While the Student Assembly presidential election may in some ways resemble a popularity contest among similar candidates, the three campaigns of Ben Brown-Betty Jeanne Manning, Jessee Vasold-Caitlin Goldblatt and Chrissy Scott-Kaveh Sadeghian do differ in many important ways.
While there may not be any truly divisive issues, there are differences between the campaigns that arise from other areas. Chief among these is campus involvement. Each of the candidates has extensive experience in different student and academic organizations, and this influences the attention they give and understanding they bring to certain issues.
For instance, both Brown and Manning have extensive experience working within the SA, where they are among the most active senators in their classes. In this capacity they are familiar with how the SA interacts with the administration, with student groups and the campus as a whole. Their campaign greatly benefits from this as they can point to specific past accomplishments in many different areas, and their experience has clearly left them with a great understanding of the issues the SA typically confronts and how it handles various issues. Furthermore, they are both members of Greek organizations, which clearly shows through in their highly detailed positions regarding Greek life.
Vasold and Goldblatt are also highly involved on campus, but mainly outside the SA. Vasold is involved in many organizations that address diversity, LGBT issues, sexual assault prevention and more. Goldblatt, the vice-presidential candidate, has been involved with the Tidewater Labor Support Committee, a student-run group devoted to College workers’ needs. They have much more detailed ideas concerning the promotion of diversity and show a greater understanding of student health concerns than any of the other campaigns. Furthermore, perhaps due to their involvement outside SA, they address issues not normally associated with SA, such as workers’ rights.
Finally, the Scott-Sadeghian campaign explicitly states that their respective backgrounds influence their views. They attempted to balance the ticket with Scott, who is involved with Greek life and student government, and Sadeghian, who is very involved in campus organizations such as William and Mary Supports Haiti and William and Mary Dance Marathon, but is non-Greek and not an SA representative. This dichotomy resonates well with their goal to foster interaction between the SA and other student groups. It also gives their campaign a broader range of experience than the others.
This is only a brief summary of these differences, and — as I am no expert in student government or student affairs in general — if you are interested you should compare the campaign platforms for a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
E-mail Ed Innace at [email protected]