Candidates have different ideals

Our View

When students vote for SGA president tomorrow, they will not just pick a person. They will pick an idea.

Both Grant Cochran and Nancy Hogan have great strengths and talents, but their qualifications are different and appeal to different segments of the student body.

Cochran has spent three years in the SGA. He has experience managing a variety of projects and initiatives. As Vice President for External Affairs this past year, he has brought in a diverse staff and developed a broad portfolio. If he is elected, he will be able to immediately begin addressing important issues, because he has already been working on them.

Coresa Nancy Hogan, on the other hand, has only spent two months in the SGA, as senior advisor to the president. However, in her time at the Capstone, she has served on seven executive boards, and is currently the president of the Black Student Union. If elected, she would have an enormous opportunity to transform the face of The University of Alabama and engage disenfranchised and disparate student groups.

Cochran would be able to develop and manage SGA projects; Hogan would be able to finally give the student body a sense of unity and identity.

At the end of the day, the decision therefore comes down to what students care more about: having an SGA president who is prepared and ready, or having a transformer who would make news immediately just for running against the system and winning.

This is the choice students face in this election. This is the choice students are likely to face in future elections.

We regret the current state of campus politics. The lack of competition in executive races, the hurdles that face women and minorities, and the disconnect that some students feel towards campus involvement are preventing the student body from reaching its full potential. These circumstances will not change, though, until the University’s current power structure breaks down.

However, we are not convinced that being part of the campus political establishment alone disqualifies a candidate to be SGA president. As concerning as the system that produces most of our SGA leaders is, good people can occasionally emerge from it and be successful. During his time in SGA, Cochran has been a part of the effort to make the SGA more diverse, and launched important projects like the Women’s Political Initiative.

At the same time, we are not convinced that experience alone qualifies someone to become SGA president. It is a lot easier to accumulate SGA experience if one has the support of entrenched powerbrokers. Hogan’s work with other groups has made her more prepared for addressing their concerns if she is elected.

Therefore, we believe either one would serve the student body well. However, we also believe it is important that students begin thinking about these issues, and cast their vote on who fits their idea of a good SGA president: someone with a long and distinguished record of service in student government, or someone with great potential to change campus culture. Only the students who vote can decide.

 

Our View is the consensus of the Crimson White editorial board.