Could it be Trint Martinez?



SGA Executive President candidate Trint Martinez addresses the concerns of the students during the SGA Executive President/Vice Presidential debates.

Kendal Manns, Editor-in-Chief

Q: Present a short job description of what you believe to be the job of the SGA executive president?
A: I feel the SGA President’s intake is representation. The SGA president should be that spark that ignites change here at Alabama State University and not afraid to go for change here. Like I said, it’s not about the suits. It’s not about being out here waving, smiling, talking to people. It’s about actually just trying to see what we have to do to put the students first for the first time ever at Alabama State. So just that person who really wants change and will do whatever it takes.

Q: There are some students who believe that the job of the SGA executive president is not one of representing the students at football games in new suits. There are some students who would rather the SGA president working on issues that affect them daily such as housing, cafeteria choices, parking and other related issues. How would you respond to those students?
A: Those were my main platform points I was discussing to my people yesterday at my tent. With my platform, unity, perseverance and pride, those are three objectives to get things done. I do want to get more student parking here at Alabama State University. I’ve been working last semester trying to fix the smell of the cafe and improve the portion of food for the students. Housing, if I do get this position, that’s an easy fix. Communication works well with housing, especially over the summers to make sure that every room is up to date, no mold, the air conditioners are working and the furniture’s up to date.
It’s a lot of things that go into things. So it’s, like I said, it’s not just about wearing suits. A lot of stress, a lot of long hours at work, hard dedication goes into it at nighttime and no one really knows that. They only see us at a football game waving. And that’s something I really, really want to change in SGA if elected for this position because I really want the students to be more oriented. Like, tell me, help me help you. You know what I mean?

Q: What are some of the goals and objectives that you would like to accomplish as the SGA Executive President?
A: Well, first with unity, I do want to work with different departments, especially, the office of Career Services. I really want to get a headshot booth in the union because students are not equipped with professional headshots they need for internships and jobs post-college. Another thing with unity, I want to partner with outside businesses because those three eateries on campus are just not enough. I want to build connections, have our flex used on places like Taco Bell, Walmart or at least discounts with Alabama State University students because Montgomery is nothing without Alabama State University and I have seen that firsthand over the breaks and over the summer.
Another thing too, I would really want to work on the cafe. The cafe is getting better as we can see pertaining to last year. It’s just the customer service and the portions of food can be better.
Another thing too, I want to work on getting students to be notified for safety. Like things happen on campus and we get notified by email. I don’t like that. I want students to be fully equipped with knowledge about a gun on campus or tornadoes coming. Another thing too, I want to open two checkpoints because the traffic’s so slow-paced in that area. I would rather have the entrance coming onto campus by 915 South Jackson Street and the exit can be over there by the new ASU stadium. I also want to work with the police department to get more student parking in the areas like dorms and other student populated areas because the school’s always putting us last, especially when there’s football games and other current events happening.
I want to cater to all students. I want to open practice spaces for dance organizations or any organizations that need to meet. Because you know, they’re not equipped for things like us. They don’t have offices. They don’t have practice spaces. They don’t have the stuff to do what they need to do. We have a lot of things. With the pride, I want to support each and every student. I want to equip all the students with ASU gear to represent the football team, represent the school in general at football games, classes, all the above.
I want to support each and every athletic team to show that we are appreciating them.
I also want to work with the Department of Financial Aid because I don’t want the same repeat every year. I want people to be fully aware of their financial statuses here. How they get more scholarships and donor trust scholarships from alumni, all that. I just have a lot of ideas. I just really want to put forth, I just need the students to work with me. That’s where unity comes in. Unity, perseverance, and pride.
There are some students who would like for you to advocate for some changes in the menu that Aramark currently serves students. How do you feel about the menu? Are you willing to advocate for changes in the menu?
Now in the menu, I don’t know how Aramark does their menus. I know it’s, you know, it’s obvious on Wednesdays Chicken, Tuesdays Tacos, that’s like during lunch. But it will be a blessing if they will just, I would say keep the students oriented more by having little surveys every week. Like, what would we like to eat? Because I honestly have witnessed that the cafe doesn’t care on weekends. They’ll serve us chicken tenders or dried up grilled cheeses on a Sunday. We’re being treated like children.
And that’s what I want to change. I want to let them know and bridge the gap between administrators and students that we are not children. We are adults who are trying to move on these four years to get our professional degree. So I would love to have the cafe implement new things by using the student surveys.
Xavier Hicks came to me like two weeks ago. He wanted to have some type of meeting and greet and town hall to see what can be changed in the cafe because it’s a lot of changes we need in the cafe. I’ll say during lunch hours, it’ll probably have to say the same, but it can be some changes like dinner. Another thing too, the time in the cafe, I want it to cater to all the students. Two hours is not enough time to operate in the cafe and they will be at work hours before that, so that is just an excuse.

Q: When students are asked how do you feel about the SGA Executive President’s accomplishments, most of them respond, “What accomplishments?” What will you do to ensure that students are aware of your accomplishments as the SGA Executive President?
A: One thing I wanted to do this year with the Power Administration was highlight our themes and newsletter on our Instagrams, but it just, I guess never came to that point. I do want to let the students know that we are actively working on things weekly or at least a monthly update. You know how we have a newsletter, you guys (The Hornet Tribune) have a paper that comes out every time and Hope (Smith) has her paper come out every time. I want the students to know that we are actively working on this thing, even if it’s done or not, that we have started and this is our progress. So keep them updated at all times because at the end of the day, they voted us into these positions.

Q: One of the things that are most remembered about SGA Executive Presidents is the legislation that they advocate to the Student Senate for passing. However, in the last ten years there has not been any legislation that has been sent out to the students as new legislation that they must follow. What will you do to change that malfunction?
A: I can honestly say, this year as vice president, I have witnessed the legislation that has been presented. Like the senators, I guess more of their main focus was on elections or curriculums. It still was being passed. One thing in the Constitution, Dylan (Stallworth), he’s the current president now, he hasn’t given any type of suggestion towards the Senate over legislation or something, which is in his role. So one thing I want to change about that is being more active with all of SGA.
I want to put my input in and say, ‘hey, y’all should try to write a bill about this, write a bill about this.’ And with that I want the Senate to be more active on their page and their emails. Send those legislation out every two weeks. Because then we meet biweekly so the legislation is passed and it takes 10 days after that for the present to confirm or veto it.
So all it takes is a simple email or a simple post on the Instagram page that keeps students notified that ‘hey, we have gender neutral bathrooms now.’ ‘Hey, we have a shuttle bus that runs every day at this time.’ ‘Hey, we have $400 flex now.’ I want students to be notified of those things because it’s a lot of big things that change that the Senate and SGA as a whole takes place in. So I just want to build that transparency with the students, let them know that we are actively working and I want them to actually come to us if they have any problems. You know what I mean? I don’t want to go backwards. I just want to just move forward and just make 2023 better.

Q: Do you believe that the SGA Executive President should follow all of the provisions within the SGA Constitution?
A: Well, yes. I’m a man by the book. That’s one thing Dylan did this year as well. He was by the book. And to prevent problems like the payment issues with the Senate, we need to stick to the book and stick to documentation. That’s what Dr. Swoope said. The first priority of the newly elected SGA should be revising that Constitution. If we don’t go by the book, everything’s ran improperly. Things are being handled this branch differently. Things are being handled in that branch differently. And it is miscommunication and misconceptions. I don’t want that. I really don’t want that. I want organization throughout the whole association. One thing I can say, this whole association this year, we never even had a bonding moment. And I’ve been pushing, pushing, pushing trying to get a bonding moment. I don’t even know all the people who are in SGA. I want to just know all of my members. What are y’all doing in y’all branch? What are y’all doing to help the student body? What are y’all doing with the stuff that y’all applied for or ran for? So I just really want to stick to the book, make sure everyone is completing their roles signed in the Constitution and if not that position goes to somebody else who is willing to fulfill those duties as well, even with the executive board as well. Although they ran for those positions, spent all this money, you got to go strictly by the book And that’s one thing Dr. Swoope will for sure enforce in 2023.

Q: What would you say were the weaknesses of the current administration?
A: One of our weaknesses would be our communication with the rest of the association. Because we were really just communicating within our group chat with us four and executive board members and we’d get the information to the like rest association a little late and that was our main problem. That was their main problem with us as well. Another thing was they felt as if we weren’t keeping them knowledgeable about things in a timely manner or including them. I want to keep all of the association included. Just like I want to include the students in making changes around campus, I want to include the people who are actually going to make the changes around campus. So I want to be very, very active in our group chat. Very, very active in our monthly meetings. Because we barely had a monthly meeting. Literally, we had about three. I literally want to stick by book, stick by the Constitution and meet regularly. Make sure everyone’s on their job. Follow up with each and every committee. Follow up with each and every branch leader. So I just want everything to be run smoothly by the book and just keep everything getting out to the association. That was our main thing. Just getting things out to association in a timely manner and just including them for real.

Q: Do you feel it is time to amend the Student Government Association and why?
A: I feel like it is time to make changes to this SGA. You know, how we get paid and stuff like that. We do a lot of work, all these other people do a lot of work as well. I just want appreciation to come to the rest of the association. They can get a 20-hour stipend or at least acknowledge that they’re making change here. Another thing with SGA is, although it is student ran, I just want it to stay student ran because it is been certain changes that have happened drastically. I don’t know if you know about that. The advisement changed. It’s been too much going on which just caught me by a shock. Like it’s too much lost point of contact, miscommunication.
I just wish it’d be more structured, but that just goes along with the e-board. Another amendment I’d like to make with SGA is with people applying for those positions, like the committee positions. I want to actually sit down with them in person and see what they really want. Because I’ve seen many people who are a part of SGA, I have never seen them at a meeting. I have never seen them at an event. I have never seen them in the SGA complex itself. I kid you not. I want people who are really wanting to get these titles, really wanting to get these positions and actually work for it.
Another thing too, I want to have more, I guess leadway with administrators because we say we have these titles and that we can email a certain individual. I want to actually get up and go to Dr. Ross and say, ‘hey, I need every academic advisor out here tomorrow to meet with their students because the retention rate is going low.’ People know what class to take. I just want that type of leadway because we don’t have enough leadway. That’s another thing too. People come to us with problems that we don’t have enough power to even try to fix.