Q&A with Demarcus Joiner, candidate for SGA president


CW / Hannah Saad

Jeffrey Kelly | @jeffkellyjr, Staff Reporter

Demarcus Joiner is a junior from Warnock, Alabama, majoring in civil engineering on the pre-law track. He is running unopposed for the SGA presidential candidacy. 

Q: How did you originally get involved with SGA?

A: So, I started in SGA as a senator my sophomore year, and then I served as the vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion [DEI] this year.

Q: What made you want to get involved?

A: My passion for students and helping others is the main reason why I got involved in SGA, so I could serve as an outlet as well as an advocate for all students and give them the chance to have their voices to be heard.

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

A: It’s been my goal to create a more educated and inclusive campus through programs like the DEI certificate program, the Miss Unique UA pageant, as well as to help build relationships with SGA with partners like the Transfer Students Association, the International Students Association and the [Campus Veterans Association].

So through these partnerships and in this position, it has been a kind of segue. It’s taught me more about campus, showed me the ins and outs, and I feel that in this role I’ve had the amazing opportunity to touch a lot of students, and I feel that as the SGA president I’ll have even more range as far as students, and I can serve as a better advocate for all students.

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

A: I think my experience in SGA has a big deal to do with what makes me the best choice. I’m also a servant leader. Nothing that I do is for me. I do everything to help the students and make sure that all student voices are heard, and I believe that serving as an advocate this past year and as a senator has shaped me into the person that is the best choice to be the SGA President.

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

A: I believe a main problem or concern that we may have on campus is not necessarily having enough resources. Therefore, I want to partner with the University’s Counseling Center and the University to partner with an app that will allow students the opportunity to talk to a counselor at any time to just help alleviate the two-week wait times at the Counseling Center as well as give students the opportunity to talk to a counselor on the weekend. I believe this will help the problems that we may have when it comes to addressing mental health issues and mental health concerns. 

Q: What do you hope to change?

A: This year, my platform is based off enhancing the student experience, student engagement, student environment and student equity. I have a lot of plans that I want to enact on as the SGA president, but a few would be: create more 15-minute parking spots, more pay-to-park commuter lots like we have in the Ferg. I also want to give students the opportunity to be able to request songs on game day in Bryant-Denny stadium. 

For engagement, I want to make sure all students are actively engaged on campus and civically; therefore, I want to start a campaign that supports student’s efforts in registering students to vote, and hopefully, we can get 100% of the students to be registered to vote. I also want to work with the homecoming committee to bring back the homecoming concert but this time with more relevant artists. And, although I want to make sure that all students have a pleasant experience and are actively engaged on and off campus, my main goal is to make sure all students feel welcome and safe while at the University, so I want to work with the campus police to build better relationships between students and police as well as work with the University’s Counseling Center to partner with an app that allows students the opportunity to talk with a counselor. 

I also want to create an anti-hate speech campaign focusing around educating students on the impacts of hate speech and what hate speech and hate actions actually look like as well as create a campus relations committee, which will be comprised of students from different communities and give them a chance to address concerns and ideas that they have as well as give SGA the opportunity to be more proactive in regards to these concerns. 

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

A: I want voters to know that I am here for them, that I’m here to serve all students, not just a select few. I am here to be a servant leader, not just a leader, and I want them to know that if they need anything from me, that I’m literally a phone call away or an email away, and I want them to know that I’m going to work my hardest to better enhance their student experience, student engagement, student environment and student equity.