Brandi Courtois, Staff Writer

Colton Newlin was announced as the new president of the Undergraduate Student Government.

Newlin, a senior studying psychology from Marion, won with 459 votes, making up 75.49% of the total votes. 149 votes went to write-ins.

Some of the issues Newlin and his executive board want to focus on include the plus or minus grading scale, iClickers, increasing meeting visibility and changes to parking lots.


“The main thing we want to focus on his improving the senator participation and overall visibility with the university,” Newlin said.

As a part of his two year senatorship in USG, Newlin has been involved with the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, the Students’ Legal Assistance board, the Judicial Board and the Traffic and Parking Division Advisory Committee.

(See more: Traffic and Parking Committee raises ticket price, proposes lot changes)

Outside of USG, Newlin has been involved with Saluki Ambassadors, Alpha Sigma Phi, the Carbondale City Council Liquor Advisory board and the Inter-Greek Council.

The new executive board also includes Phynix Huhn-Simmons as executive vice president and Danny Vega as vice president of student affairs.

Huhn-Simmons, a junior studying cinema and photography, works for River Region and has reported on USG activities. She said her skills will come more from being a reporter and being able to make connections with everyday people.

As a resident assistant, Huhn-Simmons said she works to build communities with her residents. This allows her to connect with residents and SIU students on a more personal level, she said.


“I handle floods. I handle Title IX cases. I handle a number of situations that students may face,” Huhn-Simmons said. “I have a lot of experience listing to what people have to say.”

Huhn-Simmons said often times students go unheard and she wants to be an advocate for the students.

“I want the administration to hear students more,” Huhn-Simmons said. “I’m more than excited and eager to hit the ground running.”

Vega, a junior studying sociology, transferred to SIU from College of Lake County in the fall and joined USG. He said he was heavily involved in student government at his previous school, where he held a position as a senator.

As a sustainability ambassador at his previous school, Vega worked with the dining hall to make sure students with special dietary needs could be better served.

“I would like to work with bridging the communication between senators and their colleges and the people they represent,” Vega said.

Vega said he wants to make sure the senators know what their responsibility is and give them the information and connections they need to be successful in the senate.

Vega said he has also been talking with Lori Stettler, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, about ways SIU can improve diversity in advertising.

“No matter what major you’re from, no matter what your background is or where you come from if you have an issue on campus we’re here for you and we’re here for you to come talk to,” Vega said. “We can help address those issues with you.”

The incoming executive board will be sworn in on April 30 during the final scheduled USG meeting.

A meet and greet for the SIU Student Trustee ticket will be held in the Student Center Mississippi room on April 11 at 5 p.m. Online voting will start April 16 and end on April 17 at 4 p.m.

Staff writer Brandi Courtois can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Brandi_Courtois.

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