Q&A: vice president of financial affairs candidate Clay GaddisBy Camille Studebaker | 03/05/2018 10:41am
Clay Gaddis, a sophomore majoring in biology from Scottsboro, Alabama is running for Vice President of Financial Affairs.
Q: How did you originally get involved with SGA?
A: I joined First Year Council my freshman year. I was in SGA in my hometown, so I kind of had a dream to come to SGA here. My brother was in SGA when he was here, and so I just had this dream of like joining the SGA at The University of Alabama, so when it became known to me that the First Year Council applications were open, I applied and did the interview process.
What made you want to run for this position?
Through Senate, you know we obviously approved the FAC funding and all that stuff, and I just kind of got like an interest in it. Like I kept on looking at the FAC funding and going back to the budget, and it just kind of interests me even though I myself am not a finance major, just that area and what you can do with the finance area here at the University is just something that’s amazing to me. And I guess when I was sitting down and thinking for re-election this year, I thought, "You know there are some things that I want to see change at the University, and the best way for me to change them is to go the finance route."
What makes you the best choice for the office?
I think what makes me the best choice is that I’m just very dedicated to SGA and to the motto that we have – students serving students. At the end of the day, I serve the student body, and to me, through all that I do, I like to feel gratified at the end of the day that I’m making a change at the University, and being in Senate this past year has really shown me that that’s a passion of mine, is that I love to be a servant to the student body. I love to be a voice for them when no one else is.
What do you hope to change?
So right now I’ve come up with my four platform points, and they’re really big to me. They’re things I saw this past year that need to be changed.
The first one is the Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner. When I was thinking about what to do with finance, I thought it’d be a great way we as an SGA and as a main representation of the student body were to raise money through fundraising and stuff to be able to give to this nurse examiner program and say, "We want you here and we need you," because we do not want another situation to happen like what’s happened in the past and we want everyone to feel safe here, no matter who they are or what they do.
And then my second point that I was doing is expanding the Bama Cash here because I myself live off Hargrove, so I’m pretty far from campus and the Bama Cash options out there are little to none, and so I want to see if we can expand Bama Cash out there and see if we can give students who are not really close to campus more opportunities to eat around them so they’re not wasting gas trying to go to the Strip or Midtown Village where they can stay fairly close to their region.
My third one that I’m running on is First Year Council. When I was in First Year Council, we actually were not allocated any money through anywhere of the financial affairs branch, and to me, we needed the money to support our initiatives because we cannot properly reach out to our freshmen class. And then this year I had the opportunity to talk to a few first year counselors and they were saying if they had the money they could do this, if they had money they could do that, and their legislation was not being passed because they didn’t have the money for it. So, to me that just ignited a flame saying, "We need this." We need for these 60 students to reach to their freshman class better than what we’re doing currently.
And then my final one is I just want to look at the budget from the past five years and see the areas that we’re spending money at, but we’re not spending all of the money, and kind of take a consensus of that and allocate the rest of those funds to the needs-based funding scholarship because to me needs-based is such a pivotal part of SGA. It literally is our motto of "students serving students," and to me, we can’t properly do that without correct funds, and I don’t want to give just a little bit of funds to these people who have been through traumatic life experiences because they’re my classmates and they’re students here just like me, and I can’t imagine what they’re going through, and I know money is just a little thing to help them with, but I just want to be able to say, "I care for you, and I want to be able to give you this amount and hopefully help you through whatever."
What's one last thing you want the voters to know about you?
Just that I’m dedicated to this position. I definitely love SGA, and I love working with students, and if I get the position, I want them to be able to approach me with any kind of problems they have – whether it’s financial or not – I want to be able to help them in any way that I can.
What’s the biggest problem you see on campus?
I think the biggest problem I see on campus is that SGA’s almost like a divide. It’s like a barrier between us, and I think students are afraid to come up to us and kind of voice their opinions, and I think that’s not the way it should be. I think as an SGA we should be more personable and be more into the student perspective than what we usually are right now.