Hours after the students declared their campaigns, the Editorial Board of the Old Gold & Black met with the various candidates running for Student Government executive positions for the next academic year.
In each interview, the candidate presented a short pitch of their platforms and then were asked a series of questions by our staff. Based on our interviews with the candidates, we have voted to make the following endorsements:
In the race for president this year, we were happy to see that all three candidates had unique and thoughtful platforms filled with relatable and attainable ideas. Each of them brought up an initiative that highlighted something we were unaware of on campus, so we found this reassuring and also a testament to each candidate’s connectedness to the student body. It was obvious that they all put a lot of effort into listening to various opinions of how Student Government can improve and grow both internally and externally. Because of this, we believe it could be anybody’s race and our student body will be left in good hands no matter the outcome.
After listening to Will Morgan’s platforms, we were intrigued by his initiatives to push for a student government that was more connected to the student body. As a history major and creative writing, Latin, and politics and international affairs triple minor, we believe he not only has the capability, but also the initiative to approach Student Government through an interdisciplinary and holistic lens.
Our favorite quality of Spencer Schiller’s platform ideas were that they were clear, specific and feasible. It was very evident that he has spent hours talking to people all over campus and gauging different ideas from people within different niches of campus. We enjoyed hearing his ideas about expanding the mental health initiative to include awareness about the use of study drugs, abuse of caffeine and lack of sleep. His idea to create a new position on the Executive Board of Student Government that focuses on diversity and inclusion was unique and commendable. We found Schiller to be very articulate in his ideas and compared to the other candidates, he has both the most years of experience with Student Government and years of service on committees.
The Editorial Board found Suyash Keshari’s ambition and accomplishments to be very clear and admirable. Our favorite ideas involved his thoughts on expanding the current president Jordan Monaghan’s current initiative to better connect the universities within the Winston-Salem community. We think that a multi-campus philanthropy event would be both a great way to help the city of Winston-Salem and also get students outside the bubble. Additionally, we enjoyed hearing his drive to make Student Government more representative and inclusive to international students. His commitment to getting students access to resources and making the buildings available to their respective majors at all hours were well thought out.
Ultimately, our endorsement fell down to a close margin to endorse Keshari. One factor that separated him from the other candidates was his strong personality and “go-getter” attitude. We believe that Keshari will go after issues and seek advice from others as opposed to waiting for something to come to him — a quality we believe to be important for a leader.
As both the Speaker of the House and Treasurer positions are uncontested, we chose to endorse both Kiya Khalil and Sydney Packard. Since her freshman year, Khalil has been heavily involved in Student Government and served as the Speaker Pro Tempore for this semester. In terms of treasurer, Packard has had relevant experience, serving as the treasurer of her sorority and serving on the SBAC committee. Given both of these candidates’ backgrounds and experience in both Student Government and relevant corresponding positions in other organizations, we believe that they both will be able to serve the campus body well.
In the race for Secretary, we unanimously chose to endorse Shelby Devine. We were impressed by Devine’s precise and detailed ideas to improve both campus security and connectivity. She has a list of previous accomplishments, including helping to get the Old Gold & Black a new app and adding dozens of outlets to the Pit. As a former member of our staff, we can testify to her ability to stick to a task and accomplish anything she sets her mind to. Although we found Tyler Miller to be charming and gregarious, we felt that Devine’s age and experiences put her a step ahead of the freshman.
Overall, we appreciated meeting each candidate and can truly say with confidence that this is a great group of students that are all running to represent our student body.