Letter to the Editor: Student assembly elections

By Jonathan Stanhope ’18

Tags editorial letter to the editor

Dear Spectator Editorial Board,

When I ran for Student Assembly President at the end of last semester, my running mates and I pushed a platform of diversity and inclusion. This platform aimed to lead the campus in taking concrete steps toward positive social change, together. We’ve kept our focus on this goal in SA all semester.

Here’s an abridged list of our progress toward that goal:

  1. Spearheading student involvement at a pro-immigrant rally in Utica
  2. Hosting a town hall style meeting with members of the public to discuss SA’s promotion of diversity and inclusion
  3. Encouraging SA members to attend a Working With Whiteness event re: microaggressions
  4. Travelling to a student government conference in Maine to learn how similar schools promote diversity and inclusion
  5. Organizing a task force to actively solicit student feedback
  6. Undergoing an action planning process aimed at compiling community responses
  7. Facilitating discussion among students and relevant administrators pertaining to the envisioned DMC pathway
  8. Holding weekly or bi-weekly meetings with the Director of Student Activities, the Dean of Students and President Wippman to seek advice in making all students feel welcome.

It’s no secret that SA has received plenty of criticism this semester from students who feel that we do not adequately represent their interests. As evidenced by the above list, I have taken all of these critiques seriously and have worked to solve the problems believed to be endemic to SA. However, we can only solve these problems if we are all willing to step up to the plate. To the students dissatisfied with SA, I ask: Please make your voice heard by running for SA positions. Let’s make that positive social change, together.

This request is timely, because despite recent calls for change penned in The Spectator and voiced within SA meetings, very few students have shown a motivation to actually help create change by running for positions. At the SA election rules meeting held on Sunday, April 23, fifteen candidates showed up despite there being 18 open positions. Of these 15 candidates in attendance, just three were women and only three were non-white. This pool of candidates gravely underrepresents non-white-male constituents on campus.

By not running for SA positions, students that want their voices heard are missing a huge opportunity to catalyze change. There is only so much that I, or the rest of SA, can do to improve this campus without student engagement. We’ve heard your calls for change, we’ve acted on your demands, and we’re now looking for your help. Don’t miss the opportunity to improve the community we all care so much about.

Due to the shortage of candidates at the first election rules meeting, we will be holding a final election rules meeting this Sunday, April 30 at 9:00PM in KJ-102. This is the final chance for students to get their names on the ballot for the Class Representative election, which will be held on May 8 and 9. If you, or someone you know, is interested in running, keep your eyes peeled for posters around campus and another election email from Muhammad Najib ’18.



Jonathan Stanhope ’18
President, Student Assembly

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