Meet SGA presidential candidate Madeline Martin

Madeline Martin is running for Student Government Association president. The election will take place March 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on myBama. 

Zach Johnson | @ZachJohnsonCW, News Editor

Q: How did you get involved with the SGA?

A: So I’m actually from the state of Alabama, and I was involved in student government. I did Youth In Government, so I’ve always had a passion for politics and representing other people. So when I hit campus, I applied for First Year Council, and I was selected for that as a group of 65. And then I wanted to continue my journey in SGA, so I ran for the College of Communication and Information Sciences [senate]. And then I have the great honor of serving as vice president for external affairs right now, so that’s my little career in SGA.

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

A: So I’ve always wanted to run for president. I think that is one of the greatest honors that you can have here at UA and [is] really living by the SGA motto of students serving students. So really, I wanted to confirm everything with FYC and Senate, and now as serving in the executive branch, I’ve had the best time ever of not only getting to meet campus leaders but community leaders, and I really just wanted to continue my time. So I’m very thrilled to be running now.

Q: Why are you the best choice for this position?

A: Not only with my past SGA experience do I think has given me the foundation to, again, meet those campus leaders and understand: where is SGA lacking? Where can we improve? Really seeing it over three years. Also seeing it in the fall of 2019 through the pandemic. I know that we can improve, and then building upon that foundation, my platform focuses on equity, connection, outreach and development. The development aspect is more professional and academic. And I do believe that those four facets truly are going to not only reach this campus to new heights, but really move SGA to have a larger plethora of resources for students and really serve their students.

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

A: I think there’s a lack of communication and understanding. And I’m not saying understanding on the level of everyone needs to be on the same page, because there’s no point of having an echo chamber. But there are so many resources on this campus that maybe — myself, I have that tunnel vision of being in SGA and I know where to look and those avenues — but really showcasing it to everyone and reconnecting students to the campus [as we] are moving back in person. We’re out of the masks. And really again, [we are] highlighting those resources that are open to all students. But also, where are we lacking? Where can we serve students and elicit that change?

Q: How do you plan to increase transparency within the SGA?

A: I want to focus on, again, a better communication line. I want to do, like [UA President] Stuart Bell, I think, a message from the president, whether that be every couple of weeks, or each month, I want it to be truly one of those honest open books of ‘Here’s everything I’m working on, here is student concerns’ — if they’re okay with me publishing the subject matter of what they came to talk to me about and what I’m doing to take those next steps. Colin Marcum was a fantastic secretary this year, and we had an SGA-wide newsletter, but I do think there’s that separation or another hurdle. Really when I see a message from the president, from Stuart Bell, I always read it, where UA News I feel like can get lost in it. So seeing that I think is going to build up better aspects of transparency and also, again, that sense of connection and community. You know, if you’re having a problem on campus and you see that other students are too, you can add that opinion and you can enrich that experience and that problem.

Q: What is your view on the election being uncontested?

A: I you know, I was excited that it was extended to the 23rd especially with the incidents with administration and weather. I’m not sure. I’ve always. you know, I’m a very type A person. I had a four year plan when I hit campus and I’m, you know, honored and excited that it’s real today. But I’ve really tried to encourage more people to volunteer and that’s where, er – volunteer – run. So with UA Lobby Board actually we have people on the quad today. We also had people for the homecoming election out there saying “meet the candidates.” And it was not anything that was partisanship. It’s an A-frame, you can go see them there at the Student Center. It has an A-frame with signs that say vote everywhere. And then it has a QR code where you can scan to see bios and leave shakers and they’re like calling out to people and I do believe that has not only, we’ve seen more lively, even elections this year, in comparison to last year, especially with Senate and really and truly again showing those resources. How do you get involved? Plugging the Instagram, also we, you know, have started pushing for SGA to be involved in communications that aren’t just UA but putting them, like, I think you’ve seen that the TV screens around campus, they have that as well. So I’m really hoping that again, their resources are all there and students are starting to get more involved, especially this year. I also think the COVID 19 pandemic, a lot of mental health really just went down and I mean even for myself, it’s sometimes hard to get involved a lot, especially if you don’t know and you haven’t been involved since the get go. But I do think we’re returning back to normalcy and people are starting to get involved,  and again, really make sure that their voices heard.

Q: What’s your biggest goal in this position?

A: My biggest goal is to, again, increase transparency, but also it’s to truly live to each platform point. This year, I had that goal. I think sometimes people can overlook what they ran on and what they promised to this campus. But within the first semester, I accomplished everything I ran on for external affairs. I want to continue that for presidency and really focus on what I’m planning on running on and what I stand by and stand for, but also to listen to other people, accomplish all the platform points, and to truly be that student leader and that servant leader.

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

A: I am here for the students. I’m going to live by the SGA motto of students serving students, and I ask you to move together, move forward and move with Martin on March 8.