Q&A with Marquis Hollingsworth, presidential candidate


Kinsley Centers, Contributing Writer

Marquis Hollingsworth, a junior majoring in general business from Homewood, Alabama, is running for SGA President.

Q: How did you originally get involved with SGA? Or if you’re not currently involved, what made you want to get involved?

A: It actually started last year when some friends of mine convinced me to run for Senate in the business college. That’s kind of how it all started, and getting to see the way things are run made me want to keep with it and run for something a little larger this time to say the least.

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

A: Adding onto what I said earlier, it was just seeing the way some things are run, I felt like there wasn’t a lot of equal opportunity and a lot of voices being heard. I felt like we were serving maybe 30 percent of what this campus has to offer, and I feel like I’m a person who’s really open minded. I know a lot of people, I know a lot of different cultures on this campus, I do a lot of things and I want to make sure their voices are heard basically and be an advocate for their voice and to let them know that you don’t have to be this one type of person to run for this position. You can come from any background, from any place, be any ethnicity, race or anything, and you can run for this position if you care deeply enough about this wonderful institution.

Q: What makes you the best choice for the office?

A: It’s the fact that I’m open to everybody on campus. I honestly feel like my past, let’s say organizations, that I’ve been with, from being in band to being in orientation, for two years actually in orientation, meeting so many wonderful people and helping freshman on those struggles that they go through being one of those freshman, being apart of AKPSI, the professional business fraternity. I feel like I’ve touched all types of people on this campus and I’ve met so many different people, and I feel like I can serve all of them. There’s no agenda that I’m running on. It’s not somebody else telling me what I need to be doing, and that’s the reason I’m doing it. This is a campaign by students, for students, and that’s what we’re really trying to promote.

Q: What’s the biggest problem you see on campus?

A: The biggest problem I see is that we can’t predict the weather, no. [laughs] But in all honesty, it’s one of the biggest things I’m trying to tackle is the way we, our, culture about fighting sexual assault. So we have It’s On Us week, which is great. We have a video and we have people sign a pledge, and that’s awesome, but what I’m trying to bring is it’s called The Green Dot Violence Prevention program, and it’s a little expensive, but I feel like, in our budget, we can make it work. And this is not only fighting sexualt assault or domestic violence. This is gonna add awareness to stalking and prevent violence in general, and I researched and we’re one of the few institutions left in Alabama that doesn’t have this. Auburn does it really well, a bunch of SEC schools do it really well, and I feel like we’re supposed to be the flactuative institution. We are supposed to lead the charge on these things, and I really feel like putting this in will help us advance and bring about the culture change where we really have bystander prevention and people know how to act in these situations to prevent sexual assault from happening, and it really, it occured to me, I’m sorry I know this is a long answer, but I felt bad because it took me reading an article that my friend posted in The Odyssey. She posted about a time where she went through a not-so-pleasant experience while she was out with friends and what not, and I felt bad cause it took me reading that and getting that so close to home, like one of my friends that I actually know, like I could picture her going through that situation and I was just like, ‘that’s not okay that people didn’t know how to help her in that situation,’ and things like that. And so this green dot, I feel like it’s a great, positive culture change to bring to UA, and I feel like it’s going to make a real difference if we can get this all done and through.

Q: What do you hope to see change?

A: As I said, the sexual assault is something big. The culture on that I do want to change. But the way people view SGA I want to change. I mean there are students, there are even faculty members that call SGA a sham or it’s run by these out-of-touch machines that don’t know how to actually speak to people. I want to bring the people back to SGA. I want to have monthly forums where people can actually speak to me. They can see my face, they can know what I’m doing. I want to have monthly updates, weekly updates, whatever we can get done. Like, I want people to take part in the SGA because it’s supposed to be students serving students, and that’s the main part of that statement, and there’s not enough of that in SGA . So I just want to make us more active and more personable. I want us to have a better personality and a better profile on campus than what people think of us now. That’s the big thing. We gotta get people to actually vote. There’s no electoral college here. If you vote, more than likely the person you actually vote for and get your friends to vote for and things like that end up winning. If you’re actually able to, literally just pick up the phone and push a button. So that’s one of the big things I want to change here is the culture in the way people see SGA.

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

A: As my mom says, I’m a very sweet boy. But in all honesty, I’m a cool guy. I feel like I’m very open minded. My friends say I take criticism very well. I love to joke around, I love to just have a good [time], I love to just smile and laugh, and so I hope to meet so many different people this week and just let them know that there’s actually a person running for this. I’m not some like cardboard cutout that you get year in and year out. I’m a normal guy, love to laugh, love to have a good time and also know when it’s time to get things done. So I just want people to come smile with me, come bring about a positive change here and I feel like I’m very excited to say the least about this week, very excited.