Q&A with Jason Rothfarb, vice president of Student Affairs candidate

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Q&A with Jason Rothfarb, vice president of Student Affairs candidate

Halle Bonner, Contributing Writer

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Q: Where are you from? What year are you? What are you majoring in?

A: Johns Creek, Georgia, sophomore, political science

Q: How did you originally get involved with SGA? Or if you’re not currently involved, what made you want to get involved?

A: I applied for First Year Council and didn’t get it, but my friend, my roommate at the time, got it, and he would just tell me about everything he was doing, and it was of interest to me. So by the time elections came around, one of my fraternity brothers was a senator, so I just started going to Senate meetings and proxying for him and then ended up deciding to run.

Q: What made you want to get involved?

A: I really like just leading and serving people I guess, and then I also, with a political science major, I like all the political aspects of it like writing bills, and I shouldn’t like that stuff, but that’s what I do. So it’s just exciting to me, and it’s something to also meet people.

Q: What made you want to run for this position?

A: So I’m currently the head of Student Affairs Committee in Senate, and then most of my legislation I passed just worked out to be in the Student Affairs department, so it just made sense for me to run for this position, and I just have a strong passion for the student affairs aspect of SGA and just all the other the positions I didn’t think I would do the best at, so that’s why I decided to run for Student Affairs.

Q: What makes you the best choice for this office?

A: So I think just my experience with, like I said earlier, everything I did in Senate was based on student affairs, and I worked throughout the whole term very close with Clay Martinson who’s the current vice president of Student Affairs, which is just huge for me to be under his wing. But one of the biggest parts of this position is block seating, and I actually re-did the block seating format for this year, so I have the most like firsthand experience on how the new system is going to work. So, like being the one behind it, it just like made sense to me to be able to also take charge of it.

Q: What’s the biggest problem you see on campus?

A: I think the biggest problem on campus is the divide between students. As an SGA leader, I see many students on campus not know how to express their concerns to student leaders and see the change they want in their university. Students should be able to easily express their concern to student leaders and see the changes they want to be seen. One of my platform points is to establish an SGA town hall forum communication system to campus. This will allow communication to be easier, and so SGA can further serve and address students’ wants and needs.

Q: What do you hope to change?

A: So a few things are parking at the Rec Center because it’s a mess, and a lot of people get fined or they complain about having to just pay if you have a parking pass or don’t have a parking pass. So one thing I want to do is partner with a parking service app online to where the price for parking goes down tremendously. A lot of people buy a parking pass just so they can go to the Rec, which is around $300, $200, like $300 or $400, so having an online parking system would be a lot better for UA because they’ll get more money in the end over a long period of time, but also for the students because they don’t have to be out of the pocket $300 to go use an Alabama facility, so that is one of my main platform points.

Another one is upgrading and expanding our food pantry because it’s often depleted, and not that many people know that we even have a food pantry. We have a new partnership with Coca-Cola, so if we can get a grant from them and then also work with the West Alabama Food Bank to have a constantly stacked pantry, that would be huge for students who need it because right now, it’s hard for us to provide just because our food pantry is often depleted.

And then working with restaurants around Tuscaloosa to provide dean’s list and president’s list dinner discounts. So like if you make the dean’s list or president’s list that semester, you can go to a restaurant, and then hopefully we’ll work on a discount to where you can get a certain percentage off your meal or like a free appetizer if you make the list just to reward students for their academic success outside the classroom.

Q: What’s one last thing you want voters to know about you?

A: I want them to know that I’m open. A lot of the time there is a stigma that SGA leaders are hard to go up to and executive board. As a senator, I was hesitant to speak to executive members just because I like looked up to them as a different title than what I had, and I want people to know that I’m completely open and a student just like everyone else and nothing about me that makes me more special than someone in a leadership role. The SGA motto is “students serving students,” and that’s what I want to do.