SGA Secretary Candidate: Bianca Franklin

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Christine Shelton, Editor-in-Chief

Bianca Franklin, a junior biology pre-health major and chemistry and Spanish minor, is vying to be the next 2021-22 Student Government Association (SGA) Secretary. The South Bronx, New York native, is the daughter of Sherille J. Kenner (deceased), and then later, her aunt, Shawana Kenner, became her guardian. While she is from the South Bronx, she went to Mountain View High School in Lawrence, Georgia. During her high school time, she was president of FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), where she competed in in-state conferences, displaying leadership within her chapter.

She was also a part of her school’s “Relay for Life” team, fundraising and giving the proceeds to cancer research. Franklin received an award for raising the most money individually on the team. She graduated from Mountain View High School with honors and received a humanitarian medal for completing a certain amount of acts of kindness. Since attending the university, she has been a five-time dean’s list recipient and a part of several organizations, holding multiple leadership positions on campus. Her campaign manager is Brooklyne Delbridge, and Franklin chose to attend the university because “opportunity is here.”

 

Q: Why are you running for this position?

A:   I am running for this position because I know students deserve and need clear communication that is transparent and on time. Students should have a greater understanding of SGA and see that we serve them and help them. I’m running because I want to be the change that keeps ASU running and 10 steps ahead for years to come. Huey P. Newton once said, “The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.”

 

Q: What political things did you do in high school (if any)?

A:  In high school, I was involved in the senior committee with the student council. So, I helped get senior week planned out, activities, shirts, and things along the line of making sure everything ran smoothly.

 

Q: What political things have you done since arriving at ASU (if any)?

A:   Since arriving at the illustrious Alabama State University, I’ve completed numerous political things. In my freshmen year, I joined the library club, where I participated in the voter registration drive. The library club was able to register over 30 students to vote. My sophomore year second semester, I ran for Senator of S.T.E.M. I won and have been a Senator since May 2020. During my time in office, I have conducted one town hall meeting and will be running another town hall shortly. I also co wrote and got two bills passed. One being the C-Stem Advisor Act, allowing students to access their advisors’ information via the official Alabama State University webpage. The second bill is the Career Fair Resolution, where we requested a separate academic college/school career fair.

 

Q: What issues do you plan to address in the first 30 days of your term, if elected, and why?

A:  In the first 30 days of my term, when elected, will be campus safety, pandemic wise, and ASUPD wise. That is a significant issue on campus that I feel is being swept underneath the rug that needs to be nipped in the bud early. Students pay too much to attend school here not to feel safe on campus.

 

Q: What issues do you plan to address after the first 30 days of your term, if elected and why?

A:   The issue I plan to address after the first 30 days of my term is establishing a safe space for students to express their problems with the university. Students often feel unheard, so establishing common ground where they feel like change occurs and their opinions are valued is the goal.

 

Q: Do you know the number of students who are enrolled at ASU, the SGA’s budget, and the university’s budget?

A:   The current undergraduate enrollment at ASU is 3,750. The current budget of SGA as of November 2020 is $29,401. The budget was voted on at the November Senate meeting.

 

Q: Do you believe the SGA’s budget should be increased, and if so, why? (please give detailed reason(s) for what the money will be used for).

A:   I believe SGA’s budget should be increased. The budget should be increased to help more student organizations on campus. Student organizations should be able to do more with the small percentage of their serving. I want to provide the student body with more resources. That can be self-care bags that contain things essential to making sure their mental health is in check and to invest in extracurricular activities.

 

Q: What are some concrete things that you want to see accomplished before leaving office next year?

A:  Before leaving office next year, one concrete thing(s)  I want to accomplish is the newsstand that will be sanitized regularly in critical points on campus. As part of one of my initiatives, I want those newsstands in hot spots on campus, such as the union, library, and the academic mall. I want copies of The Hornet Tribune, organization flyers for events, internships, and job opportunities in those newsstands. Students don’t have to go far to receive information, and one of my initiatives, I want to establish a semesterly panel discussion to discuss current events. Students need a space where they can express how harmful the media can be on how they feel. I feel like that should be continued even after I leave. Lastly, establishing an SGA webpage that’s separate from the actual ASU webpage. PWI’s have these webpages; now it’s time for Alabama State University to have one. On the webpage, I want there to be pictures and bios of every student in the three branches. I would like the webpage to consist of the bills passed, when townhalls are for each college, events, and any ideas students have to be on there. I would also like the webpage to include the SGA committees and their reports so students know that SGA is working diligently to better them. We serve the student body.