SGA presidential candidate David Wilson said he would work to implement a new freshman-level class, tentatively named UA 101, which all freshmen students would enroll in to be better exposed to the University of Alabama, if elected on Tuesday.
The class, which would be pass/fail and one credit hour, would group freshmen from all across campus with an older student for the entire first semester, Wilson said.
“Having a program like this would revolutionize our freshmen experience,” he said. “I think the first year is so crucial. It’s important to make sure that we’re not divided, that we’re unified and that students get involved when they get here.”
Wilson said he would also work alongside the Career Center to make sure students can find jobs.
“When you come in as a freshman, it’s about making sure you’re plugged in, and then, for your junior and senior year, it’s about making sure you’re plugged out, in a way,” he said.
Wilson’s platform also includes continuing to boost the international community and creating task forces to reevaluate programs that are already in existence, such as the plus/minus system.
He said it was important to ensure members of the SGA were actively going out on campus and starting programs to benefit students in the long run. In doing so, Wilson said more opportunities would arise for them.
“I want to make sure the SGA is working across campus to provide opportunities to open doors for other students. That’s what’s crucial,” he said. “It doesn’t need to just be an open door policy. It needs to be, ‘Hey, I’m going to come to you.’ That’s what’s going to help the campus grow.”
Wilson also said student organization seating can be a great thing at the University, as long as it’s fair, open and honest. He said it was important to make sure the application process was not rushed, and, in doing so, the program could become a good incentive for those involved.
He said there are a lot of students on campus who think that he’s out to get the Machine, a select coalition of traditionally white fraternities and sororities designed to influence campus politics, but that this is not the case at all.
“There came a time when I realized that I just couldn’t be a part of Machine stuff any more,” he said. “You come in as a freshman, and you just want to be involved, so you get involved, but over time, I learned more and more, and my heart became more and more aware of, ‘This isn’t the right thing,’ and of course it’s hard. Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, he just wanted to use it to get somewhere,’ but if I wanted to do that, I would have used the Machine to be SGA president. But I just knew that wasn’t right.”
Wilson said he didn’t want to be painted as the anti-Machine candidate because he still has a lot of friends in the organization.
“I love my friends in the Machine,” he said. “We just disagree on the way that their organization operates. I feel that the way the Machine currently operates is not good for our campus.”
Wilson said he became both a senator and vice president through the Machine, but, over time, started to see things for how they truly are.
“This is not a plan I’ve had since freshman year,” Wilson said. “There just came a point later in my college career when I realized I couldn’t do this anymore. I love the greek system, and I believe it’s crucial to the development of our University. The path that I’ve chosen is very difficult, and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But simply because it’s the right thing to do, this is the path I had to choose. I’m not angry at the Machine – they’ve given me everything I’ve ever wanted. Why would I be angry with them? It just simply came down to what did I believe was the right thing to do and what was the best thing for campus.”