Q&A: VP for academic affairs candidate Johnny Foster

CW News Staff

Johnny Foster is a sophomore majoring in finance who currently serves as a senator for the Culverhouse College of Business.  


Q: How did you get involved with SGA?  

A: “Well, my SGA path started in high school. I was SGA president in my high school and absolutely loved it, and I wanted to translate that kind of leadership role over to college freshman year. I was a part of Freshman Forum and got to meet a lot of other student leaders that were in my class. [I] really enjoyed that. That made me want to go further and be a part of SGA here. I became and ran for and was elected to be a senator for the Culverhouse College of Business. And, again, I still want to further my experience and help students more so [this made] me run for vice president for academic affairs.” 

Q: What made you want to run for this position?  

A: “I mean, not only was it me trying to become more involved in SGA, but I really do have a certain kind of caring for academics. Personally, I put academics in the forefront of my mind. I think that [on] this campus, with it being as big as it is, academics kind of takes a backseat in a lot of people’s minds. And so, if we have someone in this position that has academics first, which really has students’ well-being in mind, I think that … this campus runs a lot more smoothly. And I think that I’m best to fit that role.” 

Q: Why are you the best choice for this position?  

A: “Well, again, academics is something that I’ve personally put a lot of effort into. I’ve always tried to strive [for] my best in academics. And I think that with my past experience being in SGA, I’ve passed legislation within SGA, … [and] I’ve known people within SGA and what groups to talk to in order to get stuff done. I think that that’s something that a lot of candidates that are coming from a non-SGA standpoint won’t have. They won’t have those connections and the know-how in order to get real change done. So, I think that’s what sets me apart.” 

Q: What’s the biggest problem you see on campus? 

A: “So, the biggest problem that I see on campus, well, if I had to wrap it up into a few words, it’d probably be student ease. I have a lot of ideas that will alleviate that pressure that students feel. One of my favorite ones is — this is mainly for freshmen — but the ‘week at a glance’ integration into a mobile app or a widget on your phone. If you’re a freshman, I know this was the case for me, as a freshman, I got turned around going from class to class, didn’t know how far each class was, and had to, you know, pick up the pace getting from each class. And so, I think if I’m able to do this, it will alleviate that pressure and obviously bring more student ease. Another one is putting examination booklets within class. You know, we’ve all had that experience where we’re going to an exam and we forget to get the examination booklet. And so, if we’re able to have those within class, again, student ease is better for it.”  

Q: How do you plan on increasing SGA transparency?  

A: “So, I think for me, I’m very personable person. I love talking to people. And that’s not something I want to just hide away in my office about. In order to increase transparency, I want to have an open door policy with my office if elected for this position. I think that it’s very intimidating for students to come into the SGA office as it is. And so [I want] to alleviate that pressure and make it feel like I’m just someone they can vent to [or] voice concerns or anything. And that’s for students that, you know, don’t really feel that they know exactly what’s going on within SGA and have any questions. Also, for senators who want to get legislation passed, I can be that liaison between faculty and students and send them in the right direction. I just want to be, you know, a good vessel for communication.” 

Q: What’s your number one goal with this position?  

A: “So, if I had a number one goal, it would most likely be to follow through with all of my points. And I think that that’s something that’s very achievable. I think that’s the very low bar where the bottom line for my position is to follow through on these points. So, I say my goal is to follow through with my points of efficiency, accessibility and transparency. And if I’m able to do all those in the individual ideas within each of those points, I think that that is my number one goal.” 

Q: What’s one last thing you want voters to know about you?  

A: “I want them to know that I have students’ concerns first. You know, we’re a body that serves students and we are students. So, we have that unique ability to help them. And … voting opens on myBama. It’s from seven to seven on Tuesday, Feb. 28, and I hope that they ‘join Johnny.’”