When we evaluate which pair of candidates to endorse for president and vice president of Student Assembly, we examine the candidate’s creative and practical ideas, experience and plans to integrate student needs and opinions to legislate on our behalf. Looking at what appears to be a strong set of contenders this year, we believe presidential candidate Stacey LaRiviere ’14 and vice presidential candidate Alicia Moore ’14 are the best choices for SA.
While virtually all candidates’ platforms address the problems of transparency and student apathy, LaRiviere and Moore offer the most concrete and practical methods of solving them. LaRiviere plans to create a website called Tribe Impact, which is modeled off of U.Va.’s SpeakUpUVa, a forum where students can post suggestions anonymously. If created, this would allow students — even those who know little about the SA or have no desire or time to attend meetings — to propose ideas. Other students could then comment and vote on these ideas, providing a direct link between students and the SA. LaRiviere also plans to create an undersecretary of financial outreach to better inform the student body about the SA budget — something most students know little about even though it appropriates $700,000 and funds every club on campus. While each candidate pair has laid out ways to improve student-SA relations, LaRiviere and Moore present specifics that gauge and implement student input efficiently while also acknowledging the SA’s limits.
To improve SA efficacy, LaRiviere proposes bringing in outside sources to educate and train those in SA and Undergraduate Council to serve in their positions more effectively. This may seem ambitious, but it is realistic and potentially very rewarding. In addition, she would establish an open applications process for executive board positions, providing opportunities for students outside the SA to participate.
Both women have served on the executive board — LaRiviere as secretary of public affairs and Moore as secretary of student life — and each has gained experience that would serve them well as president and vice president. LaRiviere is equipped to handle the College’s relations with the city of Williamsburg and even Richmond, and Moore’s knowledge of mental health and general student health services as a member of Health Outreach Peer Education will be an asset to the executive board. Moore has proven she can perform well in a crisis — when she took over the position of secretary of student life, she implemented a plan to run the previously mismanaged SA shuttle services in an efficient manner that benefited students.
Together, LaRiviere and Moore form the best ticket, as they have a broad, but non-overlapping influence on campus. Neither has illusions regarding the challenges next year’s SA will face, and both have the experience and tangible ideas necessary to make the SA a more effective and transparent organization — one that students understand and care about.