We sent out a short questionnaire to each of the 2021 USGA Senate candidates for the Collat School of Business. Their answers are below.
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Platform: The initiatives I would like to pursue for the upcoming school year are heavily based on transparency and communication, which are imperative qualities to pursue as advocates for the student body. Each will work to hold us as senators accountable and have open communication between senators, the student body, and administration.
1. My first initiative would be to create surveys to collect Collat student’s ideas and concerns to be relayed to the administration. I would collaborate with professors or advisors to distribute the surveys to be accessible to all students. As advocates for the student body, having input from students directly is imperative. I feel it is important that we make it comfortable for students to approach us as peers and a liaison to administration.
2. I would also like to form an initiative to push the administration to inform all professors in Collat of the possible alternatives to ProctorU with instructions on how to use each program. ProctorU has been a growing issue for many students in classes at Collat. I have had peers discuss the problems and issues with wait times, connection and rescheduling issues, rude or unhelpful proctors, safety concerns, etc. Most professors do not seem to understand or know of other programs (ex. Lockdown Browser) they could implement in their classes.
3. I would also like to continue to lead the social media initiative for the Collat School of Business Instagram page. Senators will publish Instagram stories regarding initiatives we are working on or answer any questions from the student body. This increases the transparency of what senators work on or do throughout the semester, and it is an easy and accessible tool for students to seek information or ask questions directly to peers.
4. I would like to work on a mixer for Collat students and the Dean. This would be a dinner or a short get-together in which students can directly relay their concerns or ideas to the Dean in a relaxed environment. Senators will also be present to act as an additional resource or for peer support. It can be intimidating for students to voice their concerns to faculty and administration, so I believe this would ensure students’ voices can be heard in a supportive and comfortable environment.
Why do you want to be in USGA? My main goal as a senator would be to serve as an advocate for the students of Collat for any ideas or concerns they may have. Though Collat is the second-largest school in terms of the student population, there is often a feeling of disconnect between students and the rest of campus. I hope through my actions that I can foster a sense of community within the school and the rest of UAB. I feel as though USGA was the best place to make the institutional changes needed to better the student experience for Collat students.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? USGA has faced a lot of pressure from the student body lately about adequate representation and accountability on following through with initiatives. This is undoubtedly important for anyone who chooses to take on the role of advocating for the student body. In these situations, it is important for USGA to continue taking steps in making long term changes in the student government process in order to better serve UAB students. Change does not happen overnight, but acknowledging these problems is the first step in ensuring a process that reflects the mission of USGA and what UAB claims to stand for as an institution.
Why should students vote for you? If elected, I would be dedicated to making connections and creating resources for students to voice their concerns and ideas. I also will strive to uphold transparency, accountability, and integrity in my actions as a senator. I believe this role will allow me to grow as a leader and make changes to better the Collat School of Business community alongside my peers. I would be sure to direct the focus to who we are advocating for; the students. Students are the core of this university, so it is imperative as senators to relay and amplify their voices, concerns, and ideas to the administration to ensure positive action within the campus.