Swinson aims to assist VPs


Will Tucker

Current Vice President of Student Affairs and candidate for Executive Vice President Stephen Swinson said he wants to take more of a managing role over the vice presidents in the SGA office.

“I can relate to what the vice presidents will go through,” he said.

Swinson noted several policies he plans to implement if he is elected as executive vice president, a position that will undergo several changes as a result of the SGA constitutional overhaul. For instance, the executive vice president will no longer preside over the SGA Senate as it did in the past, but will be tasked with aiding and overseeing executive council projects.

Swinson said he will be available to help vice presidents accomplish their initiatives and will prevent vice presidents from interfering and invading in the other vice presidents’ initiatives.

“Simply, if the VP of student affairs has a project that is more financial affairs related… I’ll be there to be the mediator, to help them work together,” he said. “If they have an initiative they hope to accomplish, they should do it, but work within appropriate channels.”

He said this role would allow for better communication among the vice presidents and help each vice president concentrate on their own initiatives.

Swinson also supports bringing the Zimride carpool system, a social media tool that helps people coordinate carpooling via online message boards, to the University.

“We’re working on it right now with auxiliary services,” he said. “It would help alleviate parking pressures on campus.”

Swinson said he supports making the campus healthier and safer, as well, citing a friend who drank too much and consumed too many substances. He suggested a policy that would give students the option of registering house parties with Tuscaloosa Police so that the police could call or text the host in the event of a noise complaint, rather than having to come off the streets to break up the party. Under the plan, the students would have 20 minutes to break up the party themselves before the police arrive.

“I want to at least begin talking to [Tuscaloosa Police],” he said. “The University of Colorado has a program like this … it can help students stay out of trouble.”

Additionally, Swinson said he would work on implementing policies that would allow students to call the police to help friends facing alcohol-related incidents and get rewarded for doing so, so that more students will not dump friends off at the hospital.

Swinson said he hopes to raise $20,000 in scholarship money, as well. He said he believed scholarships and football are probably what students care about the most.

While some students do not have a positive impression of the SGA, Swinson said he wants to showcase what the SGA is doing.

“One of Stephen’s greatest assets is that he’s been able to work with a large staff this year,” said Nicole Bohannon, current executive vice president. “It’s prepared him to oversee the vice presidents next year.

“He’s proven to be very innovative this year,” she said. “That’s going to be very critical with the changes to the office with the new constitution.”

Swinson will be unopposed on the ticket when students vote March 8.