The editorial board of the Old Gold & Black met with each of the candidates running for executive positions for Student Government for the 2018-2019 academic year. Each candidate gave a three-minute pitch for the student body to watch before having a Q&A session with our board. The Editorial Board has decided to make the following endorsements based on their platforms and interviews:
In the race for Student Government president, all four of the candidates presented thoughtful platforms on their plans to improve student government and the campus as a whole. The candidates running for president are: David Ajamy, Matthew David, William Morgan and Danny Reeves. Most platforms emphasized topics of diversity and inclusion, unity on campus, safety and encouraging student leadership. With this in mind, our endorsement is split among the candidates that went above and beyond.
After hearing David Ajamy’s platform, we were intrigued by his attempt to bring humor and lightheartedness into the race. Video-chatting in from his semester in Washington, D.C., Ajamy shared his desire to use his previous experiences to change how Student Government is perceived on campus. Ajamy also noted the need to introduce something different to the race as a non-Greek, white male. In addition to his platform, we appreciated Ajamy’s refreshing, comedic take to the race, introducing himself at the beginning of the interview as “Welcome to Moes” or “Dumpster Trash.”
Sophomore Matthew David brought many unique, thoughtful ideas to his interview. David’s platform was inspired by his tenure serving as co-chair of the Academic Committee and a member of the Alcohol Policy Committee in Student Government. Among other ideas, David mentioned creating an inaugural president’s committee, in which the presidents of all organizations on campus would come together for collaboration and mentoring. David also explained his position on Greek life, emphasizing that productive Greek life on campus is beneficial for all students, and that he can more effectively represent the Greek community as a non-Greek student. We believe David is an influential member of Student Government and has a promising future in the organization.
Running for president for the second time, William Morgan’s platform echoes last year’s but has been updated with more specifics and new ideas. His platform is based on the acronym RATIO: Representation, Accountability, Trust, Inspiration and Openness. Morgan is an experienced member of Student Government, having served on various committees and showing tangible successes.
We appreciated Morgan’s professional approach to the position, as he came prepared and knew his platform extraordinarily well.
The Editorial Board similarly found Danny Reeve’s ambition and accomplishments to be admirable as a candidate for president. Reeves is a tenured member of Student Government, as he served as secretary his sophomore year. This experience taught him what it takes to achieve tangible success. During his time as secretary, Reeves enacted justifiable change in the way the organization is run, such as changing meetings from every other week to weekly and implementing an orientation event for senators. We understand and respect Reeve’s capability as a candidate for president, as he has proven his capacity to lead.
Ultimately, our vote fell to extremely close margins. In a staff vote of all four presidential candidates, we were unable to determine a majority endorsement. Danny Reeves initially won a plurality of the votes, and after a runoff vote seeking a majority, Reeves and Morgan split the votes equally among the staff.
As both of the races for speaker of the house and treasurer are uncontested this year, we have decided to endorse junior Will Hargrove and junior Sydney Packard, respectively, for the positions. Hargrove has been a part of Student Government since his freshman year, serving on the Public Relations Committee, as the co-chair for Campus Life and currently as a member of the Cabinet. Packard is currently serving as Student Government treasurer, and hopes to continue the work she has done this year into the next term, as she has many goals currently in the works.
In the race for secretary, we unanimously chose to endorse junior Thomas Kellogg. We were impressed with Kellogg’s drive for execution and ambition for the implementation of ideas for both the Senate and for Student Government as a whole. We believe that Kellogg has a strong understanding of the structure of Student Government and has achievable ideas on how to improve communication and action within the organization.
Sophomore Maia Kennedy is also running for secretary, and her platform includes pillars such as diversity and inclusion. Other main points in her platform were working on campus safety and creating open spaces for dogs on campus. We recognize that Kennedy is a strong member of Student Government, and hope she will continue her success within the organization.
We are grateful for the opportunity we had to meet with each of the candidates, and recognize that they have all been strong members of the campus community in their various capacities. Those who are to be elected will continue to serve the student body in a positive aspect.