We sent out a short questionnaire to each of the 2021 USGA Senate candidates for the School of Health Professions (SOHP). Their answers are below.
Did not respond.
Junior, Biomedical Sciences
Other Involvements: President of Biomedical Sciences Student Organization, Student within Science and Technology Honors Program, Member of the Pre-PA Student Organization
Platform: As SOHP senator, I would like to develop a stronger SOHP community among SOHP undergraduate and graduate students by establishing a mentorship program and promoting Q&A sessions with various SOHP graduate students. The SOHP has multiple graduate programs and two undergraduate majors which generates a student-body divide within the school. Initiating SOHP-wide activities and volunteering projects would also help cultivate the SOHP community. In general, undergraduate students are pressured to choose a career path too soon. Thus, encouraging more connections within the entire SOHP community will allow SOHP undergraduate students to value their major and become a more confident future health professional.
Why do you want to be in USGA? I value service and I want to give back to the Blazer community as an experienced leader who listens to all.
What is the number issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? The unpredictability of COVID-19 variants and the potential rapid adjustments that follows.
Why should students vote for you? As president of the Biomedical Sciences Student (BMD) Organization, I will apply my leadership experience to cultivate a strong SOHP community. As the previous freshman and sophomore representative of the BMD executive council, I am an active listener who serves to improve the student experience. I have learned methods to promote student engagement and to develop a sense of community that I would like to apply among the entire SOHP.
Senior, Biomedical Sciences
Other Involvements: Vice President of the Biomedical Science Executive Council and a member of the Off-Campus Student Council
Platform: Hello, my name is Spencer Hughes. I am currently a senior within the School of Health Professions majoring in Biomedical Science. I will be coming back for a fifth year so that I can lighten my class load over the next couple semesters. Last year, I ran for a senator position within the School of Health Professions so that I could bring more resources to SOHP students and be a vessel for the students concerns. The resources I am referring to, specifically laptops, was brought to fruition due to COVID-19 and the immediate needs of the students for online learning. Over the past school year within USGA, I have been working very closely with Dr. Butler who is the Dean of the School of Health Professions. He proposed the idea of a Wheelchair Basketball team at UAB and for me to take the reins of it. I could not have been more excited about the opportunity and immediately started my research on it. As I look into the 2021-2022 school year, I see the Wheelchair Basketball Team initiative coming to fruition as well as expediated growth and comradery among peers as we ease back into in-person classes. I want to bring SOHP students, as well as students all around UAB, on this journey and be a part of this inspiring initiative. Being re-elected as a Senator within the School of Health Professions, it is my goal to bring awareness of initiatives that are being worked on to the student body, but specifically students within SHP. The initiatives that members within USGA are working on, aren’t always echoed to the student body. I plan to be the bridge that fills this gap to bring transparency to my classmates.
Why do you want to be in USGA? As I stated in my platform, I want to be in USGA so that I can bring transparency to the student body. Sometimes things that are being worked on within USGA are not voiced to the student body. This can leave the students thinking “well shoot, I voted for this person but what are they doing for us?” I want this thought process to go away because it is not fair to the classmates that voted you in the first place.
What is the number issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? A big issue that I foresee USGA facing over the upcoming year is due to the stress and climate of today’s times. Because USGA is a representation of the student body, they want to represent all views, thoughts and opinions. It can be tough trying to represent all sides but it should be the goal of elected USGA members to do this to the best of their ability.
Why should students vote for you? Because I have been in USGA for one year, my perspective alludes to areas that I have noticed that need to be revamped. One perspective that I keep coming back to is the idea of transparency between the student body and members of USGA but specifically the students within the School of Health Professions. Throughout the year, students should receive emails or social media post referring to updates going on within their specific school and USGA as a whole. Senators should also be easily accessible for students to voice their concerns through a canvas link or email. It is my goal to make these thoughts a reality.
Junior, Biomedical Sciences
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? I would like to be a part of USGA to represent my student peers in an organization responsible for increasing student support, empowering student voices and opinions, and improving the overall college experience for the undergraduate student community. I am running for senator of the School of Health Professions (SOHP) to work towards being the liaison between the SOHP undergraduate community and faculty and administration in the position to implement these changes needed for the community.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? One of the most important issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year is the increasing line of miscommunication or lack of communication between the student leaders of USGA and the undergraduate student population of UAB. Due to the lack of transparent communication, the undergraduate community may negatively view USGA and what the organization stands for or have accomplished. There have been plenty of misaligned ideas associated with the roles and responsibilities of our elected USGA student leaders. However, if we work towards clearly communicating the values and core initiatives of USGA members with the community, we can better support both parties: USGA members can increase their understanding of the undergraduate population and what they stand for while the general undergraduate community can increase their understanding of the limitations and success of their elected student leader.
Why should students vote for you? Students should vote for me, because I believe that I display an open and positive mindset towards challenging situations in order to see things from all perspectives. This is an important quality in the student leadership position. Additionally, I believe that because I continue to look for the good in people, I could help alleviate the negative emotions the community has for USGA and can work towards continuing to bridge the gap between the students USGA represents and USGA. I also believe that because everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings, we should work towards creating a safe environment for each individual, especially those who feel like their perspective is in the minority, to present and discuss their perspective of things.
Did not respond
Freshman, Biomedical Sciences
Other Involvements: UAB Rangeela, Freshman Forum, Indian Cultural Association general body member
Platform: Make mental health a more common topic to discuss and come up with initiatives to address those concerns. -Invite individuals to come and hold workshops on specific aspects of metal health and talk about some ways to over come it and ideas on how to improve our mental stability. • Make student transparency and USGA transparency a more seamless communicative measure. • Address any environmental concerns within the college and make plans to achieve a more environmentally active surrounding. • Address racial injustice problems immediately and come up with more measures to ensure individuals that make student uncomfortable are reprimanded accordingly. • Make members of all communities on campus believe and trust that their voices are going to be heard and taken into account. • Hold any member of USGA accountable for actions as well as myself and give students the confidence that they can speak up as well.
Why do you want to be in USGA? I want to be in USGA to rebuild and reform it in a way that students will feel like it is not an organization that stands above them but with them.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? I believe the number one issue that USGA will face this upcoming year, is the concept of transparency. There is a very distinct line between the USGA and the student body that makes it hard for people to raise and voice their concerns.
Why should students vote for you? I believe that students should vote for me because I am just like them. I have things and initiatives that I would love to speak to USGA about but have been intimidated by the title of the organization. If students were to vote for me I can promise to shorten that gap that seems to separate the student body from the student government.
Freshman, Biomedical Sciences
Other Involvements: USGA Freshman Forum, Callahan Eye Hospital
- Promote diversity and inclusivity within the School of Health Professions
- Connect minorities to mentors in medical fields
- Provide more resources/opportunities for students to study for the MCAT and other standardized exams
- Create community outreach initiatives for volunteer experience
- Develop events where students have opportunities to socialize and/or form relationships
Why do you want to be in USGA? It is an organization that is the voice of the people. With many connections and resources, it truly is capable of making an effective change for students.
What is the number one issue that USGA faces in the upcoming year? Accountability, transparency, and authenticity. Especially since the pandemic hit, it is important for USGA to inform everybody, not just members of USGA, about what they are working on and what they could do better on.
Who should students vote for you? I want to be a representation for minorities and advocate for them. I also have some creative and exciting ideas to improve the School of Health Professions.