Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

SGA senator declines Graduate School seat for 28th Senate

CW / David Gray

Editor’s note (Aug. 4, 2023): This story was updated to remove reference to a private Snapchat post John Dodd made to say he was declining his Senate seat because it did not serve as his formal announcement. Additionally, the story was updated to clarify that Dodd co-authored the resolution to remove Bibb Graves’ name from Lucy-Graves Hall.  

Dodd, a former SGA senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, declined his SGA Senate seat representing the Graduate School for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Dodd did not run for the position during the election this spring but was voted in as a write-in candidate. Dodd received only two votes in the Graduate School election, which won him the last seat out of seven for the school. Out of the school’s 5,566 students, 329 voted. 

The former senator, who served during the 2021-2022 year, said that when he initially accepted, he did not have any involvement planned for the upcoming school year, so accepting the position was a way to get involved.

On Monday night, Dodd emailed the SGA adviser, Angel Narvaez-Lugo, to share his decision. 

Dodd cited his class schedule and involvement in activities outside of college as reasons for declining the seat. 

“I don’t feel like I could adequately serve the community, the people around me, or … the Senate,” Dodd said.

According to the SGA constitution, a special election must be held “every twenty full class days beginning from the first day of the fall semester until forty class days prior to spring SGA elections” to fill Senate vacancies.

SGA press secretary Sarah Beth Corona said that once everything is finalized, more information about the special election will be released. 

“We ensure the elections timeline will fulfill constitutional requirements when it is set,” Corona said in a statement. 

This comes after former SGA Attorney General David Strickland and the Elections Board both faced appeals from students last September over a delayed special election for the Graduate School seat, which had been vacant since April.

The students, Sarah Shield and Garrett Burnett, argued that a special election should have been held 20 days after the first class day in accordance with the constitution. 

The Student Judiciary ruled in Strickland’s favor and subsequently dismissed the case against the board. The election took place on Oct. 27. 

Dodd said he was proud of his accomplishments during his term, such as co-authoring a resolution urging the University to remove Bibb Graves’ name from Lucy-Graves Hall.

The former senator said he is proudest of how he ran his campaign. 

“I just had to build my own network and run an actual, large-scale campaign,” Dodd said. “We really worked our asses off on it.”

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