SGA needs to form better channels of communicationBy Katrina Swarthout | 03/03/2015 10:50pm
My name is Katrina Swarthout and I am running for the position of Executive Secretary. I am currently a junior from San Jose, California, majoring in communication studies and double minoring in public relations and German. Being a member of the University of Alabama Student Government Association has been the highlight of my college career.
Like many, my freshman year was a rough transition and it took me a while to find my niche in the University of Alabama community, but I knew I wanted to be more involved on campus and gain more experience in the field of communication. I served as the Director of Communications for Academic Affairs under the VP of Academic Affairs to promote the projects and initiatives of the cabinet to the student body. During that process I learned a great deal about The University of Alabama and the many resources it provides to students as well as the plethora of devotion and hard work members of the SGA put into aiding the student body and improving the campus.
This year I have had the honor of serving as the Director of Communications in the executive cabinet. In this position I have worked on internal communication as well as promotion for events and initiatives of all the branches of the SGA. Throughout the year I have been able to learn more about the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the SGA as well as about the student body. With my experience within the SGA as well as through many other campus organizations I feel confident that I am qualified for the position of Executive Secretary.
With such an expansive campus it is a challenge for any organization to engage all members of the student body. The current SGA Executive Secretary as well as the rest of the SGA have worked hard to combat this issue, but it is not one that can be solved overnight, which is why my main focus throughout the coming year, if elected, will be to connect SGA to the student body. I see the Executive Secretary as the gatekeeper, distributing information from the executive cabinet to the students. I believe that an open line of communication is crucial, because without knowing what the student body wants, SGA cannot help students’ voices be heard and get plans called into action.
My primary goal would be to improve channels of communication between the student body and the executive cabinet by sustaining and improving SGA archives and executive records, maintaining and expanding current programs and initiatives and creating new avenues for communication and transparency. Specific actions I have planned for the coming year include continuing to improve the SGA website in order to make it easier for students to navigate and gain information about upcoming events and ongoing projects. I plan to create a student body newsletter to provide the student body with updates about the SGA. Additionally, I believe that there needs to be continued improvements towards engagement with students and opportunities for students’ input to be heard. Many students may feel that SGA members are unapproachable or do not know how to get into contact with them and I plan to change that. I plan to create opportunities for students to meet with SGA members directly, through posted office hours and forums.
I welcome any and all suggestions that any student may have now or in the coming year and I encourage anyone that wants to connect with me to do so. Thank you for your support and I would be honored to have your vote.
Katrina Swarthout is a candidate running for the position of Executive Secretary. She is running unopposed.