Moving forward togetherBy Elliot Spillers | 03/09/2015 10:58am
In the face of such changes, students need a strong voice that ensures their needs are respected. Thankfully, the Student Government Association is supposed to be just that voice, representing the students in the Board of Trustees meetings and in the University president’s office. Unfortunately, however, in recent years the SGA has failed to fulfill that role, and students’ voices have gone unheard.
I am running for SGA President to ensure that students are seen as more than just tuition payments or GPAs at this University, but rather as individuals with innovative initiatives and plans to launch our University forward. There are real issues facing students on this campus, and the SGA has the resources to make a difference.
During my time at the University, I’ve learned that achieving positive change requires real collaboration and vision. Whether as a Student Director at the Center for Sustainable Service and Volunteerism, guiding peers as a Sustained Dialogue facilitator, a peer leader in the office of First Year Experience, or working with partners in the SGA, I have seen firsthand that progress is the result of many people working together towards a common goal.
As SGA President, I will work every day to ensure that the problems facing students are being addressed with real, tangible solutions that result from collaborative initiatives involving organizations and leaders across campus.
Too often, SGA campaigns become an image contest based on who has the cutest sounding names for their proposed platforms. I believe change is more about vision than fancy names. That’s why my platform has a simple name, the Healthy Campus Initiative, because the health of every student will be my chief objective if elected.
Sexual assault at The University of Alabama and across our nation is too big of a problem to get caught up in how we’re going to address half-measures that take attention away from the real problem. I want to take steps to tangibly address the issue by working with the Women and Gender Resource Center and student groups to create a sexual assault peer-to-peer advocacy program like those at Ohio University and other colleges. We have to raise the discussion of sexual assault on this campus.
Similarly, mental health continues to carry an unacceptable stigma at colleges nationwide. The SGA should be a strong advocate for erasing those stereotypes and creating a campus culture where every student feels safe and knows where to seek counseling services. I will work with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Counseling Center to produce informative campaigns that highlight the services offered at this University.
There are issues that have been ignored for too long at this University, whether by the administration or the SGA, yet I know that there are students and faculty already working on solutions. I want the SGA to be the space where these ideas are nurtured and bolstered. For over three years I have learned and worked alongside campus organizations to address the problems they wanted to solve. As President, I will continue to serve any student who wants to share their concerns or ideas.
I will make sure every student, Greek and non-Greek, black and white, undergraduate and graduate, has the opportunity to make their voice heard. So, on Tuesday, I urge you to stand with me and vote Spillers for SGA President. Together, I believe that we will move our University forward.
Elliot Spillers is a candidate running for the position of SGA President.