SGA senators call for new funding

Elise Ferrer, Jesse Turner, Patrick Fitzgerald

Patrick Fitzgerald

Today, the SGA Senate will vote on whether to pass the Spirit of Alabama Act. The vote will be simple. We will either do the right thing (work together to reform and retool the SGA into the system that our students deserve) or we will do the comfortable thing (choose to continue to let the SGA come up short of fulfilling the needs of our constituents).

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the SGA. The Spirit of Alabama Act, a direct reinvestment into our student body of over $900,000, will be a great first step forward for the next 100 years of SGA work. I have been blessed to have cosponsors to help me craft this legislation. Two of them are Elise Ferrer and Jesse Turner – their testimonies can be read below.

Jesse Turner

Although there are dark clouds surrounding this plan from the SGA’s Executive Branch, my 14 cosponsors and I have faith that our colleagues will dig deep, work together and do the right thing. Today, with the passage of this bill, we can feed 250 food insecure students for a year, bring more people and ideas to the SGA’s table, save the bankrupted FAC fund for clubs and organizations (which is empty with 5 months remaining in the fiscal year), greatly expand on our investment in student scholarships and reward our hard working students with a phenomenal spring concert, with an operating budget larger than any other concert hosted on this campus. I pray for the safe passage of this bill, allowing us to enact common sense reforms to improve our struggling SGA. I also gladly invite the Capstone to be there at 6 p.m. tonight in third floor of the Ferguson Center to hold our SGA accountable for what it was elected to be – a true voice for the needs of the people.

Elise Ferrer

Today, an act of immense merit and potential will receive a verdict in our SGA Senate. This act, titled the Spirit of Alabama, has the power to positively impact thousands of individuals not only on this campus but also in the Tuscaloosa and Alabama communities. The initiative, which calls for a mere $12.50 charge per student each semester, will fund programs that provide meals to impoverished students, financially aid the 400+ organizations on campus, unify the diverse university body and support the educational advancement of our students. If this act were to fail, the Senate would be committing a grave injustice to the trusting students of this university.

Last Spring, on the steps of the Gorgas House, I made a pledge to my university and to my peers. I pledged to represent my fellow students with justice, integrity and morality, always keeping in mind that I serve not myself, but the greater good of this campus. With this in mind, I cannot stand to see this legislation, written with such valid intent and passion, be voted down. As its title suggests, this act is the Spirit of Alabama. It is progress. It is the Capstone Creed set in motion. It is what the campus needs. I urge all students to reach out to your college’s Senators and ask them to support this visionary act. Thank you and Roll Tide!

Patrick Fitzgerald and Elise Ferrer are SGA Senators representing Commerce and Business Administration. Jesse Turner is a SGA Senator representing the College of Education.