At the start of fall semester, Bobby Adams began his term as president of the Student Government Association by bringing new ideas and visions for the student body as well as Tech.
Adams is a first-year graduate student in the doctoral program for chemical engineering. He chose to attend Tech over the University of Tennessee at Knoxville – of which he had a full-ride scholarship to both – because of the atmosphere generated by the students and staff.
“Everyone was always super friendly and welcoming, and the staff was always super excited to be working here, and it’s just contagious.” Adams said.
After getting his doctorate, Adams said he wants to teach chemical engineering at a college level, hopefully teaching at Tech one day.
“I just want to teach, period. Not saying I won’t ever teach somewhere else, but I would love to teach here,” Adams said. “When you have administration that cares about the students’ well-being, then that’s the kind of institute I want to work for, and we have that here at Tech, so I would be totally comfortable working here.”
Adams got involved in SGA when he saw things he wanted to change or do better.
“I’ve always had the mindset that if you don’t like something, then change it,” Adams said. “I didn’t necessarily like the things I saw in the SGA; they seemed kind of inactive back in 2012. I was just like, ‘instead of complaining about it, I can join and actually do something about it.’”
After a yearlong cooperative in 2013, Adams returned to Tech and became an SGA senator in 2014 during Emily McDonald’s term as president. Adams said he now has big shoes to fill in following McDonald as president for the 2015-2016 year.
“She was fantastic,” Adams said. “She rebuilt SGA and changed a lot of things to make it more geared toward students like it should be. I was really inspired by her and wanted SGA to continue in that direction, so I ran for presidency to make sure that happens.”
Adams said he wants to keep SGA focused on students and make more things possible for students. One way to keep that mentality, Adams said, is to get rid of inefficient bureaucratic formalities.
“I really hate wasting time bickering about things that don’t matter, so it’s getting rid of unnecessary steps in that bureaucracy,” said Adams. “This will make it easier for student organizations to do things that benefit the students as a whole.”
Another goal Adams has is to better utilize technology and be more environmentally friendly.
“When I walk into an office and see stacks of papers everywhere, I don’t really think technology is being used to its best ability. So in SGA, we’re trying to pilot a more paperless system,” said Adams. “A lot of the things we’re doing this year are all on the cloud.”
All the notes for the weekly SGA meetings are sent out before the meeting and edited live during the meeting through Google Docs. The senators can review information that is linked to those notes before the meeting so they can be ready to discuss once the meeting starts.
One would think being the SGA president during the Centennial year would be stressful, but Adams said he’s more excited than anything.
“The SGA executive officers and executive cabinet have been crucial in everything going so smoothly this year. Without them by my side, I feel like I would be very stressed,” said Adams. “We’re all working very well together, so that’s probably why I’m not so stressed. I know that if anything happens, I have a team right here to handle it.”
Adams said he is excited to start the yearlong Centennial celebration with the downtown kickoff on Sept. 18 with the mile-long Centennial Walk from campus to Dogwood Park.