Longest-serving UA SGA senator enters 19th year in office 

Kayla Solino | @kaylasolino, Staff Reporter

Rebecca Rose Lutonsky is entering her 19th year as a Student Government Association senator at The University of Alabama. 

Lutonsky has been a senator for the graduate school since 2003 and was recently recognized as the longest-serving senator in SGA’s 107-year history. A resolution by Speaker Darius Thomas last month granted her the honorary title of dean of the senate. More than 30 SGA members endorsed or supported the resolution. 

“Senator Lutonsky has been a valued member of SGA during her time at UA. Her willingness to serve students throughout the years attests to the mission of the organization,” SGA Press Secretary Olivia Davis said. “Her contributions are numerous and we are extremely grateful that she provides a sense of institutional memory through her years of service.” 

During her tenure in SGA, she has earned two bachelor’s degrees, five master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in instructional leadership. Her journey with the organization started when she wrote papers for class on the computer in the SGA office.

“When I was writing my papers, I just noticed that [the SGA] was something special here that’s going on at The University of Alabama,” Lutonsky said.”I’ve always thought very highly of SGA.”

Eventually, an SGA member encouraged her to run for the graduate school seat since no other candidate was running. 

Since 2003, there have always been fewer students running than graduate senate seats available, although Lutonsky wishes more graduate students were interested in SGA involvement.  

The UA student body has increased by more than 18,000 students since 2003, and Lutonsky said the SGA has grown with it through the introduction of more committees, the expansion of the Judicial Board and the establishment of First Year Council. 

Lutonsky said her favorite legislation is anything that supports student health and well-being, along with resolutions that support Alabama football after national championship wins. She worked on a UA task force committee that granted health care to graduate students and more funding to graduate teaching assistants.  

“There is a way to stand up for students, their rights and their interests, and when they go to college, you help them successfully graduate and meet their goal,” Lutonsky said.