We are in the midst of a rare and welcome election cycle this year, as multiple candidates vie for the top spot with accurate boasts of exceptional character and accomplishment. But you can only choose one pair Thursday, and in this year’s stand out field, the stand out candidates are Katherine Ambrose ’17 and Liz Jacob ’17, talented juniors whose unique vision for the College of William and Mary the school should rally behind.
The two have already demonstrated that they are rallying behind the school. To read their seven page blueprint for next year is to acquaint oneself with the goals of campus community leaders across the board. It helps that VP candidate Jacob, who works for the arts and sciences department and the sustainability office, in addition to holding leadership positions in HOPE and SEAC, among other campus organizations, qualifies as an authoritative and articulate campus leader herself. The team of advisers they assembled — comprising both students and faculty members — puts the ticket over the top.
The duo can make no claim to outsider status, and they don’t attempt to do so. Here is a team of distinctly committed insiders, presenting a roadmap with the thoroughness and deep regard for process that is only possible if one first possesses familiarity with the many communities and systems involved.
This familiarity pays off in the details.
Requiring any student organization that receives Student Assembly funding to designate two representatives to be trained for sexual assault and bystander intervention is a strong statement of priorities. In an environment where providing PERK kits is sadly infeasible, providing free transportation to the hospital for students who have suffered sexual assault is a necessity.
There are no buzzwords here. The candidates talk like real people with a cohesive set of goals. While the team will work to make the school a more inclusive environment through the typical channels of funding allocation and event planning, their academic plans — specifically, implementing a system of faculty mentors — will also contribute to the success of students of color. The plan will also go a long way toward alleviating student stress, even as plans more specifically dedicated to improving mental health are implemented as well.
Despite their sprawling platform, Katherine and Liz don’t seem to have set unrealistic expectations. After all, many of their plans rely on empowering student leaders and organizations. The two have billed themselves as “catalysts for change” and seem to recognize that the best way to be just that is by finding and engaging the many active students on our campus who are already working for it.
When not directly engaging with student leaders, Katherine and Liz will be effective advocates on their behalf in front of the school administration, Board of Visitors and Virginia lawmakers. Katherine and Liz want strong statements of priorities in writing in the school’s main governing documents. This will take tough, patient negotiators and capable listeners, willing to work for incremental change. Katherine and Liz have the right mettle and the right priorities for the job.
The Student Assembly has a great deal of money and a large microphone. In the hands of Katherine and Liz, we think it will be able to accomplish a great deal.
The staff editorial represents the opinion of The Flat Hat. The editorial board, which is elected by The Flat Hat’s section editors and executive staff, consists of Emily Chaumont, Tucker Higgins, Isabel Larroca, and Kayla Sharpe. The Flat Hat welcomes submissions to the Opinions section. Limit letters to 250 words and columns to 650 words. Letters, columns, graphics and cartoons reflect the view of the author only. Email submissions to [email protected].