Q&A: presidential candidate Collier Dobbs

CW News Staff

Collier Dobbs is a junior majoring in finance and economics who currently serves as the vice president for external affairs.   


Q: How did you get involved with SGA? 

A: “Freshman year, first semester, I saw some problems that I faced as an individual and my peers faced, and [I was] getting really passionate about those and decided to run to be a Culverhouse College of Business senator. Thankfully, I was able to pass some cool initiatives, really impactful initiatives that are still around today, such as I was able to put free feminine products in the bathrooms in the Student Center. We actually just extended that program to the law school. So very exciting stuff there. From my experiences as a senator, I became very passionate about connecting students with the community around UA’s campus. So I decided to run to be the vice president for external affairs. Again, thankfully, I won. I was able to, again, make some really cool and impactful initiatives and programs that connected students with the community [and] gave them the tools and resources to succeed academically and professionally. One initiative that I was really passionate about was creating Battle of the Bands, which was a fundraiser benefiting the Joe Espy Needs Based Scholarship. We had eight student bands come out and compete for the title of the best band in Tuscaloosa. We ended up raising $8,000. The experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained from those two positions have prepared me for this next role as our SGA president.” 

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

A: “I want to unite UA, unite the campus, the individuals. I want to connect different organizations. I want to be an advocate for every student and [make] sure the SGA is adjusting for the growth of UA. So from my experiences … my previous two terms have given me the knowledge of how to fulfill my promises I make [and] give[n] me the expertise to make sure the platform points I promise I can accomplish and will accomplish.” 

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

A: “I’m the best choice for president because of what I’ve done over the past two years. Again, [through] my experiences as a senator for the Culverhouse College of Business, and as the vice president for external affairs, I’ve been able to create some very impactful initiatives that have connected student groups across campus [and] given them the resources they need to reach their full potential, like I previously mentioned. I’ve been able to build relationships with UA admin and build programs I can capitalize upon as SGA President and build upon what I’ve learned to make UA a home for everyone.” 

Q: Pick an instance from your time in SGA where you felt SGA fell short in meeting its responsibilities. How would you have handled that situation differently? 

A: “I feel that the SGA’s responsibility is to represent every student. I feel that as an SGA, we can do a better job connecting student groups. I believe that when students in organizations are faced with a problem — I believe a lot of student organizations look at a problem from a narrow perspective. It has nothing against their leadership whatsoever. But we need to give them opportunities to collaborate with each other. So when you look at a problem with a perspective of differing opinions, diverse backgrounds and experiences that you haven’t lived through as an individual, you can create a solution that actually fixes the problem to its core. As SGA president, I’d like to fix that through the creation of a UA Leadership Summit, which is where we would have student organization leaders come into a roundtable event and talk about what problems they face as organizations and how they look to fix those problems. It will also give SGA an opportunity to get some more insight in how we can better represent each student.” 

Q: How do you plan on increasing SGA transparency? 

A: “On a personal level, I want to be someone that students feel comfortable approaching. I’m a very open person. But I want to be someone that students can come to with concern, and we can work together to fix it, whether they’re a member of SGA or not, in a more professional manner. I want to build a cabinet of diverse opinions from across all spaces at UA so we can really broaden our perspective and our networking. An initiative I also plan to fix transparency will be to include the SGA newsletter in one of Dr. Bell’s newsletters once a month, so students have access to SGA programming and events.” 

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

A: “My number one goal is to make sure that every student has the tools and resources to reach their full potential at UA. My previous experiences have given me the knowledge and, again, expertise, to make that happen and build upon what I’ve already done as a senator and vice president for external affairs to work to make sure that every student has those resources and tools.” 

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

A: “I want every student to know that I’m a very open person, that I care about each and every student at this university but also each and every member of the Tuscaloosa community. I hope each and every person looks to ‘count on Collier’ on Tuesday, Feb. 28 on myBama, and thank you for your time.”