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Initiative Spotlight: Aubrey Robinson

Introduce Yourself! 

Name: Aubrey Robinson 

Year: Junior/Class of 2022 

Major(s): Political Science and French & Francophone Studies 

Hometown: Nashville, TN 

SGA Role: Off-Campus Senator & Lobbyist on the Senate Executive Committee



When did you join SGA and why?

During summer orientation, I remember attending the Student Engagement Fair and stopping at the SGA table because I had already set my mind to joining SGA before I even started school! I wanted to meet new people as well as get involved on Rocky Top and joining the Student Government Association seemed like the best way to do so. 


What is your involvement in SGA?

 I joined FYC during my first year at UTK which was an absolute blast! I had the privilege of serving as Alumni Coordinator on the SGA Executive Cabinet as a Sophomore. This year, I was elected as an Off-Campus Senator in the Undergraduate Student Senate and it has been an honor to also serve as one of three lobbyists who are tasked with lobbying administrators and implementing the legislation that has been passed in the Senate. In addition, I have been an involved member of the Government Affairs Student Services Committee for the past three years as I am passionate about advocating on behalf of UT students at the TN General Assembly. 


What has been your favorite aspect of SGA?

It’s impossible for me to pick just one favorite aspect of SGA! For me, it’s a tie between the friendships I’ve made and the opportunities I have had throughout my time in SGA. I have made life-long friendships (and lasting memories) with people I otherwise would not have met if it hadn’t been for SGA. Whether it was traveling to Athens, GA for SEC Exchange, or meeting one on one with university administrators, SGA has afforded me so many unique experiences. Additionally, I have learned important skills including advocacy, leadership, and communication from my SGA involvement. 


Tell us about your S/CR/NC legislation, and how it came about?

I was curious to know if the optional Satisfactory/Credit/No-Credit grading scale would be offered this semester similar to Spring 2020, so I reached out to my academic advisor who had not heard any concrete plans to offer this grading scale for the Fall semester. But, I wanted a definitive answer, so I talked to Evan to see if he would be interested in co-sponsoring legislation in the Undergraduate Student Senate recommending an optional S/CR/NC grading scale. 


Why does S/CR/NC legislation matter to you?

It certainly matters to Evan and me, but more importantly, it matters to many UT students who are experiencing food insecurity, housing instability, and mental health issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as shown in SGA’s COVID-19 Feedback Report. There was a petition with over 5,000 signatures calling for pass/fail that was started by a student unaffiliated with SGA circulating on social media and students painted the Rock in support of temporary flexible grading policy, so there was widespread student support which is why our S/CR/NC legislation was important. 


What are some things we can expect to see in the future regarding the S/CR/NC policy?

that you are excited about?

We will continue to advocate for flexible grading policies for students, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic causes disruptions to students’ academic success. Even when this pandemic subsides, Evan and I want to intentionally support students through legislation related to academic policies.