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 candidates for VP for diversity, equity and inclusion debate

CW / Hannah Grace Mayfield

Candidates for SGA vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion Aubrei Grisaffe and Jada Green participated in a debate Sunday evening. 

The event, which followed the candidate forum, marked the first time that candidates for the office have debated since its creation in 2018. 

In her opening statement, Grisaffe said she wasn’t there to debate the importance of DEI on campus, adding that placing students up on stage to debate DEI is “harmful rhetoric” and “reflects poorly on every party involved.” 

Grisaffe shared her lifelong commitment to DEI through her advocacy with the CrossingPoints program and the National Down Syndrome Society. She said that both organizations were influential throughout her time as the SGA’s director of disability affairs. 

Green emphasized her time as an ambassador for UA Early College, where she provided high school-aged students with information regarding scholarship opportunities and organizations on campus. 

Grisaffe also highlighted her campaign platform, which involves ensuring that DEI initiatives are accessible, approachable and applicable for students at the University. 

“I believe that by addressing each of these issues in practical ways, we will allow for an increase in engagement at DEI events and create a campus that is defined by holistic inclusion and empathy,” Grisaffe said. 

Grisaffe also shared her plans of adding a position to the current DEI cabinet for graduate students. 

Green shared that even though several problems on campus need to be addressed, she would like to resolve the disconnect between campus organizations and the students themselves. 

“I would love for there to be a space where students can get together and learn more about these organizations,” Green said. 

Additionally, Green mentioned her desire to fund these organizations with the money necessary to hold one or two events per year. 

Grisaffe and Green discussed the recent passage of Senate Bill 129 in the Alabama Senate, as well as its potential impact. 

Green emphasized that the passage of SB 129 is detrimental to the well-being of every student at the University. 

“The University of Alabama is made up of different groups, different backgrounds and different paths. Once you take that away, The University of Alabama is no longer considered The University of Alabama,” Green said. “I think it’s important to reassure every individual that they belong here.” 

Grisaffe expressed her sympathy for students disheartened by the bill’s passage. 

“I don’t want to speculate too deeply into what this bill may impact from a programming standpoint because we do not know what that will look like,” Grisaffe said. “I promise to ensure SGA student programming remains the same and flourishes in the face of this overt disregard for diversity, equity and inclusion in the state of Alabama.” 

Grisaffe shared that her main goal was to engage in more direct community outreach with the organizations she will potentially work with. 

“I want to go to different culture and identity-based organizations and facilitate conversations about what issues each organization sees fit,” Grisaffe said. 

Green emphasized that she wants to hear from students. 

“If I do get the position of the vice president of DEI, I will have an open-door policy for everyone,” Green said. “I want to hear from the students.” 

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