Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

SGA campaigning kicks off with debate


The first SGA Executive Candidate Debate was held Sunday at the Bryant Conference Center.

The debate featured nine contenders, five of whom are unopposed.

Kelly Corr, running for executive secretary; Nicole Bohannon, running for Executive vice president; Grant Cochran, running for vice president of external affairs; Stephen Swinson, running for vice president of student affairs; and Edward Patton, running for vice president of financial affairs are all unopposed candidates.

Corr said she would like to increase the transparency of the student government, continuously update SGA announcements, frequently post meeting minutes, and add the budget to the SGA’s website for students to see.

Bohannon said she wants to encourage academic plans that guide students towards a clear graduation date, increase transparency and collaboration, and hold monthly roundtable meetings between SGA executives and student organization leaders.

Cochran said he wants to present ideas to the leaders of the state and city of Tuscaloosa on behalf of the student body so that those in power will move in a direction that accords with students.

“I will work for the students by communicating the student opinion to both city and state leaders,” Cochran said. “My dedication will directly benefit the student body.”

Swinson said he wants to foster a healthier and safer campus, and he wants to encourage the involvement of freshmen and transfer students in campus affairs. He said that he also wants to inform students about health risks so as to prevent another outbreak such as the incident with the H1N1 virus last semester.

Patton said he has worked to change the process for funding for student organizations from a paper process to an online system. Regarding the 2nd Annual Scholarship Date Auction held in February that was co-sponsored by SGA and the National Society of Black Engineers, Patton said that he hopes to increase the amount of students auctioned off so that more money can be channeled into more scholarships awarded.

The two positions that fostered debate between competing candidates were the offices of vice president for academic affairs and SGA president.

Aaron Zucker and Miriam Fry offered their platforms for vice president for academic affairs.

Zucker said that he wants to investigate if a better GPA system can be implemented for the University.

“There are other universities with GPAs that better benefit their students, where only plusses are shown [on the transcript] and no minuses are involved,” Zucker said. “I’m not sure if our GPA system is the best or the worst, but I plan to investigate it.”

Fry said that she wants to conduct a survey of the student body on its opinion of E-learning. She also said that she has authored several resolutions, such as one for Veterans Appreciate Week, one for SGA Service Awards, and another for, a website still in the works.

James Fowler and Matthew Brown sparred over the problems they would tackle as SGA president.

Fowler said he has the experience required to manage the complicated tasks the president must handle. He said he has served in the legislative and executive branches in the SGA and has the work ethic to handle the responsibility.

Fowler said his biggest accomplishment so far has been the institution of Ideas to Action, which enables students to submit an idea to the SGA and have elected leaders provide the manpower and financial support needed.

Brown said he has been on campus for three years and has developed a feel for what the pulse of the campus is. He said that he views the SGA as a body made to work with students and not in the place of students.

“I believe in collaboration and the SGA working with the student body,” Brown said.

Brown also said he hopes to curtail wasteful spending so that money can be used intelligently for the benefit of the student body.

“The SGA is trusted with the student body’s money, and we need to make sure that every cent is used in the best way,” Brown said.

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