Our View: Vote for Sarah Shield and Teralyn Campbell

CW Editorial Board

UPDATE on March 7: The Crimson White Editorial Board initially endorsed SGA presidential candidate Sarah Shield but amended its endorsement in light of new information on Monday. 

For the past two years, the University of Alabama Student Government Association has seen a slate of uncontested executive candidates and weakly contested Senate elections. 

The 2020 spring election cycle proved to be the least contested campaign season in 70 years, while the 2021 election cycle boasted only 54 Senate candidates running for 50 seats. 

This year is markedly different. Multiple candidates are pursuing the positions of SGA president and vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. Over 70 candidates are running for the Senate. 

For once, election day on campus may actually be of consequence. 

Contested elections are about more than virtue signaling and making grand promises to win votes. They are an opportunity for the issues most important to students to take the center stage, and for candidates to make clear where they stand on those issues and how they intend to act on them in office.  

The Crimson White Editorial Board had the opportunity to hear from the two presidential candidates and the two VP for DEI candidates about their plans for next year. 

For students who wish to see transparency, accountability and diversity in action from their student leaders, the choice is clear: Vote Sarah Shield for president, and vote Teralyn Campbell for vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. 


Vote Sarah Shield for president.

Sarah Shield is the clear choice for UA students who value challenging norms and reexamining campus institutions. Shield has a comprehensive platform.

She has stressed transparency and integrity. This value itself is not unique. If students peruse candidate platforms, they will see the word “transparency” on almost every page. 

But Shield is not interested in just articulating this ideal. Her values are backed by a history of challenging SGA failings and a concrete platform. 

Readers of The Crimson White may be familiar with Shield’s work already. In her term as an associate justice for the SGA Judicial Board — and during her subsequent resignation — Shield demonstrated herself as someone who is unafraid to call out the SGA for its lack of transparency. 

Even after resigning from the Judicial Board, Shield has been dedicated to her mission through her attendance at Senate meetings and advocacy as an outsider. Her knowledge of the SGA Constitution and the Senate’s workings enable her to engage with every branch of the organization to further her agenda. 

Shield says she will implement mandated and regular office hours from day one. This platform position stems from Shield’s own experience with elusive SGA senators. If representatives are not available to their constituents at set and consistent times, they cannot be held accountable.

“I want to hear from you,” Shield said. “I want to hear your ideas. I think that campus is the best if we all work together.”

Shield seeks to address another crucial student issue: mental health resources. Though college students are experiencing declining mental health at alarming rates, UA remains the only school in the SEC that charges for counseling sessions. 

Shield has a solution for this shortcoming: a $40 mental health fee charged to every student bill to increase the Counseling Center’s budget. Doing so will increase the accessibility of counseling services on campus and address the needs of students who are deterred from seeking help. 

If you want a president who will represent you, vote Shield. Her humility is not false. In our interview with Shield she repeated a common theme: She is not interested in resume building. She hasn’t imagined a future as SGA president since touring campus. She doesn’t seek power or acclaim. But she has seen a need on campus and has taken bold actions to be the solution. 

Shield is not daunted by the trend of uncontested elections or the might of the Machine. She instead boldly confronts longstanding institutions on campus so that we, as students, may rebuild campus as a better and more equitable place.


Vote Teralyn Campbell for VP for DEI. 

Championing diversity, equity and inclusion at The University of Alabama doesn’t just mean electing leaders from diverse backgrounds. It also requires ensuring those leaders understand that these principles involve a spectrum of experiences that no one person can represent. 

Teralyn Campbell brings her background in the SGA diversity, equity and inclusion cabinet and her prior involvement with organizations like the Black Student Union and Delta Sigma Theta to the role, but she knows that she cannot do it all. 

Campbell readily accepts that the intersectional diversity of campus extends beyond her own experiences and recognizes the unique challenge the VP for DEI faces in leading the SGA’s efforts. 

The choice — both to elect Campbell and to inform her actions as VP for DEI — is up to students. Her approachable personality and strong connections across campus make her the ideal candidate for the job. 

“I think the choice is really up to the students,” Campbell said. “I believe that the best choice would be someone who understands that there is a purpose bigger than themselves when it comes to the position.” 

She’s ready to revamp key SGA initiatives, like the DEI certification program and campus cultural events, and she wants to host regular open forums. 

DEI is for everyone, and Campbell makes that clear. These initiatives aren’t a burden that should fall on minority students to spearhead. 

SGA is also for everyone, not just the students who kickstart their student government careers in First Year Council and hope to run for governor one day. Campbell said she wants to use her platform for students like herself who feel like there’s no place in politics for them. She wants to lift others up as she climbs. 


You may be hesitant to participate in this year’s elections. You may tell yourself that your vote doesn’t matter, and that the election results are inevitable.

For too long, SGA elections have served to cement the inequalities that persist on campus. How can the University claim to value student unity and equality while offering students only the illusion of choice? How can uncontested elections represent student voices? 

Allow your voice to be heard, and see that voice reflected in SGA representatives unafraid of change. Your SGA representatives work for you, and you deserve the chance to choose candidates who will reflect your interests.

It’s time for a change on campus. Stand with Shield. Call on Campbell.