Chandler Wright

Stephen N. Dethrage

Chandler Wright, Advance UA’s candidate for vice president for Student Affairs said, if elected, she would work to improve communication on all levels of student government.

“As SGA members, we have this tendency to act like we know what every student wants,” Wright said. “In reality, we represent a very small, and in some cases, a not very diverse percentage of campus. “

To address this, Wright said she would create a committee on information within SGA. This committee would be responsible for gathering information from all groups on campus, utilizing polls to gather ideas, petitions and student opinions. Wright said the biggest issue facing campus that she could take steps to improve is a general lack of communication. She said communication that was better facilitated could be an immediate fix to several problems on campus and a step in the right direction for some of campus’ biggest problems.

“Racial tension and the Machine are certainly bigger issues, and I can work towards them interpersonally,” Wright said. “Realistically, though, in my position, I am not going to have any huge impact on the way racial relations develop on campus, but if we can increase communication between these groups, that’s a testament to progress, and it’s a good start.”

Wright also said she wanted to create a program called Beginning at Bama, a course that out-of-state freshmen would take to lessen the culture shock of starting their new lives as students at the University. The course would give a history of the city and campus and outline unresolved issues in the University’s culture, which Chandler said surprised her as an out-of-state student when she came to campus.

“This class would just be a comprehensive history of Tuscaloosa and the University. I mean, there are students who don’t know who George Wallace was and the impact he had on this campus,” Wright said. “I don’t think the University is going to be open to a class on the Machine, but that’s not necessarily the goal of this class. I think it’s important to have those dialogues, but I don’t think the University is ever going to be in a place to facilitate them. “

Wright said she had been endorsed and supported financially by the Machine in her past SGA elections but realized the system was unsustainable and is now running independently of their support.

“Last spring, I was elected to Senate in the College of Communication and Information Sciences by the Machine,” Wright said. “In some ways, I owe a lot to the Machine. They helped me run my senate campaign last year. But what I learned most in the basement of the Phi Delta Theta house with a group of fellow senators every Tuesday night for the past year is that this sort of corrupt politics is unsustainable. This system is one that is painfully flawed and needs to be changed.”