The future of academics at UA


Emily Cerrina

My name is Emily Cerrina, and I am a sophomore from Ridgewood, New Jersey majoring in Elementary Education. I am seeking to further my commitment to the Student Government Association and the student body at The University of Alabama by becoming your next Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Travelling over a thousand miles away from my hometown, I was eager to become involved on campus as a freshman and to make an impact within the Tuscaloosa community. I held employment for over a year and a half at The Center for Academic Success (CAS) located at Osband Hall where my passion for academia truly bloomed. At the CAS, I saw thousands of students pass through the doors to study for upcoming exams, utilize computer resources and join group tutorial sessions. Additionally, some of my other notable accomplishments as a freshman were earning a Senate seat representing the College of Education, cofounding the She’s The First* organization on campus and being selected to join the Academic Honor Council (AHC). Over the past year, I have authored several pieces of legislation benefitting and supporting the academic community; however, I do not want my impact on campus to cease as I end my term as Senator. As the next Vice President of Academic Affairs, I know that I will be able to propel the amazing programs and initiatives Addison Arnold and Laura Gregory completed during their terms, as well as implement innovative ideas of my own.

Among the many objectives I wish to fulfill, there are three main goals during my term I yearn to complete as VPAA: (1) Become the leader and driving force in creating priority registration for veterans and their dependents; (2) Develop a stronger partnership with the Academic Honor Council to terminate the growing problem of plagiarism and student academic misconduct that plagues the Capstone; and (3) Design a website for UA students that will allow them to view open library seats and study rooms, an extremely helpful resource during final examinations.

As a person who has had family members serve in the military, I have heard first hand the struggles and obstacles veterans and their dependents face. At the Capstone, the process through which students register for classes is archaic. Other top universities and colleges are eons ahead with regards to registration as well as addressing the needs of veterans on their campuses. I have met with the College Veterans Association here at UA, and I have heard their concerns. Aside from priority class registration, CVA members and student veterans would like a separate Bama Bound session, an online “tool kit” that professors and administration can use when handling special situations with student veterans, and to establish permanent SGA positions for managing veteran affairs. After devoting years of their lives to protect our country, UA veterans and their dependents deserve not only respect, but also the convenience of priority registration.

My passion to become the next Vice President of Academic Affairs also stems from my extensive knowledge of the underutilized and underappreciated academic resources our University provides, such as free tutoring services and the Center for Academic Success. As VPAA, I will reform the Academic Honor Council ensuring that they create new initiatives and have a larger role on campus. With the AHC, one of my first initiatives will be to create a weekly emailed academic newsletter to all students entailing academic club meetings, scholarship forums, job opportunities, and advertisements for free tutorial sessions. No matter what college or field of study, students on campus need to be held to higher academic standards. As your VPAA, academic integrity will be one of my top priorities.

Another immensely important goal that I plan to make a reality during my term as VPAA involves creating a website that gives students the accessibility and means to search for available seats in libraries. This website will be especially utilized during test weeks when numerous libraries on campus are filled to the brim and seats are scarce. I want students to have the knowledge and the ability to see where they can find a space to prepare for an exam, and to finish assignments. Also, given the ability to view which conference rooms are booked will ease the process of meeting for collaborative group assignments. Having such a website will serve as an asset for the study body, and as VPAA I want to make this idea a reality.

Academically uniting the Alabama campus is my passion. As students, we need to be held to higher academic standards. As VPAA, I want to see my fellow Capstone students increase their GPAs and take advantage of every possible educational opportunity. With my platform in place, each college on campus will grow, and academic strides will be made. Thank you, and on March 1, I would be honored to receive your vote.

Emily Cerrina is a sophomore majoring in education. She is running for Vice President of Academic Affairs.