Kyle Zimmerman, the current associate vice president for External Affairs, feels that the current SGA office of External Affairs is not fulfilling its purpose.
“We aren’t fulfilling our duties of being a liaison position between the University of Alabama, the City of Tuscaloosa and the state,” said Zimmerman.
Strengthening this relationship between UA, the city and the state is Zimmerman’s primary goal in his campaign to be vice president of External Affairs. He said he will begin by attending City Council meetings weekly and the Chamber of Commerce meetings monthly.
Zimmerman is part of the Advance UA movement, a coalition of five students not backed by the Machine running for different vice presidential positions in the SGA.
Zimmerman hopes to build upon several preexisting SGA organizations and events such as Higher Education Day, the Voter Registration Drive and the SGA Blood Drive.
Along with improving these programs, Zimmerman has the idea of creating new organizations, such as a UA Taxi Service, that will be a punch card system. Students will be able to purchase punch cards that they can use to access a taxi service. This taxi service will be able to take them around campus and Tuscaloosa at the cost of one punch to their card.
“One punch will get you anywhere you need to go within five miles,” Zimmerman said. “More than five miles will cost two punches.”
Zimmerman wants to create a West Alabama Business Showcase, an event where students can discover job opportunities and meet with business executives from across the state.
“Students can go to the showcase to be interviewed, meet the businesses and get their names and information out,” Zimmerman said.
There are several organizations across campus that have not been as successful as he had hoped that Zimmerman hopes to revitalize and involve with the SGA.
“They have fizzled out because no one has reached out to them,” Zimmerman said. “That’s something I want to change.”
For example, Zimmerman is interested in UA ECO’s efforts to make UA a more eco-friendly campus. Zimmerman wants to create an SGA backed “Crimson Going Green” fund that will help promote the environment across campus. The SGA will sell T-shirts to raise money to support eco-friendly projects.
Zimmerman is pushing for improvements to off-campus safety, in particular 12th and 13th Streets, where there are problems such as porch lights being out. He says all students should feel safe on and around the UA campus.
“We are the biggest advocacy group on campus,” Zimmerman said in regards to the SGA.
Zimmerman said the biggest problem on UA campus is getting people to be real and genuine.
“As a member of the SGA, you must express to yourself and humble yourself that you are just like everyone else,” Zimmerman said.