Meet SGA VP for external affairs candidate Collier Dobbs

Collier Dobbs is running uncontested for Student Government Association VP for external affairs. The election will take place March 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on myBama. 

Cat Clinton, Contributing Writer

Q. How did you get Involved with the SGA?

A: So freshman year, one of my good friends, Price Dukes — he was someone that I looked up to in my fraternity and in my house, and he was the VP of SGA two years ago — so I really admired him and wanted to do what he does just a little bit, get more involved like that. So I decided to run for Culverhouse College of Business Senate. I’ve had a great time this year. Amazing people. So much fun to work with all of them and try to make a change here. So that’s where I kind of started, and now we are here. I’m a helping spirit—like a kind nature. I look to serve people, and this is a good place to do it on campus. 

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

A: I see being from Birmingham, the alumni presence is so strong. Everyone who goes to Alabama loves Alabama, and to be in a position to be able to bridge the gap between alumni and the Tuscaloosa community with the college itself, it’s something I think is so special and so important. That’s really what made me want to do it. I just want to bridge the gap, if there is even any gaps, but be a bridge between the Tuscaloosa community and [the] University. 

Q. Why are you the best choice?

A: I’m very personable. I care. My biggest thing is, I care about everything I do. So that’s important to me. That’s really the front-runner of my life, whatever I do, I do my best in. I try my hardest, so I think I’m the best because I will be the most hardworking person and I will give my all to whatever I do. That’s one of my most important characteristics. Everything I do, I’m all in. 

Q. What’s your opinion on your election being uncontested?

A: I think, how do you say it, I think every single candidate is qualified. I’ve gotten to work with most of them this past year. They’re all great people and are overqualified for their positions, same as myself, as I hope I’ve proved that through my actions this past year. But everyone is uncontested, including myself, for the elections. They are all great people, and I’ve gotten to work and know them really well in the Senate. They are qualified, they are deserving.   

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

A: I think there is, first off, two sides to every coin. But Alabama is a very easygoing college. There is not a whole lot of problems here, but one thing I do want to work on this year, there is so many ways for students to get involved in the Tuscaloosa community and the University itself. There [are] hundreds of different organizations on campus, and even more out in the greater Tuscaloosa area. I want students to be informed on these opportunities and how to join them, find out what they want to do and every student find their place at this university. Whether through service or organizations, or just something they want to do. I want them all to be informed. I learn of new ones every single day, new ways and organizations to get involved.  

Q. What do you hope to accomplish in this position?

A: Okay so, my five platforms [are] broken down into five subsections. Student engagement; student service; student experience; student safety; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Not in any particular order at all. Like I said, I want to focus a lot on getting students more informed of the opportunities ahead of them at this college, ’cause there are so many opportunities for everyone. I want to be as transparent as possible, really foster that in SGA. I think that has always been an important thing that we’ve always tried to do, and we can always get a little bit better at. Well, not a little bit better, but there are always more opportunities to be more transparent. I want to help with the student experience on campus. The day-to-day life, athletic events, even when it comes down to things like tours, maybe like putting maps up on campus. There are four points under each subsection. It’s a lot. Some of it is like, other organizations on campus, and city council, free subscriptions to newspapers. It’s going to be awesome. My little brother is a senior [in high school] and it can be such a large campus, when it’s all in your face at once, it can be nice to know your way around.

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

A: I’m trying to think of a good collective answer. I know this last year we worked on, in the Senate, on putting up a TV outside the office to tell who is in there, who is in office at the time. I know we are working on a little bit of an initiative tracker. Will not be my initiatives themselves. It’s not something I can’t claim, but it’s something I’m proud to be a part of and endorse that. I think transparency is key in every single organization on campus. It’s definitely it’s everything, especially as elected officials, like representatives, the students want to know what we’re doing, like why they elected us and what we are doing for you at the time, and we’re working together. I think it’s a moving map, like a step-by-step, but I’m excited to work on that this year with everyone. That’s what this is. It’s a collective effort. Lauryn Parker did a resolution by putting a TV outside the office up-to-date with minutes to encourage students to come speak to the people inside the office. 

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

A: One last thing is that, reiterating this, I care. The stuff I do in my life I really care about. And I’m really honored to have this opportunity, but I want everyone to know I care, I’m open, I’m a good listener, but I care. And you can’t deliver without actually caring.