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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

McFatridge, Mellen take office as Student Association President, VP

Courtesy Photo | Carson McFatridge
Carson McFatridge (left), Lucy Mellen (right) were elected Feb. 12.

After a long week on the Drill Field campaigning for the Mississippi State University Student Association (SA) presidential election, Carson McFatridge and Lucy Mellen realized it was time to take a break. Feb. 9, they grabbed a couple of friends, changed into some sweatpants and made their way to UEC Hollywood Premiere Cinema to watch a rom-com.

It was a small moment between friends that may have never happened if it were not for their involvement together in SA. It was a moment to breathe before the busyness and excitement of the following week.

The evening of  Feb. 12 was cinematic for the running mates. The pair held each other as they waited on the first floor of the Colvard Student Union, listening to hear if their names would be called. Moments after former president Ellie Herndon and former vice president Jodee Crane called out the election results, declaring McFatridge and Mellen the winners, cheers, sighs of relief and a few tears overcame them. They ended the night with a long hug, listening to the giggles and “whoops” from their friends around them.

The pair ran their winning campaign on three platform points: outreach, accountability and inclusion.

“[The platform points] were more-so values that we wanted to make sure were instilled in the culture of the Student Association,” Mellen said.

Fast forward to this week, McFatridge and Mellen formally take over as president and vice president, beginning their year-long term as the leaders of the Student Association’s executive council.

Herndon finished her term as president Sunday in advance of her graduation this May as a supply chain logistics major. Herndon expressed her fondness of the role and her successors.

“It’s definitely new to me to not have this position on my plate anymore, but I’m really excited for the next group and excited to see what is in store for years to come, so it’s definitely bittersweet,” Herndon said.

According to Herndon, the time between when the elections took place and when the newly elected administration took office was spent preparing everyone for their roles.

President McFatridge, a junior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major from Bald Knob, Arkansas, draws her experience with the Student Association back to Freshman Reach where she met Mellen. After her time with Freshman Reach, McFatridge served in the cabinet her sophomore year and as SA’s elected secretary her junior year.

According to McFatridge, she had no plans to run for president during her time at MSU, until she attended SEC Exchange, a gathering of the student leaders from each school in the Southeastern Conference. This is where she experienced the inner workings of other institutions that MSU students may otherwise view as rivals.

“I got bitten by the bug at that point,” McFatridge said. “That’s kind of when I knew that this was something I would be interested in.”

Courtesy Photo

Mellen, a junior geoscience and political science double major from Hattiesburg, ran alongside McFatridge as vice president in the second year of the school’s new election ticket system. Mellen began her SA journey in Freshmen Reach and has served as the senator to the College of Arts and Sciences for the past two years. She also serves as a roadrunner tour guide, sharing her love of MSU’s campus with potential bulldogs.

Mellen described events from the past when speaking of her appreciation for the student association. After being a part of SA for most of her college career, Mellen now has the opportunity to provide moments of togetherness with the student body.

“This is the meaning of the student association, is to connect all of these people from all across campus under one kind of roof and to provide that experience for them,” Mellen said.

About the Contributor
Megan Gordon
Megan Gordon, Former Life & Entertainment Editor
Megan Gordon served as the Life & Entertainment Editor from 2023 to 2024.
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