Candidate hopes to improve advising

A.J. Collins

So there I am at Bama Bound, bright-eyed and optimistic, advising sheet in my hand. I walk over to the Arts and Sciences advisor to get cleared for registration, hoping for some assistance in picking classes. She looks at me confused and says, “I have no idea what you’re taking, but you look like you know, so go ahead and sign up.”


This wasn’t the last time students have clamored about the advising and registration process. For too long have students complained about the grading system and academic opportunities here at Alabama. Many of y’all feel limited by our academic bureaucracy and impersonal interactions with faculty. Well guys, I’m here to announce my candidacy for SGA vice president for Academic Affairs because I’ve had enough, and you have too.

Having sat on six different Executive Boards for student groups here at the Capstone (as well as SGA director for Academic Value, Curriculum and Advising), I have a wide range of experience in academic programming and initiatives. In leadership development, mentoring, research and honor societies, I’ve looked out for UA students in order to help y’all get a great degree. And I have a few ideas to get us moving forward.

How about peer advisors? Arts and Sciences has them, but giving every student the opportunity to meet with them will help y’all get the best classes and best advice that many faculty advisors don’t have.

What about investigating the plus/minus system? Until it’s standardized across campus, some majors will end up behind the eight ball on honor societies, scholarships and other fantastic opportunities. Some graduate programs don’t recognize the plus but gladly incorporate the minus.

Want money for research? Let’s expand financial allocations to individuals and groups, undergraduates and grad students alike to send UA students around the country.

Finally, how can UA students get jobs and scholarships in tough economic times? Let’s ensure that SGA publicizes these opportunities by working with on- and off-campus resources to boost our students ahead of the competition in seeking the best jobs.

Together, we can do all of these things and more so that YOU can get the most value out of your degree.

Stay ahead of the curve, UA. Make sure that you vote on March 6, and I hope that you vote A.J. for vice president for Academic Affairs. Be sure to help advance UA.


A.J. Collins is currently the SGA legislative chief of staff. He is running for the position of vice president for Academic Affairs.