OUR VIEW: Price McGiffert's platform needs more specific plans

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Price McGiffert is running for Vice President of External Affairs.

CW Editorial Board

Price McGiffert began his interview for SGA Vice President of External Affairs by informing us that he is a sixth-generation University of Alabama student, but he didn’t have to. He could have walked into any Crimson White SGA interview in the last century and been right in place – perhaps even more so than he is today. The position of VPEA is one that calls for a deep understanding of and connection to the Tuscaloosa community, and it is undeniable that Price possesses both, yet we remain skeptical of whether his platform reflects those qualities.

Our skepticism does not stem from the substance of any of his points, but rather whether any of them are achievable. In the transportation plank of his platform, Price floated the possibility of designated parking spaces for students; when pressed on the feasibility of this idea, he switched to an abstract concept of “more parking” generally speaking. While he has cited the arrival of Uber as progress on the transportation front, he did not mention any expansion of other ridesharing services or any form of public transportation.

Price’s plan to establish an internship program with either the state or city government is ambitious and seemingly achievable, but lacked concrete details. The Department of Political Science already offers course credit for some internships, but whether they would do so for yet another is an open question that Price could not answer. On the city side, Price assured us that Councilman and former SGA President Matt Calderone was receptive to the idea, and we trust that he will move forward with the plan if at all possible.

Safety is of paramount concern in Price’s platform, but as with the rest of his ideas, he did not offer definitive specifics. He did offer a host of potential reforms, including better lighting and increased police patrols, and a plan for a survey of students to best determine what steps should be taken to improve off-campus safety. We admire his self-awareness in this area and believe this is the correct approach.

Price’s connections and relationships with those whose approval would be necessary to accomplish his goals are very beneficial, and part of why this board has not written off many of his ideas as unachievable. However, that he did not take advantage of those relationships to have necessary conversations with stakeholders before his interview is concerning. We wonder whether this would be the case if he were running unopposed. Nonetheless, we view Price’s candidacy with cautious optimism, and hope that he has a successful tenure in the likely event he is elected. 

Our View represents the consensus of The Crimson White Editorial Board.