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The Student Government Association at The University of Alabama has been a launching pad for many prominent Alabama politicians. But most owed their success to a secret coalition of All-White fraternities and sororities.

It’s official name is Theta Nu Epsilon whose Greek letters spell ONE, but it is commonly referred to simply as “The Machine.”

Progressive New Deal Sen. Lister Hill is thought to be “The Father of the Machine.” Richard Shelby, Don Siegelman, George Wallace, and Bill Baxley all ran for SGA positions while at The University of Alabama.

 

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UA’s first Black SGA president was one of the few ever to defeat the machine. Cleo Thomas is now an Anniston attorney

 

 

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SGA president Jessica Medeiros with Sen. Jeff Sessions

 

 

 

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Narrated  by Greg Bass

 

 

 

ONE & ALL was produced for The University of Alabama Center for Public Television