Matt Harris, who is running for executive vice president in Tuesday’s election, said one of the biggest things on his platform was the possible implementation of winter classes.
Harris said he and his campaign team surveyed 300 random students about a winter class period, and most of those surveyed said they would be interested in taking classes over winter break.
“Students would be able to go home and spend the holidays with their families and take an online class over winter break,” Harris said. “We’ve been working with Dr. [Judy] Bonner, and she’s also helping make a big push.”
Harris’ campaign is also looking into creating a study abroad group over winter break, he said.
This semester, rather than utilize a third-party program that claimed they could help students save $2,000 a year, Harris said he figured the task could be done better internally. So, another tenant of his campaign is the implementation of a student savings program.
“What we’re going to do is go around to all the local businesses and find all the discounts that they have, and we’re going to put them online,” Harris said.
He said the biggest issue on campus that he would help address is unity. He said he would focus on making everyone’s voices heard and making projects in SGA successful.
If elected, Harris said Crimson Tide long snapper Carson Tinker, a member of his campaign team, has spoken up and said he would like to help organize away game buses for students to use during football season.
“I’ll try to hit every corner of campus – members from athletics, independent students, second-term senators, members of the Communications school, transfer students – that’s how you make everyone’s voices heard,” he said.
Harris said another important issue on his platform is called Campus Connect, a program that was enacted this year, which he said still has room for improvement.
“I’m going to take it under EVP, and I’m going to go every week to at least one new organization and reach out and say, ‘This is what SGA is doing; this is what you can do to help,’ and most of all, ‘What can I do to help you?’” he said. “And if I can’t make it, we’re going to have an elected official go to a student group every single week to reach out to them.”
Harris said his experience in SGA separates him from Alex Clark, his opponent.
“Although we both have experience in SGA, I have more experience,” he said. “When you’re in SGA, you don’t just put it on a resume; you don’t just sign up. When you’re in SGA, you take action. You launch projects. You bring new [issues] to campus. That’s what separates me from my opponent. I have a proven platform and track record of great, successful projects.”
Harris said his experience would allow him to get into office and take action from day one.
“No one has to teach me how to do EVP,” he said. “No one has to give me instructions on what to do. I have a platform, and I have a plan to implement it.”
When asked whether he was being endorsed by the Machine, a secret coalition of traditionally white fraternities and sororities designed to influence campus politics, Harris referenced an article published in The Crimson White earlier in the semester that said he was their choice for EVP.
“The CW article that you guys published said that I am [the Machine-backed candidate], but I can’t control who they endorse, and you can’t control who they endorse,” Harris said. “All I can do is hope to run a successful campaign.”
Harris said he hasn’t received any campaign funding from the group.