Changing the conversationBy Claire Parker | 02/26/2016 1:28pm
My name is Claire Parker, and I am an electrical engineering major from Madison, WI. More importantly, I want to be your next Student Government Association executive secretary. My goal as executive secretary is to make our student government more effective and efficient and change the conversation surrounding our SGA.
After being involved in the Student Government Association for two years, as First Year Council secretary and deputy vice president of Student Services, I have learned exactly how our SGA functions. I have also learned where we have room for improvement. I will work to make our SGA more effective by implementing simplified systems that will allow every member of our student government to accomplish their goals. These systems will include having a guide on how to plan an event or campaign, so every member of SGA will have a starting point for implementing their ideas. I would also like to start another campaign to promote the new Ask SGA feature, which connects students to their representatives and ensures that every student’s voice is heard. Also, elected executive officers are currently required to complete ten office hours each week during times that work best for them. I will implement two “open door” office hours each week. These office hours would be scheduled times where students could come in to the SGA office and express their concerns or ideas directly with their elected representatives.
In addition to increasing direct communication between SGA and individual students, I want to implement effective communication systems that will allow us to reach our entire student body. I would start by continuing the improvements to the SGA website and creating a calendar of events on the website. I will also create an executive and senate spotlight to feature SGA initiatives and accomplishments. I will then work to engage an important group within The University of Alabama Community–our alumni–by creating an alumni newsletter. Instead of asking the student body for more money, when many students are already facing financial hardships, I’d like to reach out to our alumni to participate in our fundraising events. After these events, I would also like to increase transparency by publishing how much money we raise and where the money is going on the SGA website.
All in all, the position of executive secretary is not about making a political statement. The purpose of an executive secretary is to ensure that the rest of the executive cabinet, Student Government Association, and entire student body can bring their ideas to life and accomplish their goals. By the end of my term, I want to have changed the conversation surrounding SGA. Instead of students wondering if SGA is accomplishing anything, I want students to ask how SGA can help each student achieve their goals. I will focus on making our Student Government Association more effective and efficient while working towards my primary goal of making the Capstone a better place. Thank you, and please pick Parker on March 1!
Claire Parker is a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering and mathematics. She is running for executive secretary.