Candidate Q&A: David Williams
What follows is a partial transcription of an interview The Daily Cougar conducted with SGA presidential candidate David Williams. Each of the SGA presidential candidates will be featured in our “Candidate Q&A” series this week.
The Daily Cougar: What are three things you would like voters to know about you?
David Williams: I’m a hard worker. I have the students’ best interests at heart. I am a people person.
Hard worker means that if I set my mind to something and I see that something needs to be done, I’m going to follow through and make sure it does get completed in any ethical means necessary.
As far as students’ best interests at heart, I realize when I came to UH that, yes, the educational status was Tier One, but there are many other divisions of the school that are not.
I hear my fellow students complain about so many things, and I feel like the administration hasn’t had a chance to get to those issues yet because they have their own things that they have prioritized.
I listen to people. I can take constructive criticism.
TDC: How do you think your involvement in organizations (outside of SGA) will help you if you become president?
DW: In Omega Delta Phi fraternity, I’ve been in several leadership positions. Those being recruitment chairman, standards officer — which upholds the law of the organization — vice president and I’m the current president.
So, it has taught me to deal with different personalities in a small group of people and it’s taught me how to motivate people to get the business at hand completed.
Now as far as the Multicultural Greek Council — I was the external vice president. The Multicultural Greek Council has 20 organizations under its umbrella.
I dealt with all the events, such as expansion — to add more organizations into Multicultural Greek Council and also recruitment.
So, that taught me to be extremely organized, to be extremely efficient, and it taught me interpersonal relationship skills — not just with individuals, but with organizations.
TDC: What do you think is the best thing SGA has done since the summer session?
DW: Two things. I am glad that SGA pushed for us to pass the new incentive in order to build the stadium. However, the only thing I didn’t like about that was I wish it wasn’t 25 years, I think it should have been five years. Just so in five years we could have looked at it, so we could see if the student fee was still needed.
And I believe that regardless of your sexual orientation, everybody is equal. I believe in equality. And SGA helped push to change the (non-discrimination section of the student handbook) and I’m proud they did that because most people would have not done that.
Most organizations would not have even touched the issue. What that showed me is SGA is really here for the students — they’re not here just to have the position and to have the prestige that goes along with it.
TDC: And going on that theme, what do you think SGA needs to improve on?
DW: I think they need to have more sessions where they actually sit down and talk to students. That way they can get to the real nitty-gritty of what’s really going on, and what really are the issues. Because I think everything is more of a larger scale and there are so many small things that need to be fixed that will ultimately solve the big issues.
TDC: And how, as president, do you think you’ll go about finding out what the issues are?
DW: I already have. Even before I decided I was going to run for president. Like I said, I always listen, and I think one of the main things is not being scared to talk to anybody and everybody.
One, from a smaller scale, is financial aid. What I’ve realized is, financial aid here, the average student here gets his or her financial aid a week to two weeks after school has started. That’s an issue. Because if we’re going to have a Tier One educational system that’s going to challenge us, then need to be set up for success and we’re not.
And students aren’t getting it until two to three weeks. Two to three weeks? You got an exam within the next two weeks, and if you didn’t have your books because you’re waiting for your financial aid to come in, that’s a major issue.
TDC: How do you plan on dealing with real problems that the student body faces?
DW: First thing, I would have to go to the students to find out what the exact issues are.
And then from there I’m going to go up the chain of command, and then it’s my job at that point to get it resolved. And I understand that it’s not going to be quick, but it is going to be something with these hot button issues that I need to stay on it.
If we don’t say the voice of the students, they’ll just go on to something else. That’s what SGA is here for.
TDC: Why do you want to be SGA president?
DW: Because I want to change the view of this University. I love this University, and like I said before, I think the educational part of it is Tier One, but everything else needs to meet up with that.
For more information on this and other candidates, go to thedailycougar.com/tags/sga2012.