We sent out a short questionnaire to each of the 2021 USGA Senate candidates for the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). Their answers are below.
- Kyle Adams
- Eunice Choe
- Marcus Curry, Jr.
- Roshan Dahale
- Sarai Gwinn
- John Ellis Kuykendall
- Neha Moolchandani
- Rohit Reddy
- Rohan Sethi
- Whitney Sharer
- Cassidy Stoddart
- Hannah Syed
- Annalise van der Wal
- Ethan Wan
- Timmy Weng
Freshman, Political Science
Other Involvements: USGA – Freshman Forum, TrailBlazers, Green Team, Gold Hall Council – President
- USGA Operations – I’m of the belief that for USGA to be as effective as possible, internal operations will need to be at their best. A number of factors go into this.
- Address the need for increased transparency and communication from USGA via legislation and new policies.
- Advocate and legislate for increased productivity within the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch should have a much greater power for student judicial review across campus in matters of conduct and disputes.
- Student Life – As we prepare for a return to normal, it’s time to continue into a more engaging period for our students.
- Transition support from the Senate will be key for the coming year.
- CAS is the largest school on our campus and it will be important that senators use their position to work with relevant administration in the school to provide best-interest solutions for students during their transition.
- New events and programs should be introduced to break Zoom fatigue and return campus to a normal pace.
- Increase the open hours in campus dining options.
- Community – The need to promote a strong community on our campus has been shown through significant events over the past year.
- Promote projects encouraging dialogue and action on a number of issues faced by students.
- Legislation can be used to forge alliances with a number of organizations on campus in order to invite various student perspectives to the table.
Why do you want to be in USGA? One of my primary desires is to be apart of the processes that make UAB the best university. This has driven my involvement in a number of UAB organizations and opportunities since before I stepped foot on campus. USGA plays a significant part in that process. My participation in various student organizations of campus has put me in proximity to the issues that are prevalent on our campus. I’ve also had the chance to explore the approaches to address these issues. Joining USGA as a senator will grant me an opportunity to pursue my desires.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? USGA will be facing a number of relevant issues in the upcoming year. The one issue I think that will be most critical for USGA to address will be the transition of students from COVID era learning to a more traditional campus. Maintenance of academic success and avoidance of unnecessary stress will be an important task for USGA to address. Through legislation that protects students for the duration of this transition, the Senate can participate in mitigating transition issues. CAS senators are also granted the ear of administrators within the school. As the largest school on this campus, it is important that CAS senators advocate for the well-being of members of our school.
Why should students vote for you? CAS students have a large pool of options to select as their representatives. I’m asking to be apart of the cohort of CAS senators this year because I believe I have the skills to work to the benefit of CAS students. I’ve spent my time in Freshmen Forum going beyond our meetings and learning the Constitution and Code of Laws. I’ve also spent time discussing with other students and leaders to learn what issues we need to address as members of USGA. I believe that I have an understanding of the most effective ways to use my role as a Senator to achieve positive outcomes for members of CAS and our student body.
Other Involvements: Serve 205, TA for the chemistry department
- Bring back positive energy around campus
- As a fellow student, I have observed so many students lose motivation and have no sense of school pride this year. It is understandable why so many students are feeling this way but USGA’s mission is to bring back the positive energy by creating a sense of pride for our university.
- Focus on the mental health crisis
- Due to the extreme attention of physical health this past year, mental health has been put on the back burner. There needs to be an immediate focus on the student’s mental health. Students already deal with enough emotional stress from academics and personal life. USGA should offer more opportunities to have stress-relieving activities. More awareness surrounding mental health should be advocated.
- Bring back positive energy around campus
- As a fellow student, I have observed so many students lose motivation and have no sense of school pride this year. It is understandable why so many students are feeling this way but USGA’s mission is to bring back the positive energy by creating a sense of pride for our university.
- The voice of the student body to faculty and administration
- USGA is the direct line between the student body and the administration. All concerns and suggestions will be set forth to make a meaningful change for the university.
- Create an equal environment for every UAB student
- All UAB students should be treated equally regardless of their identity and background. More inclusivity with minorities, disabled and LGBTQ+. USGA should unite with more diverse groups to create a fair representation within our community.
Why do you want to be in USGA? USGA is responsible for embodying the student body. As a member of that student body, I couldn’t sit back any longer knowing there was something I could do to help my fellow peers. It is time to create meaningful change that can actually be implemented into student life.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? There are several issues that USGA is facing including correct representation of our diverse university. Creating a space where students feel that they can vocalize their issues and concerns. Acting on the student’s needs and standing up to the administration to create action. These are a few of many adjustments that need to be made to create a better USGA.
Why should students vote for you? I am willing to put in the work to help further the growth of USGA. In return that means we are creating a more inclusive and intuitive organization dedicated in serving our students. With my unbiased and fresh set of eyes, my goal is to target those internal issues within USGA.
Freshman, Political Science
Other Involvements: UAB Gospel Choir, Gold Hall Hall Council, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Platform: “Conquer with Curry” is a campaign that strives to help UAB Students successfully reach and exceed the blazer standard for excellence. As a senator for The College of Arts and Sciences, I would practice servant leadership and concern for every student, aiming to implement bills and amendments that would prove beneficial to the entire blazer family. My platform highlights three distinct areas: Student Empowerment and Advancement, Campus Unity and Community and the individual Student Experience. Feel free to visit www.curry4uab.com for the full detailed platform.
Why do you want to be in USGA? I would like to be in USGA because I am confident in my ability to represent and make decisions that are in the student body’s best interest. I personality feel there is a lack of representation of the complete student body.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? The number one issue USGA face is regaining a presence on campus. As the student body’s representatives, USGA must be approachable and diverse. The organization must do more than making public statements when conflict comes, but aim to build a trusted relationship with every student. As these relationships grow, then the organization can truly bring student issues to rest.
Why should students vote for you? Students should vote for Marcus Curry, Jr because I have an undeniable passion for service and a love for UAB. I truly want our University to reach its full level of potential. I am confident I will bring new a fresh voice to USGA. Regardless of the title of the position, I will always put the students first.
Freshman, Philosophy & Political Science
Other Involvements: UAB Mock Trial, Sigma Chi
- First is accountability. USGA has run away from its responsibility to be a voice for students to the administration. So we must have:
- Recall votes on irresponsible presidents–1000 signatures to force a recall vote across campus
- Town Halls with senators–Senators should be forced to hold public meetings biweekly to hear from students in their college directly
- Question Time–Every SGA meeting the president will be questioned on their job capability and how well they are carrying out the will of the students
- House of Representatives–create a new branch of government that meets once a month where every student can meet to pass legislation by majority vote. To be sent to the senate for approval.
- Extend the term and elect every member of court–appointment makes members of the judiciary puppets of the executive, to promote their independence they should be elected for two year terms. They should also have the additional responsibility of being corruption watchdogs.
- All USGA meetings will be public–allow spectators and make recordings of all USGA meetings for people to attend and view.
- Represent the Arts:
- Separate CAS representation to make a mandatory requirement for a proportional number of students to be bachelor of arts majors.
- A week for the art–their are hard working intelligent students in the arts on campus and their work should be recognized across the entire campus. During a week for the arts there will be a night for poetry, theater, music and a journal released of student creative/essay writing.
- A collection of internships to be made and released to students in the arts–work with professors in the arts to release a comprehensive list of internships available locally, in our state and nationally.
- Use the voice of USGA to promote participation in the arts on campus–partner with the arts council to highlight events in the arts on campus. ( The arts are known for increasing empathy! A must have for many students entering the scientific and medical fields!)
- Fighting sexual assault on campus:
- Allow women and all those who feel unsafe on campus to carry tasers and pepper spray with training and license
- A STUDENT led campaign for sexual harassment/assault awareness–The administration can only do so much to educate us on Title IX, students telling other students about resources available and courses of action will always be more effective.
- Mental Health on campus:
- Force UAB to hire more and more qualified psychiatrists and counselors for UAB students– I have heard horror stories of unqualified counselors and waitlists to access mental health services at UAB. That is unacceptable. Mental health cannot be put on a waitlist. It’s time to put pressure on UAB to hire more counselors and psychiatrists.
- Multicultural Groups:
- A day for all cultures– At least once a semester there should be a day where every multicultural group can set up on the green and share their cultural and spread awareness on campus
- Promote the foundation of new multicultural groups–There are never too few perspectives to have on campus. USGA should be active in supporting the foundation and growth of underrepresented groups on campus. This can be done with publication of clubs on campus using the voice of USGA
- Fixing campus uncommon sense
- Housing Bill of Rights–Students pay for housing on campus with a monthly charge of over 800 dollars a month. We should be afforded the same rights that are given to other renters in contract with apartment buildings. This means free association and being able to enter other buildings freely. Reforming the role of a resident assistant to being just that… an assistant not an overlord.
- Expanding hours of operation–Shortening hours of operation is not conducive to preventing the spread of disease. In fact shortening hours only means more students will show up 10 minutes before an early closing time.
Why do you want to be in USGA? Being in USGA isn’t my motivation. I want the students of UAB to be in USGA. I simply would like to be the channel for students to express ideas they feel are common sense ideas that need to be implemented. I REFUSE to let this campaign to be about me. THIS campaign is for the students and their ideas alone.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? Accountability! Every other issue on campus revolves around USGA being accountable. It’s about time USGA reconciles with its previous corruption. When USGA is accountable all other issues will be resolved by real representation.
Why should students vote for you? This campaign isn’t about me. It’s about representing the students. I’m not going to give a long extensive list of all my qualifications. Instead, I am going to give my word that I will stay connected with students campus. I will hold USGA accountable to its mission. I will make real reform that will have a positive impact on the daily life of students on campus.
Other Involvements: Freshman Forum, Environmental Affairs, C-LEG Delegate (2021)
- Raise awareness on issues that relate to the College of Arts and Sciences and UAB students
- Foster a sense of community and engagement within the College of Arts and Sciences
- Promote and the implement the importance of mental health and awareness
- Partner with student organizations to create a stronger student networking system through various social connection opportunities to promote representation for the diverse students and majors who are apart of CAS
- Mend the gap between USGA and UAB students through servant leadership, transparency, accountability, and representation
Why do you want to be in USGA? During my time in Freshman Forum I spent the year actively listening to and studying the concerns of my peers and the issues they were facing, many of which I had experienced too. I knew then that I wanted to run for a position that I can help amplify the voices of my fellow classmates and peers. I believe that, like any form of government, USGA has much room for growth and improvement but I know that I must first be the change that I want to see. To be granted the opportunity to be apart of USGA, for me, is not just about leading but knowing that in order to be a leader you must first know how to serve.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? The number one issue that I believe USGA faces in the upcoming year is the dire need of clear communication within USGA and between all other students. With clear communication at the foundation, I believe that other areas such as, transparency, advocacy and representation can also be improved but without a clear line of communication many students feel unheard and are misinformed.
Why should students vote for you? Voting is an opportunity for change, it is a chance to use your voice and exercise your right as a student at UAB and as a member of the College of Arts and Sciences. I want to encourage you all to take a chance on change and voice your vote. A vote for me is more than just a vote for me but a vote for greater representation of all students and majors in CAS, community, authenticity and greater advocacy for mental health and wellness in USGA’s senate. Together we can help build a better UAB.
John Ellis Kuykendall
Other Involvements: Trailblazers, Connecting Narratives, University Honors Program, Honors College.
Platform: I would like to accomplish 4 main goals. 1. Strengthen the relationships between RSO’s focusing on sustainability and elevating them to achieve their goals. A special passion project of mine is identifying a way to help bring up the UAB garden for students. 2. Find a solution to the large window of time MARS is unavailable. 3. Modify the representation in CAS to showcase students of the arts. 4. Find a solution for a reasonable garbage collection time between students and vendors.
Why do you want to be in USGA? I want to be in USGA to achieve the snouts goals, and listen to students needs and address them. Previously the connection has been lacking, and I’d like to fix it.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? A lack in student body trust. The current relationship is broken and students feel disconnected. If elected I would begin by building this up.
Why should students vote for you? For change. To build stronger relationships, sustainable practices, and safe environments.
Freshman, Computer Science
Other Involvements: USGA Freshman Forum, Rising HCLC Leader and SWE Member
- Get more women student involvement from taking on research and projects and getting accomplished professors and successful men and women to talk to us from a variety of majors and fields all across the country.
- Help grow awareness of all the opportunities, clubs and services offered to CAS students by implementing incentives that encourage students to branch out.
- Amplify the voices of our current students by taking their concerns and creating solutions. This could include initiatives such as monthly surveys where students can highlight any problems that they are currently going through and what the senate may be able to do to fix these issues.
Why do you want to be in USGA? I want to better facilitate communication between staff and students making it easier for students to be able to talk to advisors and professors and have more of an input in their program and majors. I believe that my passion for Computer Science and helping others along with my strong leadership background will enable me to best help the CAS students at UAB. I am truly looking forward to a great year!
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? With recent events, the biggest issue is communication and being able to thoroughly communicate what we as USGA members know to the rest of student body. I understand that there are circumstances that are time sensitive or confidential and thus to protect UAB as a whole it’s best to wait to share the news until we know more. Because I understand this so well, I believe that as a Senator with so much background in leadership and communication – I will communicate to the best of my ability with CAS students enough for them to get an idea of the matter and to simply bridge whatever divide.
Why should students vote for you? I am a strong believer that a well-built community filled with support and encouragement can go a long way. Especially in times of COVID, it has been so hard to make connections with other students, faculty, and staff along with being involved in university clubs and organizations. I intend to help grow awareness of all the opportunities, clubs, and services offered to CAS students by implementing incentives that encourage students to branch out. Further, I plan to amplify the voices of our current students by taking their concerns and creating solutions. This could include initiatives such as monthly surveys where students can highlight any problems that they are currently going through and what the senate may be able to do to fix these issues. Next, I hope to increase tutoring and ask professors to post recordings of lectures post COVID. My biggest goal is to get more students involved in the STEM field – take on research and projects and get accomplished professors and successful men and women to talk to us from across the country. I believe that my passion for Computer Science and helping others along with my strong leadership background will enable me to best help the CAS students at UAB. I am truly looking forward to a great year!
Other Involvements: Freshman Forum, Mental Health Ambassadors
Platform: If elected to become a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Senator, I pledge to represent the undergraduate student body and work towards creating a better undergraduate experience for everyone at UAB. I believe there are lots of opportunities to do better and embrace change. To do so, I have developed 4 main pillars as my senatorial platform: representation, transparency, diversity and inclusion, and student health.
- Firstly, I want to re-emphasize the importance of representation in the College of Arts and Sciences. Oftentimes, people consider CAS to just be for science majors, an idea that completely overshadows the liberal arts majors also involved in CAS. As a senator, I will work hard to bridge this gap by listening to BOTH parties: serving as a representative for both liberal arts and science majors on campus. Moreover, while every student’s voice deserves to be heard, this is sadly not a reality. Currently, only a small fraction of the student body is being heard, and it’s time for this to change. As a senator, I will pledge to actively reach out to CAS students; spend time and listen to the various problems, concerns, and feedback they might have; and implement changes until we see the change that was requested.
- Secondly, I want to introduce transparency in USGA. Many operations occur behind-the-scenes, leaving students in the dark regarding changes made on campus. That’s why I want to increase transparency between the student population and USGA. If elected as a senator, I will try to make senate meeting minutes/notes available to everyone, to ensure students are up-to-date. Another idea I have is to introduce a program where USGA releases short, weekly updates via social media. These updates would ideally be 1-2 minutes and will be uploaded at a consistent time each week to highlight any changes that are in progress. Finally, as a senator, I would like to promote a direct, open-door policy where a student can communicate directly with USGA. These changes/initiatives will not only increase transparency into USGA operations but will also improve communication between USGA and the student body.
- Thirdly, I will work to create a Blazer community that accepts and enables effective allyship while upholding a zero-tolerance hate policy. At UAB, there simply is no place for hate, period. If elected as a senator, I plan to introduce a policy against hate. Hate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability status, political beliefs, or other criteria should NOT be tolerated anywhere on campus, and immediate action should take place against it. Therefore, I would like to introduce educational programs to teach the UAB community about hate and work with the UAB administration to help foster a diverse and inclusive community.
- Finally, my last pillar focuses on student health. The Blazer community is resilient, but I fear that little is being done to address student health problems on campus. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, I know many fellow students are suffering emotionally, mentally, and physically. Some are not able to receive the help they need from UAB, which only worsened their problems. I have plans to re-prioritize student health and wellness on campus, which would ultimately help all students. As a senator, I would like to make mental health an immediate focus by implementing initiatives and broadening the scope of counseling services being offered to students. I will also advocate for increased dining hall hours to ensure students are eating properly and healthy. Finally, I would also advocate for numerous student wellness activities incorporated into the next school year to give students a chance to de-stress.
- If elected as a senator, it will be my job and honor to represent the undergraduate student body. I sincerely hope my actions will help support the caring, passionate, driven, and amazing Blazer community. I hope I can count on your vote to start my journey as an advocate and representative for the CAS, and UAB, student body.
Why do you want to be in USGA? When I first came to UAB, I was inspired by the student body. UAB, unlike most other universities, prides itself in its diverse and powerful student body. I’ve seen the student body come together and act: to demand change, to stand against inequality, to support others, to educate peers, and more. I am inspired by the drive and passion our student body possesses, and I want to serve as their representative. This is the main reason behind my decision to run as a College of Arts and Sciences Senator.
If elected as a senator, I want to interact with the CAS student body to ensure their voices are heard. As a direct representative, it will be a privilege and honor to represent the student body that trusted me and elected me. Next, I will listen to any suggestions, ideas, and concerns they might have and work towards making change. After listening, I will look forward to implementing new initiatives, planning new activities, and more.
I want to improve the undergraduate experience not only for myself and my peers but also for future UAB students. There is a lot to be done on campus, and I want to see a change that benefits everyone. Ultimately, being a senator in USGA will allow me to work directly with the student body that inspires me, towards a better undergraduate experience for all.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? The #1 issue USGA currently faces is the organization’s lack of transparency. As an organization that is responsive to the needs of the UAB student body, constant communication and transparency are integral.
This past year, many students (including myself) were left in the dark regarding USGA operations. Little tidbits of information were sometimes shared with the student body, but ultimately the majority of students had no insight into the discussions, meetings, actions, and initiatives occurring in USGA. Some students were felt that nothing was being done to help improve their undergraduate experience, leading to feelings of distrust and anger. The lack of transparency in USGA operations made this seem like it was the case.
However, this can be fixed. The organization can interact with the student body and be more responsive to their requests. Additionally, USGA can become more public by making meeting minutes available online, allowing students to see what changes, actions, and initiatives are occurring within USGA. Moreover, an initiative I would like to introduce is weekly social media “status updates”, that will highlight current/upcoming changes and ensure students stay in the loop.
There is a lot that must be changed to alleviate this issue. By changing the structure of USGA and by introducing more transparent measures, the organization can once again serve as a bridge between the administration and the student body and repair some of the damage caused in the past. If elected as a senator, one of my main priorities is to help resolve this issue and work toward making USGA more transparent for both current and future students.
Why should students vote for you? I believe students should vote for me because I have their best interests in mind. I am not running for the senator position just to add to my resume or for other selfish reasons. I genuinely want to help improve the UAB undergraduate experience for everyone: current and future students. I want to see a change in the way this university operates, and if you agree with the ideas explored in my platform, I would greatly appreciate your vote!
Freshman, Genetic and Genomic Sciences
Other Involvements: Freshman Forum, Science and Technology Honors Program
Platform: One of my main goals as Senator would be to establish more informational sessions for various things pertaining to the College of Arts and Science such as more information on individual majors and minors. One of the greatest problems I had when I was selecting my major was that I did not know enough about the major, and I wish I could have had a perspective on it from actual students in that major. I want to make sure that throughout the semester these informational sessions run by current students occur and that all new students and even current students looking to change their majors or minors have all the necessary information to make that decision. Another improvement I want to make on campus is that I want there to be more events that help build connections between students through the College of Arts and Science. Obviously, due to COVID-19, it was difficult to do that this year; however, when things go more back to normal, I feel that having these events will be a great help to people wanting to meet others and overall create more of a community atmosphere here at UAB.
Why do you want to be in USGA? I want to be a part of USGA because I feel it is the best way to make improvements at this campus, my home for atleast the next 3 years. While my experience at UAB so far has been amazing, I feel that their are still some departments in which this school can grow. I know that I can be one of the students to help lead these improvement efforts. Furthermore, USGA has so far been an awesome way for me to connect with other hardworking and motivated students, and so, it has allowed me to foster some great friendships. I want to continue to be able to meet even more people and develop many more meaningful relationships here at UAB.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? The number one issue that USGA faces is returning back to normal times as Covid-19 restrictions will be reduced over the next year. I want to help smoothen this process and help USGA organize some great in-person events for students to connect and build leadership skills.
Why should students vote for you? I hope students vote for me as I want to do what lies in their best wishes. I am a very open-minded individual and would love to listen to any suggestions made by my peers. I hope to represent College of Arts and Science students to the best of my ability and make sure that their experience here at UAB only gets better.
Platform: My main platform goal is to re-design the programs we currently have implemented to better support traditional and non-traditional students alike. Non-traditional students include those who live off campus, transfer students, and those students who may have outside commitments such as full-time jobs and families. UAB has an extremely diverse student body with a plethora of cultures, backgrounds, ages, and interests. I believe that if we can work towards these improvement goals, it will help remove some of the baseline challenges every student may face leading to a more positive overall college experience.
Why do you want to be in USGA? Being a part of USGA will give me the opportunity to advocate for the UAB student body and help the campus evolve into a better version of itself.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? The number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year is the need for the organization to move towards a culture of increased transparency.
Why should students vote for you? I vow to fulfill the promises I have outlined in my platform, and be a strong promoter of the best interest of the student body. I will listen to the concerns and apprehensions of students of the College of Arts and Sciences and do my best to use the power of my position to alleviate them.
Freshman, Medical Sociology
Other Involvements: USGA Freshman Forum, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, B-Women, CURE Childhood Cancer
- The first order of business on my agenda is to increase Diverse interaction among the various ethnicities and races our schools hold. With UAB being a melting pot we need to emphasize the importance of respecting and interacting with our fellow classmates who come from different households. With this in mind, I will advocate for Diversity training amongst the various clubs and intramural sports in which we would discuss the importance of living and learning in a mixed community! Also, you may know that UAB school of medicine has dedicated Diversity Days for their Med students and I wish to bring that to us at undergrad as well by bringing together the many associations like BSAC, ASA, AAO, BSA, AIS, and many more together to present their cultures and ideas to one another’s meetings!
- My second order of business on my agenda to create an Automated Text messaging system to receive alerts on major decisions/reforms about to be conducted with the USGA body. You all are what frames the face of UAB in which I feel as a current member of the freshman forum in USGA, I choose to advocate for the people’s voice! The communications board within USGA would send messages to the text messaging system to anyone who signs up for the system about any major decisions that are about to be voted for within USGA. The general student body and employees can join this text messaging system by scanning a QR code that will be placed within residential halls as well as school halls. The QR codes will be posted year-round and may/may not have to renew their thread subscription between each academic year because of newly elected and inducted individuals into office.
- My third course of action would be implementing Platform day for the People! In which USGA would dedicate a day(s) each month to open the floor to the general body on our social media accounts to address any issues we find at UAB and we will make a note and turn to our committees and administrations and find the best solution! This course of action will be both conducted virtually as well as in person. Establishing a digital grievance/constructive criticism that is open to the general student body to anonymously report complaints to USG about issues within the campus’ dining halls, schools, residential halls, libraries, etc as well as the digital access by Instagram and Twitter pages. Complaints will be addressed during general meetings or during a special once a month hearing that all USGA members would hear on and figure out how to solve the issue and if it needs to be addressed to administrations.
Why do you want to be in USGA? Running as a current USGA Freshman Forum member as well as belonging to the Financial Affairs Committee within the USGA family I find it a privilege to already knowledgeable of the ins and outs of USGA as I am an active participant in hearing and decision making. Staying in the USGA family would extend my time on initiatives and actions I have already contemplated with my peers and directors within USGA and put them into action as your next Senator. As a Senator, I am able to have a larger, illusive megaphone within the organization in putting my ideas into action.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? As a current sitting member in USGA, I quickly caught on to an unresolved issue within the organization which is the lack of effort in reaching out to the general student body. During the duration of my time on the Freshman forum, I found the lack of advertising to the entire general body to participate in certain activities, rather they are directed more towards certain groups at UAB. With this constantly seen bias within the USGA family of the lack of advertisement and openness to the general body, I find it important that I bring to the table a new approach in taking out actions and decisions as well as actually listening to what people want.
Why should students vote for you?
It’s time for a fresh face and change. I view myself as a fresh face to the USGA family but not unfamiliar with the ideals of what it takes for leadership, initiative, and organization within our glorified school of UAB. Why should you vote for me? I find it important that everyone’s voice is heard especially the silenced ones because I was once one of those silenced voices as a kid yet as I threw myself into leadership positions and soon found myself advocating for those of the minority group I found it key to reach out to those who feel their ideas aren’t heard for. Although I am campaigning against 14 other candidates for this highly ranked position, I know that by providing you early on with my detailed agenda that will soon be added with more ideas from you, I will update you on everything that goes on behind the doors of the senate as well as looking out for one another’s academic success.
Did not respond.
Annalise van der Wel
Other Involvements: UAB Freshman Forum (2020-2021), YMCA Collegiate Legislature Delegate (2021), Alpha Lambda Delta, Doctors without Borders at UAB, UAB AMWA
- Increase transparent communication between USGA and student body.
- Create social programming supporting the transition to in-person campus events.
- Prioritize green spaces and study areas.
- Promote career and graduate school readiness in CAS.
- Increase inclusive and healthy dining options.
Why do you want to be in USGA? Over this past year, having had the privilege of serving as a member of freshman forum, I was able to see first hand the impact USGA can have for the good of its students. As just a freshman, I was able to design, pitch, and lead an initiative focused on mental health, and attend a meeting of the Student Counseling Services Student Advisory Board. Being able to see up close the ability USGA has to shape UAB fueled my wish to be at least a small part of positive change for the good of our campus and our students.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? The 2020-2021 year has surfaced many new challenges and concerns. As we transition into the fall, and the beginning of the 2021-2022 year, UAB as a whole is in a state of transition. We are projected to move back to mostly in-person learning and involvement, a new freshman class is joining our ranks, and many UAB students feel unrepresented by USGA. I believe that this coming year will hold much growth for USGA as an organization, as we rise to support the safety of our campus, welcome the class of 2025, and ensure that each student of UAB feels validated and represented within USGA.
Why should students vote for you? While small changes like those proposed by USGA might not seem like much in themselves, each decision and change matters, as it pushes us as a university closer to or further from our hopes and dreams for UAB. As a member of the senate, I promise to do all I can to promote harmony between USGA and the students of UAB, while actively proposing solutions, prioritizing tangible, concrete progress, and working towards a better future for each individual enrolled.
Other Involvements: Science and Technology Honors Program, Undergraduate Neurobiology Research – Day Lab, The Chinese Society at UAB
Platform: Hi! My name is Ethan Wan and I am a rising sophomore Neuroscience major in the College of Arts and Sciences. I hope to be one of your Senators and if elected I would have three main goals: research opportunities, increased transparency, and clearer scholarship opportunities.
- Research Opportunities
- I will publicize more research opportunities for students, and try to make the process of finding research opportunities more accessible. To do this, I plan to organize a mixer event where I connect PIs affiliated with UAB and UABSOM and undergraduate students looking for research opportunities while working with the Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research. I will also add to the resources that USGA already has, and create a cohesive and clear compilation of summer research opportunities and internships both at UAB and at other universities throughout the country.
- I aim to increase transparency between USGA Senators and undergraduate students. Social justice issues, especially recently, have been especially tense, so I will be an accessible Senator for related concerns that students may have, as well as concerns regarding any other important topic. I know that the inner workings of USGA are nebulous to other students, and I will be an approachable Senator and work to further connect USGA and the general student body. To do this, I will augment and further publicize USGA’s online suggestion box while also creating an additional email inbox for questions that are more personalized.
- I will collaborate with UAB IT to redesign and revamp BSMART. As of now, it is difficult to sort through the many scholarship options that are available to CAS students. It is also tough to read through all of the scholarship descriptions. I plan to make BSMART easier to use and clearer so that all undergraduates at UAB can more effectively find appropriate opportunities.
Why do you want to be in USGA? I have a lot to contribute to the student body and USGA, and the reason I want to be elected is because I can help people who have the same problems I did. UAB is full of opportunities, whether they be research-related, extracurriculars, or scholarships, that can be overwhelming, and I can assist people so they find what they are interested in. Also, I am not currently a part of USGA. There has been a lot of drama recently, and I think that as a fresh face I can genuinely help the student body with any problems they may have.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? I feel that the number one issue facing USGA is transparency. Especially with recent events, there has been a lot of animosity surrounding USGA. A large part of candidates’ platforms, in all branches, revolves around this. From the outside, I can see that USGA needs to do better with communication, and I will not blame any one person in particular because I believe it is unfair and there is always more work to be done. I will work with my fellow elected representatives to combat this issue to the best of my ability. However, I also believe that USGA could do a better job of helping the student body with other activities that are important to many undergraduates such as research, volunteering, and scholarship opportunities.
Why should students vote for you? There are a lot of candidates in this election, all of whom have great platforms. I have my own platform that will help the student body greatly, but the most important idea I want to get across is that I will be a flexible senator for all CAS students. I will work diligently to achieve the goals that I have already lined out while also collaborating with the student body to achieve any new goals that are presented or suggested. Go Blazers!