Casey Marley - Editor-in-chief

Garrett Stephens On Saturday, April 25, 2015 UAB USGA President Garrett Stephens announced in his “USGA Presidential Address” that the UA Board of Trustees met with Stephens, other USGA members, a Faculty senate representative and members of the Medical School Student Government on April 18. The meeting was purposefully scheduled before the end of the semester.

In the address, Stephens stated that this meeting “sets a promising precedent for more open communication and transparency between students and the Board of Trustees in the Future.”

While Stephens’ address covered more topics besides the B.o.T. meeting, Stephens took the time to talk to Kaleidoscope about the meeting on April 18 and his new series of presidential addresses.

Kscope: How was the Board of Trustees meeting initiated?

Stephens: The Secretary of the board, Mr. Michael Bownes, reached out to myself and Anjali Wagle in order to set up a meeting. We reached out to current and outgoing members of USGA and GSA to ensure that there were students with thorough knowledge of the situation present at the table.

Kscope: You mention that there was no strong support for using public funds for the athletics from the Board; did they mention the football program explicitly?

Stephens: When the discussion of funding arose, football and its feasibility was the main topic discussed.

Kscope: How should students address the Board when contacting them as they have asked, and why do you think students should contact the board?

Stephens: Although the Board of Trustees does not make direct decisions, they do vote upon them when presented by UAB administration. Students should reach out to the Board and let them know of any positive or negative qualities that have arisen due to decisions made at UAB or at the Board level. Board members also encouraged students to invite them on campus to speak. We must take advantage of that proposal. As students, we are their constituents, and need to voice our concerns so that it can be made clear what all stakeholders want. We encourage students to visit the UA System Board of Trustees website to locate their contact information.

Kscope: Will you have addresses during the summer months?

Stephens: At this time we will not be making any addresses over the summer. My transition into office in March was full of meetings with administrators and it is my obligation to let the students know what was happening. They will continue in the fall unless unforeseen circumstances permit a summer address. To ensure that we stay true to transparency we will be sure to share any news through our various social media outlets during summer months.

To read Stephen’s complete summary of the meeting, go to
http://www.uab.edu/usga/images/2014-2015/Documents/PSASP01.pdf on the UAB USGA website.

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