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

New SGA must keep progressing

As we begin the annual process of transitioning to a new administration in the SGA, it is important that we look at how far we’ve come, where we are and where we’re going.

The James Fowler administration was a huge step forward toward an open and transparent student government. Fowler ran on the platform of the SGA becoming “ours” and making it accessible to all students.

Under Fowler, we saw the SGA bring in a diverse group of directors, elected officials, and others who worked collectively to ensure that the interests of the entire student body were being represented. Overall, Fowler’s administration proved to be an overwhelming success.

Among many other positive strides this year: our constitution was reformed, which installed a better system of checks and balances to ensure open government; all SGA funds and expenditures were made available online to ensure transparency; and block seating at football games was opened to a number of new organizations to ensure diversity.

We’ve come a long way in the past few years, a fact that is often overlooked in the here-and-now culture in which we live.

Many of the SGA’s traditional critics – including the CW – took a more moderate approach to this election. I was pleased that both candidates were given equal coverage, and both had an opportunity to lay out their campaign platforms to the student body.

Now that Grant Cochran has been chosen as the SGA president-elect and senators are in place, I encourage those who will serve to remain conscious of where we are now. With all of the recent controversies to plague our campus, the student body is hanging in a fragile limbo.

It is now up to our elected leaders to follow through with campaign promises and work to unify our campus. Building trust through results should be central to the decisions that the SGA makes every day.

I challenge members of the student body to take an active role in the SGA for the coming year by serving as a director, applying for university standing committees, or by simply expressing ideas or concerns you may have to your respective SGA representative.

We are on the right path to improvement, and we should all be honored to say that the change started with us.

If the Cochran administration will maintain the progressive legacy left by Fowler, then our SGA will continue to be less controversial, and students will continue to be more open and interested in the campus governing process.


Austin Gaddis is a sophomore majoring in public relations and communication studies. His column runs biweekly on Fridays.


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