Q&A with Jillian Fields, candidate for SGA vice president of external affairs


CW / Hannah Saad

Zach Johnson | @ZachJohnsonCW, Staff Reporter

Jillian Fields is a sophomore from Dayton, Kentucky, majoring in management, psychology and public health. She is running unopposed for the SGA vice president of external affairs position.

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 started my career in SGA at Alabama with First Year Council, and I had the privilege of working with other really incredible First Year Councillors, which kind of sparked my passion for writing legislation and understanding that I could serve as an agent of change and as a representative of my peers, which made me want to get involved in Senate. This year I served as a College of Arts and Sciences Senator, where I was able to write legislation again, and I realized that external affairs is something I’m really passionate about, and that made me want to run for vice president for external [affairs].”

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

A: “A lot of the legislation I wrote this past year had to do with external affairs. For example, I wrote an act with Brooks [Payne] and Kate Arrington about proper disposal of prescription drugs, and we worked really close with the Tuscaloosa Police Department for that, which was kind of my first step in external affairs. I also have worked really closely with the SAFE Center on a few different things, and I volunteer every week at the West Alabama Food Bank, and I fostered a dog through the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, and so I’ve had a lot of connections with different organizations within our community, and I realize that, with the large amount of manpower that we have here on campus, there’s a lot we can do to effect change and to improve our relations within the community, and that was something I really thought I’d be able to do in this position.”

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

A: “I would say that the biggest problem I see is safety, especially for girls. This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the Panhellenic Think Tank, and girls from all different chapters were able to express their feelings and discuss with UAPD different things that they were concerned about regarding their safety, whether it was in terms of lighting on campus or off campus, or different apps that make them feel a little bit more safe, and that’s something I think that, especially being a girl representing other girls on campus, is something that I personally see as our biggest issue and something that I would really like to work with the other vice presidents this year to kind of combat.”

Q: What do you hope to change?

A: “Specifically, the No. 1 thing that I’d really like to work on is off-campus housing. So, obviously, a lot of luxury apartment buildings being built, which is great for the community, but at the same time, that’s something that we really need to worry about because of our students, because not everyone can afford to live in an apartment where the rent is $1,200 a month. So something that I really want to work on and work closely with the university officials is ensuring that off-campus housing remains affordable, just so that we’re really accommodating all of our students and not limiting where people can live.”

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

A: “I would say that something that I really hope all the voters know is that this is something that I’m really passionate about and, of course, I have ideas that I would like to work on that I really think are going to help everyone, but at the same time, I hope that people know that I’m extremely open, and I really want them to be able to express what they want to see changed on campus to me, and I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to make sure that all of those ideas can come to fruition, if possible. And if not, I’m going to continue to work to ensure that we can at least make strides towards making the changes that the students want to see.”