SGA SENATE’S EFFORT TO HELP ALABAMA ACHIEVE REFORM
Senate’s resolution condemns the illegitimate control of Alabama’s student government by the Machine and recommends their SGA Elections Board adopt a reform initiative.
- The Machine is a secret society composed of traditionally all-white fraternities and sororities. The society has dominated Alabama’s SGA for most of the past 100 years.
- Most recently the Machine-backed senators in Alabama’s SGA have tried to block the Chief of Staff nominations of newly elected president Elliot Spillers, the first African-American SGA president since Cleo Thomas in 1976. Spillers is also the first candidate in almost 30 years to defeat a Machine-backed presidential candidate.
- USM’s Senate resolution refers to a reform initiative proposed in January by the United Alabama Project (UAP), a watchdog group that monitors SGA activity.
- UAP’s initiative calls for the legitimization of the Machine as a political party that can be held accountable, and for the Elections Board to allow equally capable political parties to form.
- Southern Miss became involved because if Alabama’s Elections Board experiences outside pressure from other universities, then maybe the board will adopt the proposal and introduce much needed reform to their campus politics.
- UAP and other advocates have already reached out to other university SGAs for support, such as University of Kentucky, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, Auburn University and others.
- If USM’s Senate passes the resolution, then other universities may follow up with similar resolutions of their own, increasing the outside pressure on Alabama’s Elections Board.