North Texas Daily

Q&A: Sit down with new SGA president-elect

Q&A: Sit down with new SGA president-elect

Q&A: Sit down with new SGA president-elect
April 20
23:42 2015

Dalton LaFerney / Views & Digital Editor

We got the chance to sit down with SGA president-elect Adam Alattry to discuss his vision and plans for his upcoming term with vice president-elect Christopher Lee and the rest of the newly elected senators.

Dalton LaFerney: Why do you want to be Student Government Association president?

Adam Alattry: I’ve been involved in student government since my freshman year here, and I’ve seen it grow, and I’ve noticed that with every administration, the environment changes within SGA. I’ve seen two administrations now, and I want a good mix of fixing everything internally [SGA] but focusing on external matters, so students can actually know what we are doing and what’s going on within SGA.

DL: When you say “internally,” what do you mean?

AA: Mostly bickering going on within SGA structurally, and it causes us to spend a lot of time on that, and not focus on matters that pertain to students. So this year, we’re pushing for externalizing the organization.

DL: What issues do you feel need attention?

AA: We have our platform points, but we’re not going to just follow [those points]. There are a lot more issues we need to focus on. One thing that we’re trying to do is have our executive board [around campus] asking students what the current issues are and addressing them. Right now, there aren’t necessarily any major issues yet, but we are figuring out what we would like to focus on during the summer. At the beginning of the fall, we’ll be out asking students. A lot of the structuring of the organization happens during the summer. Next week, Chris and I are going to appoint 10 summer senators. With our summer senate, we convene every two to three times in the summer.

DL: What are the criteria for being selected for summer?

AA: You just have to be — I know it’s in our bylaws — you have to have served on the Senate before, immediately preceding the summer. Or you have to have been recently elected. Other than that, there’s not really any criteria as to who we think would be suitable for the position.

DL: As director of marketing, what kind of things did you learn? And what will you carry over to president?

AA: One thing I realized is you can’t market the entire organization by yourself. So one thing that I’ll change in the next year is that all of SGA should be promoting the organization, not just one position. We talked about having a vote-a-thon at the end of the year. We are shooting for is having something in the Onstead Promenade from 12 to 8, something going on for eight hours straight. We’d have live music, food, and al the senators would be out there to table, to let them know elections are going on and inform [students] of your platform points. It’ll be a good opportunity for our senators to be out there face-to-face with the students.

DL: Will y’all put up booths at the individual colleges on campus?

AA: Yeah, one of the newer positions we are introducing to the executive branch is the director of campus outreach. The task of that director will be externalizing [SGA].

DL: What’s the difference between that and the director of marketing?

AA: We are consolidating communications and marketing next year into a director of public relations. That person is going to [be] tasked with creating flyers and doing all the graphic design for the organization. [Director of campus outreach] is going to work hand-in-hand with public relations, which is pretty much marketing/communications, in terms of distribution of information. The director of campus outreach will create a medium of communication that is easily accessible to students, so that, should they have a concern, they bring it to us.

Director of campus outreach will be responsible for tabling and gathering information, and distributing that information throughout SGA, so that, if a senator doesn’t have any inspiration to write legislation, or doesn’t know what’s going on, campus outreach is there to give a report of the current issues. The senates, hopefully, from there will take that information and write legislation.

DL: What issues right now do you see students concerned with?

AA: One of the biggest ones its parking and transportation. I’ve been on the Parking and Transportation Committee ever since I was a freshman; this year will be my third. I’ve seen a lot get done. We never promised that we would fix parking, because that’s out of our hands, and we don’t want to promise anything that’s unobtainable. What we are trying to do is ease up communication between Parking and Transportation Services and the students.

For example, if Highland Street one day is open — and you take it everyday — and then the next day it’s closed, we want to make sure there is a medium of communication for that. There have been talks of having a mass [text message] system that sends out, once students register for their permits, like resident permits for example. If you lived in Victory Hall, or Sante Fe, it asks you what hall you live in. You could send out emails related to parking based on what halls people live in. Santa Fe and Traditions, those halls close for game day. If you live there, and you leave your car parked there, it’ll get towed. So with this mass text system, you could send out an email, saying, ‘Hey, move your car before 7 a.m. or it’ll get towed.’”

A lot of the times students complain about parking, but don’t know where to complain to. So we’re trying to streamline that information.

DL: What else?

AA: The bus system is also another thing. We want to sit down with the director of Parking and Transportation Services. At the beginning of the fall, we’re going to be out there collecting information waiting at the bus stops, and saying, ‘Hey, what are your issues with the bus system?’” Once we have that information, we’ll see what it is that we can do in order to make things better. Whether it’s extending the bus route hours, or having more Campus Cruisers — or adding a stop at Walmart, because the Discovery Park route goes that way. It will honestly boil down to money, but if students are willing to pay an extra $5 on their parking and transportation fees.

DL: On Abbott, there was obviously a disconnect between the administration and the students. How could that disconnect be improved for the future?

AA: I think the resolution that is being presented about [Distinguished Lecture Series] having a hand in deciding who our commencement speaker is will be a big stride towards that. The committee is mostly students, and there’s one faculty member. The head of the committee will be me next year. So it’s pretty much student-run. I think that’s important in terms of deciding the commencement speaker, because at the end of the day, the students are graduating.

If you noticed, there was an opinion poll in the election, and that was basically asking students what your interests are for next year’s speaker. In the summer, the DLS committee sits down and looks at all the opinion poll results, and decides our speakers are going to be for the next year. Adding commencement to that would be awesome because it’s student-driven.

It’s important for students to voice their concerns. It’s nice to see passion with the students.

Featured Image of Adam Alattry by Rhiannon Saegert – News Editor.

About Author

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton is the editor of the Daily.

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