If elected, transparency, diversity will be a high priority in the SGA

Guest Column

My name is Khortlan Patterson, and I am running for the position of Executive Secretary within the Student Government Association. I am a sophomore student currently serving as Vice President of Internal Affairs within the Honors College Assembly. I am also a moderator with Sustained Dialogue and a Member At Large representative of the Student Leaders Council.

As an SGA Executive Secretary candidate, I feel charged to use this position to provide a greater sense of transparency between members of the Student Government Association and the student body it represents. I firmly believe that the first step in empowering our student body and giving that body a voice is to make available detailed information about the proceedings of the SGA. Furthermore, publicizing this information will provide some accountability for the members of the SGA to adhere to the voices of the student body.

If elected, I will implement a plan to develop and maintain a digital archive containing digital recordings of all the meetings of the SGA. The importance of recording the meetings as opposed to keeping a written record cannot be over-emphasized, as it will ensure that the meetings in their entirety be made available.

A policy of strict transparency is one part of my broader passion for inclusiveness on campus. It is important that we have an SGA that is representative of the entire student body, not just a select demographic. To this end, I have devoted my campaign efforts toward reaching out to groups who have not been adequately represented in the past.

In my college career thus far, I have had many experiences and managed responsibilities that make me a highly qualified candidate for Executive Secretary. One unique experience came during the fall semester of 2013, as I helped plan and lead a peaceful demonstration on the Capstone dubbed “The Final Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.” The demonstration included students, faculty and members of the University of Alabama community standing unified to speak out against racial discrimination on campus. The effort was crucial to our campus because it empowered students to exercise their ability to change the dynamics of campus. This is the same ability that I hope to recognize if elected to serve as Executive Secretary.

As current Vice President of Internal Affairs of the Honors College Assembly, my responsibilities include, among other duties, documenting meeting minutes and serving as a source of historical information for members of the Assembly. I have every intention of using this same integrity and diligence as Executive Secretary.

It has been said of me that I am “a woman with a heart of her peers.” I am deeply devoted to inclusiveness and do not take lightly my responsibility to act as a change agent within the positions I currently hold. It is these qualities and on-campus involvements and endeavors that have prepared me to truly act as the voice of the entire student body as Executive Secretary of the Student Government Association.

Khortlan Patterson is a candidate for the position of SGA Executive Secretary.