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 SGA presidential candidate Will McDavid

CW / Ronni Rowan
Photo courtesy of the SGA

Will McDavid is a junior majoring in English.

Q: How did you get involved in SGA?

“So I actually have never been involved, which a lot of people might be quick to point out as a weakness. However, I was a lot involved with a lot of leadership stuff outside of school growing up. My interests were always in extracurricular leadership, such as sports organizations, ministries and those kinds of things. I believe that I’ve done a lot of stuff outside school, and why not bring this sort of new perspective?  However, I will be honest, I’ve not had any SGA experience at Alabama. I am willing to try my best and I have a team around me that’s helping me. I want to do my best and maybe bring a fresh perspective to the program.”

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

“I realized that for the past two years, I was the kind of student that didn’t really have much to do with SGA. I was here to get my degree. I love English, all the English stuff. That’s my major and that’s kind of all I wanted to do. However, I started hearing about some of the things that SGA is doing. For instance, one thing that really got me interested was when I learned that there was a bill that SGA was pushing to put Narcan into dorms so that in case anyone overdoses, they have that resource readily available to them. But my thought was, why doesn’t the majority of the campus know about this? Why isn’t that being more publicly advertised? Now I know that there’s these public forums that you can go to, and you may not be able to vote, but you’re able to listen, and you’re able to be there. However, my first couple years here, I’d never heard about that. I had to do some digging to figure out about that. I want to bring more of the stuff out in the open so that the average students are a little bit more involved because I was the average student. I mean, I still am the average student involved in our SGA politics, because I think that that should be necessary.”

Q: Is DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] part of your platform and if so, how? 

“I unfortunately have to say that the people on my team mostly look like me. However, I am taking action to change that. I don’t think I can update my team, but I am trying to surround and talk to my friends who aren’t from the same background that I come from. I wanted to make that a point where I don’t want to listen to people who just look the same as me. If you keep listening to the people who look the same, talk the same and act the same as you, you’re going to get the same idea over and over and over again. If you get the same idea over and over again, there’s not going to be any change, and change is good. There’s not going to be any growth without change. And I want growth for this campus because I think this campus can grow to something even greater, and that doesn’t happen without different people from different backgrounds coming together. So, to be honest, that is something I’m currently working on and something that I want to grow better in.”

Q: What are two specific initiatives you want to accomplish in this position? 

“The first two things that I’d like to talk about are things that sort of unify the campus together. Now, I come from a background where I played sports since I was 4 and so that’s where a lot of my interest is. For instance, I think I’ve talked to people about this before, where they want events like volleyball on the Quad, or different unifying events that bring students together. Whether that’s sports, whether that’s other things, more events, or organizations or charities coming together, just more things on the Quad that bring people together. I think one of my big things is unifying the people on this campus. I think there is a lot of separation between different groups of people. 

I think there’s a huge separation between Greek life and non-Greek life. I could feel that, as I’m not Greek life, and I have friends that are Greek life. Even though I’m friends with them, I still feel that separation and I really don’t like that.  So I want to start supporting and advocating for events that a lot of people that I’ve talked to have wanted. I want to listen to the ideas of any student who wants to come and talk to me, and if it’s a good idea, I want to try to advocate for them and get the idea through. 

Another idea is that I would love to advocate for better seating at sporting events for the students. I believe that it is sort of ridiculous, that we are cooped up where we are. Now, I don’t like Auburn, but I have to admit, where they have their students set up is a great idea, might be their only good idea. I know Coleman’s leaving soon, but if next year, maybe at the end of the season we can get around the seating, or we used to have it that we were behind the goal and it was just electric. I’ve been very happy with how the students have stepped up. I remember when my brother was here, and that’s when Fluffy just started doing his thing. May he rest in peace. And that’s when he started to turn the events around. I remember when I was 15 and my brother snuck me into the student section. It was just starting to turn around then. So I’ve been there when it was not at its peak, and now it is, but I think we can do better. Those are probably my two big things: unifying the campus, listening to the people of campus and getting better seating for Coleman. I also want to publicize the great things that SGA is already doing. I think they’re doing wonderful things; I just wish that more people on campus knew about that. Also parking. It’s just awful. It’s horrible. A person came up to me saying we should build vertical because we don’t have any space left. And so I would like to advocate for that.”

Q: What differentiates you from prior SGA presidents? 

“I feel like I offer sort of a new perspective on the whole thing, a fresh face, maybe you could say. I’ve not been ingrained in politics or been in the game for a while and I would like to advertise that as a strength. A lot of times things can be stuck in the mud for a while, but as soon as you bring a new person to help, they can help you get the car right out of the mud. Now, I’m not saying that The University of Alabama is in the mud, but I do think that I can help improve and bring a new fresh perspective and a new face to SGA. Now, I will need a lot of help. But fortunately, I have a lot of friends around me that are willing to help me. I have plenty of people telling me that if I ever need any help, to just give them a call. I have a great support system, of people that do know SGA. I think I’m able to make a good change to help the University go from already great to even better.”

Q: Is transparency an issue for the SGA? If so, how would you improve it? 

“Yes, I do think that transparency is an issue. Not necessarily that people are lying to the students, I just think that things are not being said. Not things that are necessarily bad. In fact, I would say that things are good, such as the Narcan bill that I brought up earlier. I just think that it needs to be more public and more vocal. I think doing that will also help with unifying our students by giving us a common cause to work towards. However, as it is right now, I don’t think that is possible, because the word’s not getting around enough. Many people will say they don’t really care. I think it is part of SGA’s job to make these people care, to make it public, to make them know. Maybe it’s a little in their face at times, but if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. I think it’s definitely been a big issue of not being transparent enough with the things that they’re doing. Not that they’re doing bad things; they’re doing good things, and I wish those good things were more public. I think a lot of people would feel better about the state of the University if those things were public.”

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

“I want them to know that I am from Alabama. I’m just a Southern boy running for president here. If you ever want to talk to me, if you don’t know any friends of mine, I’m sure you could just find me here on campus, but I’d love to talk to anybody. I’ve got stuff during the day, but I’m willing to make time for anyone that wants to talk to me. My email is [email protected], and please shoot me an email if you want to talk about something. If you shoot me hate mail, I’ll just not respond to it. But I really just want to talk to all the students and get everyone’s ideas. If you think it’s ridiculous, that’s OK. Send it my way. If it is ridiculous, then we will have a good laugh about it. But I truly want to hear everyone’s ideas, no matter how big or small.”

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