SODEL hosts candidate forum

Candidates for Student Government Association executive offices discussed their campaign platforms in front of students at a forum hosted by Students for Open Doors and Ethical Leadership Wednesday night.

The forum hosted speakers such as presidential candidates Elliot Spillers and Stephen Keller, as well many others. The candidates for each position were given a turn to speak to the audience and present his or her plans for the University if elected to the SGA. Spillers spoke first about his campaign.

“I’m not here to make to make promises that I won’t keep,” Spillers said.

Spillers went on to speak about his six-element plan for a healthy campus, which he ensured will benefit voters by providing opportunities to improve their social, emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, and financial aspects of life.

Keller spoke about the need to take action on initiatives to benefit the student body, particularly the need to eliminate sexual assault by providing safety and educational resources. He believes he is the man for the job to help make a difference in SGA and across campus.

“We have worked hard to build a car and point it in the right direction, now we just need someone to step into the driver’s seat,” Keller said.

The three candidates for vice president of student affairs also gave speeches about their respective platforms and answered questions from students.

Branden Greenberg, current speaker of the senate for SGA and a candidate for VP of student affairs, discussed his goals of obtaining a partnership between the university and Amazon so that students can obtain textbooks and products cheaper, with the possibility of one-day shipping. Greenberg also detailed his plan to introduce online education resources to the campus, citing that Alabama is the only SEC school that does not currently offer Open Educational Resources to its students.

“We are going to be the highpoint of education in our country,” Greenberg said.

Ryan Campbell, a candidate for VP of student affairs, said if elected he would focus on safety and more fun for the student body. According to Campbell, his campaign is based on a focus on the future for UA.

Campbell also has a plan to implement Student Nonacademic Misconduct citation forgiveness to aid students who may have made a mistake early in their time at UA.

Tate Thomas, fellow student affairs candidate, focused on implementing projects that can take effect within his term. Thomas noted the limitations of a one-year office as his reason for short-term goals.

“I am not rhetoric. I am not flash. I am let’s get down to work and do stuff,” he said.

The other candidates that spoke at the forum were all running unopposed and used their speaking time to detail their plans for the upcoming term.

Students for Open Doors and Ethical Leadership, the group that sponsored the forum, hosted the event to help generate interest and participation in SGA elections among the student body.

“SODEL finds it very important to host a forum with future SGA candidates who are running to really increase the voter turnout rate,” said Katy Turner, a member of SODEL. “We stand for open doors and ethical leadership, and we do that through open dialogue.”

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