Elect John Martin Weed for SGA SenateBy Megan Friend | 02/26/2018 8:58pm
As the campus campaign season begins, most of the attention will naturally go to the Student Government Association presidential race. Since this week will be a whirlwind of debates and competition, marketing strategies and fancy graphics all vying for your attention and telling you who to put in charge will be front and center.
While the race to be president of the University of Alabama SGA is important, take a moment to remember that it is not the only election going on this week that will affect you, nor is it the only one that you should make your way over to myBama or vote.ua.edu to vote for. In fact, if you care about contributing to choices that will affect you and your college career, it is time to put some serious thought into who your candidates for Senate are.
For those in the College of Arts and Sciences, the decision is especially critical. Your college is the largest in the University–host to over 100 programs in 64 different fields and nearly 25 percent of the student population–and you have only 10 senators to represent all of you. You do not need a one-dimensional, lazy or slightly untrustworthy man in a pressed suit who just wants to put the word "senator" on his résumé and advance his political career.
You need someone dynamic who is not just passionate about their own major, but who sincerely wants to include, listen to and represent the needs, priorities and interests of everyone else. You need someone honest and independent who is not running strictly in their own best interest, but in the best interest of each student within the College of Arts and Sciences and the campus as a whole. On top of that, you need someone who is approachable and down-to-earth, someone who you actually want to root for and has even been said to look a bit like Harry Potter. What you need is John Martin Weed.
Not only will John Martin Weed get things done, but he wants to make sure everyone else has the ability to get things done as well. His highest priority if elected senator is streamlining the process for student organizations to receive funds from the SGA. If you are in any of the over 500 of the University’s student organizations, chances are that you have had a firsthand look at how difficult it is to finance your needs and accomplish your goals with the current complicated and frustrating procedure.
John Martin Weed wants to make your lives easier and ensure that you no longer have to jump through those hoops. As he says in his official statement of intent: “The current convoluted method for student organizations to receive funds from the SGA stifles the growth of powerful and unique communities on the Capstone. If elected, my highest priority is streamlining this critical process for the benefit of the entire University. This is the fundamental and most important purpose of SGA and it has been neglected for far too long.”
John Martin Weed also emphasizes the need for our campus to value diversity, respect and inclusion, and he does not shy away from speaking up, acknowledging current problems and asserting that there should be no place at the University for intolerance and prejudice. For far too long, The University of Alabama has made national headlines for the wrong reasons, and John Martin Weed genuinely wants to use his role in Senate to help move our campus forward. He is there to listen to every voice, to work with every individual and to ensure that every single student feels heard, safe, celebrated and fully equipped to achieve everything they want to throughout their four years here.
I know that every platform can sound pretty, and it is easy for any candidate to simply say they want to make a difference. However, I really cannot stress to you enough the genuine nature of John Martin Weed and every syllable that comes out of his mouth. He is not running for his own ego; he is running because he wants to help people as much as he can. He is not going to just sit and look pretty in a fancy tie, a name tag and silence in Senate meetings–he is going to work for you.
He has the fresh ideas and the motivation; at this point, all he needs is for students in the College of Arts and Sciences to take thirty seconds and vote. We go to an amazing school, but there is so much room for positive growth and improved experiences if we elect the right people. There is only one way to get our fix–We Need Weed.
Megan Friend is a freshman majoring in marketing. Her column runs biweekly.