Standing in front of the Student Government Association Senate in a black dress, heels and a SGA jacket, Sierra Scott explained why should she be elected senate president pro tempore.
After five minutes of speaking, Scott faced questioning from her fellow senators to answer any concerns they had. Then, by a vote of 41 to 6, Scott defeated her opponent Sen. Joseph Davis, becoming senate president pro tempore as only a sophomore.
Throughout her short time at , Scott has already had an adventurous journey in SGA and the senate. The senate president pro tempore is in charge of student-run organizations funding and oversee the process of bills, and are usually upperclassmen. As a sophomore, Scott said she never actually thought she would be in the pro tempore's office.
“I’d always thought I was gonna stay out there [as a senator] and a committee chair or something,” Scott said. “But when the opportunity presented itself, I saw this as a time that I could make some real change, and actually change some people’s lives.”
Wanting to create change is nothing new for Scott. She found her enthusiasm for bills and legislation in high school in the legislative branch as part of the school’s government program.
Once she arrived at UCF, Scott said she wanted to get involved and show how much she cared. As a freshman she joined the Senate Leadership Council.
Scott, a political science and legal studies major, became a senator in January 2017 after her time on the leadership council. But her time on the council did not go unnoticed. Sen. Annalise Bockin, a junior hospitality management major, has worked with Scott for a little more than a year, and said she was impressed with her passion from the moment they met.
“When Sierra came into our Senate Leadership Council program, she was one of the most passionate people we’ve seen about SGA in a long time,” Bockin said. “She had talked to individuals in SGA even prior to coming to school here just because she was so excited about this program.”
There have been very few sophomores, if any, in the past who have served as senate president pro tempore (senate records online only go back to the 46th senate). Scott believes she is the first, and Speaker of the Senate and former Senate President Pro Tempore Josh Boloña is doubtful there has been one before. Being the possible youngest pro tempore in SGA history is not something that Boloña thinks came to anyone’s mind when Scott was elected.
“People don’t really see her as a sophomore,” Boloña, a senior industrial engineering major, said. “When she was running for pro temp that wasn’t mentioned once. Just her merit was mentioned, and that’s all you need."
As pro tempore, Scott will have many responsibilities, but the fact that she is a sophomore will have no bearing on her ability to handle them, according to her peers. Over the summer, Scott was deputy pro tempore of legislative affairs. She says that experience helped her understand how to solve problems quickly.
Scott also understands the hard work that goes into her job. She said she's willing to put in extra work away from her office if needed. If Scott feels she needs to know the statues better, she will bring her work home with her, reading over statues and the constitution.
Reading statues for her is not a chore she said, and she finds reading them fun. Scott sees all of the work that has been put into the senate the past 50 years and wants to make sure she is doing her fair share.
After graduating from UCF, Scott plans to go to law school somewhere in Florida and continue to be a part of whatever school’s SGA she is at. She hopes to eventually become a military lawyer before going into politics.
But for now, Scott’s focus is on SGA and her role as senate president pro tempore — a focus that started immediately after she won the election.
When the results of her victory were announced and the senators began clapping for her accomplishment, Scott said her first reaction was thinking about how much works needs to be done.