Q&A with Price Dukes, candidate for SGA vice president for academic affairs


CW / Hannah Saad

Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, Staff Reporter

Price Dukes is a sophomore majoring in finance from Mobile, Alabama. He is running unopposed for the SGA vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) position. 

How did you originally get involved with SGA? 

“Well, when I enrolled at The University of Alabama, I immediately began searching for a way to get involved so I could make contributions to the school. I served as the SGA president of my high school, so I knew that student government would be the best fit for me, in terms of getting involved at Alabama. During my freshman year, I served on [First Year Council], and I saw this as the best stepping stone for me to get involved in SGA. And it was really through FYC and that whole experience freshman year that inspired me to continue going on this path.”

What made you want to run for this position? 

“I wanted to run for this position because the people who previously served in it, Ross D’Entremont and Allison Bailey, I just really looked up to them, and I saw them as hard-working and inspiring people. And also, a lot of the ideas that I thought about throughout the year had to do with academics, and so I thought that if these ideas came to fruition that they would benefit a lot of students. And really lastly, I think that I wanted to run for it because I just love The University of Alabama, and I want to help students in any way that I can. 

What makes you the best choice for this office? 

I think that over the last few months, especially leading up to my decision to run for VPAA, I’ve talked with countless members of the community, especially in this last week of campaigning, about their journeys. Really these conversations have led me to four key areas where we can make real improvements on campus, and these were my platform points of academic wellness, affordability, preparedness and experience. So I’ve worked hard to develop these plans and ideas, and hopefully, if I get elected and start working in this position, my prior roles and the connections that I’ve made throughout the last two years will help me to help these ideas come to fruition. 

What’s the biggest problem you see on campus? 

The biggest problem that I see on campus, and really country-wide, is this epidemic of mental health issues. This is really something I wanted to stress in my campaign because, as someone who’s struggled with these things in the past, I wanted to make sure that people know that they can find help on campus. Really that is the main problem that I see on campus. Especially with the immense amount of pressure that students have with exams and getting involved and hanging out with friends, it can be a lot of pressure on people’s shoulders. So, I just want to help students in any way I can related to mental health and try to build a safe and strong Alabama community to help people in any way possible. 

What do you hope to change? 

Because of [mental health issues], I wanted to start a volunteer program for mental health professionals like psychiatrists and therapists and counselors. Basically, what this would do is get them to donate hours of their time to the UA Counseling Center, especially during peak times like midterm and final exam weeks. Also, I wanted to work with the UA Counseling Center to develop workshops. I know that Allison Bailey worked a lot with task forces this past year, and I wanted to kind of go off of that and also implement talks about mental health to teach students what exactly the symptoms are and what they can do to help themselves and help friends who are in need. I think with these two ideas, I think that we can really shake some things up and help promote good practices for mental health and wellness on campus. 

Another thing I hope to change is academic affordability. I know that a little over 40% of students attend The University of Alabama on some form of financial aid, so I want to make clear that no matter what you’re coming into here with, you have some way of succeeding in academics. Because academics is really the great equalizer of everyone on this campus, and so I don’t want anyone to be held back, especially by expenses. So what I wanted to do with that is, one: create a scholarship so students would be able to pay for honors society fees.

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

“I want voters to know that I care deeply about each and every student at this university, and I want everyone to succeed, and I will work day and night to help students and serve them in any way that I can. I also want them to know that they can ‘Depend on Dukes’ on March 3rd.”