Rhone wants to see changes in SGA before graduation


Two-time SGA Senator Trentqual Rhone is now serving as the Attorney General of the SGA in the “No Limit” Administration.

Nefsa'Hyatt Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Serving as a senator for most of his student government career, many speculated that newly named Student Government Association (SGA) Attorney General Trentqual Rhone would end his tenure in SGA after the events of last year. However, despite his hesitation after contemplating returning to SGA for his final year as an undergraduate student, Rhone decided that being the attorney general would allow him to “be the change he wanted to see.”

“To be clear, I had enjoyed my time in the student senate, and I am proud of the changes we were able to make,” said Rhone reflecting on his time in the senate. “However, as I stated in one of the Senate meetings, I felt the SGA had turned into an activities board/promotional squad.”

Questioning his purpose in SGA, Rhone was hesitant to take the attorney general’s offer from student body president David Hammond. Essentially, he explained that he questioned whether the work he put into SGA over the years was “worth the hassle” as he felt that “other SGA officers, administrators, and event students felt as nothing was wrong.”

“Though we were able to come together to fight for student rights when campus closed because of the pandemic, it did not negate the fact that the seven months before were full of bullshit,” Rhone said candidly.

Serving as a primary check and balance for SGA as a whole, the attorney general is responsible for “upholding the SGA Consitution’s integrity by reviewing all SGA officers’ performance and investing any claims of constitutional violations or abuses/misuses of power.” Furthermore, the attorney general is responsible for advising SGA officers and student body members regarding all SGA rules, regulations, and procedures.

Despite learning and “often defending” the SGA’s rules and regulations, after being confirmed earlier this year in May, the political science major did not approach the role of attorney general with any specific goals or initiatives aside from the evaluation letters. Nonetheless, despite his laid-back approach, Rhone stated that “I want to be fair and as thorough as possible, stay true to myself, and be a resource for students and other SGA officials.”

As the semester winds down, Rhone has assisted the Executive Council with a few projects, including their press releases and the internship where he serves as a mentor. Also, earlier this month, Rhone published his first evaluation of all the SGA branches and the other executive officers’ performances.

“I chose to publish this letter to ensure that students know what their officers are doing/plan to do,” said Rhone explaining the purpose of the evaluation letter. “As we know, this is not a “normal” semester. I want to make sure that all students are in the loop as much as possible; therefore, publishing the letter via email seemed to be the best method. The evaluation letter will be a part of the SGA newsletter. The evaluation letters will be ongoing.”

Serving as a mentor in the newly established SGA Internship Program, Rhone has allowed his mentor Darreyon Johnson, a freshman criminal justice major from Birmingham, Ala, to “determine his internship path” as his interests are pretty broad. By meeting with Johson weekly, Rhone uses their time together to receive the SGA constitution, rules, regulations, and procedures.

Set to graduate in May 2021, the Selma, Ala native plans to pursue a Master’s of Public Policy. Aspiring to become a political analyst and commentator, Rhone spoke excitedly about his post-graduate plans saying, “you all might catch me on CNN one day.”

Reflecting on the most critical lesson he received from SGA, Rhone urged students to realize that in SGA, “we are simply students with titles, officers, a check, and little more access.” Moreover, he explained his wish for both students and officers alike to challenge the idea that SGA is “a voice for the voiceless.”

“As eloquently stated by Arundhati Roy, “There’s really no such thing as the voiceless,” said Rhone explaining his views on the role of SGA. “There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” From the incoming freshmen to the graduate students, we all have a voice in government, even though it often seems the opposite.”

Noting the outrage and on-the-ground protests that happened last semester due to the exit email the student body received in March, Rhone explained that despite SGA being at the front lines that the students using thier voices is what “got the job done.”

“Instances like that are where the SGA steps in,” said Rhone recalling the protest from earlier this year. “Our job is to promote an environment where students can speak to their issues; while supporting us in official capacities. Throughout my time in SGA, I have worked to foster that environment,” he continued. “All of the Twitter preaching and Senate meeting speeches were out of love for the student body. I will be the first to criticize, but I am also not afraid to send an email or knock on a door when there is a problem. I have always encouraged others to be the same way.”

Referring to himself as a resource, Rhone encourages all students to reach out to him at [email protected] if they have any questions, comments, or concerns.