Lately, I have been very confused by what I’ve heard about Scott Foster ’10, the student candidate for Williamsburg City Council. I don’t work on his campaign, but I am an interested voter who wants to make sure students have representation in Williamsburg — representation that we have never had before and that now, more than ever, we need. It seems to me that many critics of Foster’s campaign are unaware of how electoral politics work, so hopefully I can explain. I’ll spoil the ending for you: only Scott Foster deserves our vote.
Of course Foster is pro-student. He is, in fact, a student. His campaign staff and volunteers are made up entirely of students. The unsupported and paranoid claims that he will not be pro-student while in office are completely ridiculous. Foster may look like he’s 40 years old and talk like he’s even older, but he is one of us. Foster has grown up and matured at the College of William and Mary, just as we have, and he’s seen the terrible way Williamsburg treats students. No one in their right mind could spend four years here and not want to give the students a voice, which is exactly what Foster will do when elected.
To kick off his campaign in February, Foster hosted one of the largest student events of the semester — and provided free food and drinks for everyone in attendance. I’ve seen his volunteers registering people to vote all over campus; he has spoken at numerous student group meetings, and I’m sure that even more events are on the way. These are not the actions of someone who is taking the students for granted — quite the opposite, actually. Rather, these are the actions of someone who appreciates what students want and is making a great effort to involve all of us in his local campaign.
Just as he needs student votes, Foster needs long-term resident support. He can’t win this race without members of the community supporting him. None of the greater Williamsburg population would vote for him, however, if he ran a fiery campaign on campus. By not hurling insults and burning bridges, Foster has been able to present himself as a calm and confident choice to the larger community. This is a good thing because it means that he can gain support from all sides. In order to continue hosting events on campus and reach out to us, Foster’s campaign will need more funding. Because we are college students, we don’t have the necessary amount of cash, so we should gladly accept the fact that older residents are helping Foster out.
The misguided critics of Foster’s campaign don’t seem to be in on the joke. This is a pro-student campaign all the way through, but Foster and his staff appear to be savvy enough to have crafted a message that will appeal to essentially everyone within the city limits. Going extreme on student issues to appease certain factions in this school will not lead to victory; in fact, it’s a certain path to failure.
There are four other candidates running against Foster, all of whom are long-term residents. These men will be doing everything they can to pander to us, but we have to ignore their empty promises. Only one of the candidates is a student, and only one of the candidates will truly be speaking and voting for students when he is elected.
Let’s be clear: there is only one candidate in this election for whom students should be voting. You have two votes, but using both of them would be a waste. Only Scott Foster deserves our support, and I encourage every student at the College to volunteer to get him elected, or at the very least show up to vote May 4. Foster wants to stay in Williamsburg for the rest of his life — let’s reward that insanity by making sure that our voices are finally heard.
Email Horacio Carreño-Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org