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Saturday, March 23, 2019

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SGA Presidential Candidate Column: Allison Lawrence of Students Unite


Lawrence has a wealth of experience within SGA and has accomplished many initiatives that have helped students. | Photo courtesy of Allison Lawrence

Running for SGA president requires experience, knowledge of the University and passion to help the students around you. Throughout all of my positions on campus, I have strived to make an impact and reach out to as many students as possible.

I started out as an ambassador to the Women and Gender Resource Center and LGBTQ Resource Center, which gave me the opportunity to lobby at the U.S. Capitol on behalf of UH. I became a Get Involved ambassador and spoke to over 10,000 students at every 2018-2019 New Student Orientation, Transfer Orientation and International Orientation.

I am currently the Chief of Staff in SGA, and I have worked on many initiatives, including negotiating with Chartwells to get better quality, cheaper and a larger variety of menstrual products on campus. The Cougar Card office collaborated with me to pass the Transgender Inclusion Act that allows preferred names on course rosters and on University documentation.

I worked to combat food insecurity on campus by drafting a survey to measure the problem of student hunger and facilitated a food drive on campus that collected 555 pounds of food. I addressed the concern of campus security by establishing the Cougar Pack, a safety escort program run by student leaders that functions as a supplement to UHPD’s current escort program.

As president, I would work on attaining higher wages for students by raising the minimum wage on campus from $7.47 to $9.00, and eventually to $10.00. I have already started working on this initiative by meeting with Auxiliary Services and Administration and Finance, who support this initiative and are currently working with us to set a timeline for its implementation.

It’s important to advocate for higher wages because college is extremely expensive, and our goal is to help reduce the financial burden many students have had to undertake by simply attending college.

I met with the associate director of the Student Health Center to discuss the process of taking third-party insurance. The Student Health Center is a service that every student pays for but very few can easily use.

I want to change this by advocating for students and their right to healthcare. I have begun working with the Office of Sustainability to start a Green Fund by reallocating a portion of student fees for a secure pool of funding for any green initiatives on campus.

It is vital that the University shows its support for sustainability, especially since we are located in Houston — a city with an economy fueled by oil.

I want to run for SGA president because I want to continue my impact at this University that I love.

Our students are the future — future doctors, lawyers, professors, and our future matters. I want to provide every student with the best experience possible at the University and support their aspirations through improving UH. Becoming SGA president will give me a platform to finish the initiatives I have started, accomplish new goals and help as many students as possible.

Allison Lawrence is running for SGA President on the Students Unite ticket. Find out more about her campaign and goals by visiting the Students Unite website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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