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

Q&A with Homecoming queen candidate Sydney Clements

Homecoming queen candidate Sydney Clements. Courtesy of UA’s Homecoming website.
Homecoming queen candidate Sydney Clements. Courtesy of UA’s Homecoming website.

The Crimson White’s Tommy Camp sat down with Homecoming candidate Sydney Clements to discuss Clements’ Homecoming platform.   

Tommy Camp: Please introduce yourself, including year, major, hometown and any other details you want to share about yourself. 

Sydney Clements: “My name is Sydney Clements, I’m a junior here at UA, I am a chemistry major on the pre-med track, and I’m double-minoring in global health and interdisciplinary studies in medicine through the McCollough program. I’m from Greenwood, Indiana.” 

Camp: Which student organizations and off-campus organizations are you affiliated with, if any? 

Clements: “Here at UA I am involved with UA Miracle as the director of community partnerships. I am in Dr. Horan’s collaborative care research lab. I attend AED [Alpha Epsilon Delta] meetings and just joined Friends of MSF [a student support organization for Doctors Without Borders] here at Bama. I’m involved at the Church at the Oaks, I serve on a couple of our teams there, and I am a volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House charity in Alabama. In the McCollough program, I hold a couple of leadership positions. I am on our social media team, community engagement team and our social events team. I want to preface that by saying I’m not affiliated with any for the campaign but just to be involved with all of them.” 

Camp: Why did you decide to run for Homecoming queen? 

Clements: “I saw it as a really good opportunity to bring awareness to some philanthropies that are very close to my heart. I post a little bit about them on my social media, but my whole goal with my campaign and philanthropy is to fight pediatric injury and illness by collecting donations for children of Alabama and collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House of Alabama that can be recycled. When I was two years old, my younger brother, Carter, was born in Indiana and passed away from cardiac complications, so I’ve been involved with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in high school and the one down here in Birmingham. I wanted to use my campaign to bring awareness to those philanthropies that are just so close to my heart. Like I said, my brother was a patient at a CMN hospital in Indiana, so I wanted to raise money for the one down here in Birmingham. 

“Then Ronald McDonald House charities, my parents stayed at the one in Indiana while my brother was in the hospital and so I wanted to collect the pop tabs for the one down here in Birmingham. I volunteer with them now and they use those pop tabs and recycle them as donations for the house to fund it so that families can stay for free while their kids are at the hospital. The one here is within walking distance of UAB and CMN of Alabama, so those are just two charities that have become really close to my heart. They’re tied to the ones back home I grew up volunteering with, and I served the ones down here since coming to UA, so I just wanted to really bring awareness to them. 

“I also just wanted to use it as an opportunity to become a role model for younger generations, obviously when we’re at the game for Homecoming weekend, whether you’re the queen or you’re on the court, there are so many young girls looking up to you out there on the field and watching you in the parade and seeing you with the tiara and sash. Obviously, it’s so much more than a tiara and sash, they might not know that, but it’s so much more. They’re going to be watching us the whole weekend and it’s a really good opportunity to show them that you can achieve your dreams, you can be on the UA Homecoming court, you can be UA Homecoming queen, you can do all that while still being an involved student and an active member of the community. I just really wanted to tie all that together to show them that you can do this really cool thing and be super involved, but you can also be a student majoring in whatever you want to, pursuing whatever career you want, and you can be an involved member of the community doing community service and being involved with those types of things as well. So I really just wanted to tie that all together with my platform and use it as just a way to do some good and do some change throughout this process.” 

Camp: How have you served students at the Capstone? 

Clements: “There are a couple of ways I feel like I’ve done that. First off, with UA Miracle, I’ve been in it all three years since I’ve been here, currently the director of community partnerships. I have found that a good way to serve other students. A lot of students here at the university are impacted by CMN hospitals that you may not know about. They may have been a patient, they have had friends who were patients, family members like me who had a brother as a patient that you don’t know but you’re indirectly serving by supporting that hospital. A lot of kids from Tuscaloosa County go to Children’s of Alabama — it is the only free-standing pediatric hospital in the state — so it’s been a good way for me to serve the student body, fundraising for a hospital that has impacted so many students here. 

“Then just taking a leadership position that trying to bring up other people younger than me by serving as their director, bringing them up with staff and Dance Marathon, and encouraging them to take director positions and fundraise and contribute to that cause. Also, McCollough, I’ve taken on some leadership positions in the last couple of months helping with our social media team and the social events we put on. McCollough just had its first graduating class last year, so we are currently in our fifth year of the program so we are very young. That means that there’s a lot of room for growth and a lot of room for things to be developed because it’s a pretty clean slate. There’s a structure to the program, but a lot of the extra opportunities we want to develop for students haven’t been developed, and so it’s been a really good opportunity to step in that role and recognize that there’s a need for things to be developed for the program to have an impact with students and be that we have a really have a unique experience being in the first generations of the program to help make it beneficial for students pursuing a pre-med major. I really just saw it as an opportunity to not just be a member of the program but to take on some of the responsibilities in developing the program to set it up for the generations that follow me. Obviously, I graduate in two years, but I hope it will be here for a long time, and I want to help set it up to be a successful program for students here applying to med school that they can just get the most out of it and make some good friends. The McCollough program has been really impactful for me, and having a cohort to live with my freshman year and getting to know the students I now have class with. Seeing how impactful that’s been for me, I want to set the program up for success and give them more opportunities than I was given to get to meet people and really feel prepared as they move into a career in medicine.” 

Camp: How would you use the Homecoming queen’s platform? 

Clements: “I see the platform as an opportunity to do year-round service. Obviously, a big part of the responsibility of the Homecoming queen is representing the spirit of Homecoming, the week of Homecoming, the year after Homecoming, the bonfire, and the parade. You’re on the field at the game and get to do a lot of exciting stuff and really represent all that Homecoming weekend is here at UA, but then you’re holding that role for the rest of the year. There are 364 more days that you’re going to have the title before someone else is crowned, and you’re blessed with a really good platform to bring awareness to a lot of good causes and serve the community so I really want to use it to just represent UA for the weekend but to represent UA year-round, so whether that’s helping at service events put on by UA or attending events by the Center for Service and Leadership and seeing those kinds of service events and being involved hands-on. 

“Obviously, continuing to bring awareness to my philanthropies and involvements here, I plan to do that either way, but having the platform with queen is a great opportunity to bring awareness to students that I wouldn’t meet otherwise or wouldn’t hear about them otherwise. Also, just getting to make appearances in the community, and that just ties back to me wanting to be a role model for younger generations. We have a lot of schools in Tuscaloosa County, a lot of districts in Tuscaloosa County, and a lot of students coming here to visit for activities. There are other colleges in the area where it’s a really good opportunity to just be involved and be a role model to help develop future generations of leaders and just strong students in general. I see it as a year-round opportunity to do some good until Homecoming next year.” 

Camp: Why are you the best choice for Homecoming queen? 

Clements: “I am the best choice for Homecoming queen because I want to take this platform and run with it year-round. I really want to exhibit the spirit of UA and the Capstone Creed during Homecoming weekend. I want to be really supportive of other students who are engaging in Homecoming throughout the weekend and get to engage with my peers, alumni and families who are attending Homecoming weekend. I also would love to be a part of the festivities, like the game and the parade and everything else. But I really do see it as an opportunity to create some good year-round things out of it and to do some really important philanthropy work and to do some really good work in just inspiring students on campus and inspiring younger generations. I really see it as an opportunity to do work year-round, and I think that makes me a really good candidate because I want to take the platform and use it as much as I can over the course of the next year. I’m really excited to be on the Homecoming court and to see who wins as well as meet the other girls on the court and have the most of this experience.” 

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