Sufia Alam
Campus Editor

As the new academic year approaches, the Undergraduate Student Government Association is hard at work preparing for future with new initiatives and programs to introduce this fall.

Mugdha Mokashi, a senior in neuroscience and a member of the Masters of Public Health fast-track program, will replace Fernando Colunga as USGA President. During the 2016-2017 school year, Mokashi served as the Director of Student Issues for USGA's Executive Council.

According to Mokashi, what will make this year like no other is the return of UAB football.

“We finally have our team back," said Mokashi. “We get our school spirit back. We get our student athletes back. And this time, hopefully all of us will really get to experience some school spirit.”

Along with the return of football, Mokashi has hinted introducing new initiatives such as implementing new sustainability programs, approaching and meeting the needs of many minority groups on campus and bringing awareness to issues such as feminine hygiene and mental health.

Siddharth Srikakolapu, a junior double in neuroscience and philosophy, will rise to the position of USGA vice president.

“My goals include empowering USGA Senators to accomplish their own initiatives by providing them with greater resources and guidance, expanding recycling while reducing the use of Styrofoam at campus restaurants, working with UAB Dining to make small but achievable improvements to the Commons [on the Green] and supporting mental health by building a stronger connection between USGA and UAB Student Counseling Services,” Srikakolapu said.

Renuka Srivastava, a junior in political science and international studies, will serve as the USGA Attorney General this year and plans to bring more awareness of student's representation options on campus.

“Every student on campus should have clear communication with their judicial branch as well as know what to do in their time of need,” said Srivastava. “We’re definitely here to help.”

One initiative all three members of the USGA look forward to is involving the upcoming freshman this year.

“I’m excited to help them learn when you’re very passionate about something, UAB will almost always let you peruse it,” said Mokashi. “I’m doing HIV research on the LBGTQ community at the Dominican Republic all fully-paid by UAB. As a 20-year-old, that’s amazing, and it’s all because I asked.”

Sufia Alam can be reached at

Aura and Real Life Poets host 2nd annual Spoken Truth Poetry Festival

Join us for a full day of artistry and workshops at the Spoken Truth Poetry Festival on April 14, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at UAB’s Hill Student Center. Admission is free for all attendees. Aura Literary Arts Review (UAB) and Real Life Poets, Inc. have partnered to bring an array of activities to this year’s poetry festival, including a variety of workshops, a poetry slam, and a special poetry showcase highlighting spoken word performers in the region. Workshops begin at 1 p.m. with topics varying from the art of performing poetry, how to become a published author, and how to create your own handmade magazine.

Poetry slam participants must be between the ages of 15 and 21. The poetry slam begins at 5 p.m., followed by the poetry showcase at 6:30 p.m. We believe that art is a vital form of expression that develops independence, enhances creative and critical thinking, and encourages higher order thinking such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Art crosses cultural boundaries and breaks down social, religious and racial barriers. UAB’s Aura Literary Arts Review and Real Life Poets, Inc. aim to encouraging artistic expression, especially amongst the youth and young adults in our community who will someday help activate and bring about change in our world. So be prepared to enjoy a monumental day of truth and expression!

*To register to attend the workshops or participate in the poetry slam, visit For media inquiries only, contact 205.585.8271 or email

Spoken Truth Poetry Festival April 14 workshops begin at 1pm and continue until 5pm where the poetry slam and showcase will begin

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USGA to reign in new president: Candidates introduce platforms of their campaign to student body

pres pose 3 1 of 5Siddharth Srikakolapu

pres pose 2 1 of 2Erica Webb

pres pose 1 1 of 4Kevin Pittman

Photos by Laykn Shepard / Photo Editor

Lauren Moore/Campus Editor

As a young and growing institution, UAB looks to student leaders to help shape the future of the university. USGA hosted their 2018 Presidential Debate Thursday, March 1.

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Black Panther Movie Review  

Jo Wright
Life & Style Reporter

The release of Black Panther over President’s Day weekend spurred plenty of excitement, evidenced by its immense success in the box office. The original estimate of $165 million was eclipsed by the $242 million made domestically. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, features a nearly all-black cast and qualitative female-empowering roles.   

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How to survive to school shooting: Capt. Amy Schreiner shares with students how to live through an on-campus shooting

Sufia Alam
Campus Editor

According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly half of those who commit or attempt to carry out a homicide at a school usually present some type of warning sign, such as telling others about their plan or leaving a note before the event.   

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