Student Assembly Sen. David DeMarco ’21 and outsider Nyla Pollard ’21, as well as SA Class of 2020 President Kelsey Vita ’20 and Senate chair Ellie Thomas ’20 have all ran a SA presidential campaign focused on representing all students at the College of William and Mary.

DeMarco and Pollard ran on the slogan “Your Choice, Your Voice” and have been featuring students on social media, asking them why the are supporting their campaign. The two have created their campaign platform based on a survey conducted by DeMarco that asked the student body what issues they believed were the most important for the College.

Vita and Thomas created the slogan “The Time is Now” and have been campaigning each day focusing on the different aspect of their campaign platform. They have created campaign videos highlighting why students have decided to vote for them in the upcoming election Thursday, March 21.

In addition to the spotlights on both DeMarco and Vita’s campaign social medias, The Flat Hat reached out to students across campus to ask why they were supporting each candidate.

 

Kelsey Vita ’20 and Ellie Thomas ’20: “The Time is Now”

COURTESY PHOTO / MAGGIE OROZCO

“I’m voting for Kelsey Vita and Ellie Thomas! I feel like they have a much needed focus on mental health and self care that William and Mary needs more of. They’ve also reached out to AISA (American Indian student association) with proposals for a better experience for students of color. I feel like they’ll listen and help support our voices here on campus.” – Maggie Orozco ’21

 

CHARLES COLEMAN / THE FLAT HAT

“I’m voting for Kelsey and Ellie because of their emphasis on putting campus safety and mental health care access at the forefront of their campaign. I also think it is important to see more female leadership on this campus.” – Atlee Paterno ’22

 

 

CHARLES COLEMAN / THE FLAT HAT

“I’m going to vote for Kelsey and Ellie because I think they have both a good approach to campaigning and a platform that addresses several important issues. I especially like their focus on sexual assault prevention and mental health awareness.” – Alayna Barrios ’22

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / ANDREW UHRIG

“I’m voting for Kelsey and Ellie because they’ve been there and it’s not out of convenience. They’ve been making this campus better since they stepped foot on it.” – Nakia Stephens ’19

 

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / ANDREW UHRIG

“I’m voting for Kelsey & Ellie because I’ve personally worked with Kelsey and also know Dave from interacting with him a lot in SA as well as having had a class with him, and I trust Kelsey more to cater to what the campus community wants and needs. She cares more than anyone I know about the students here.” – Andrew Uhrig ’20

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / YASH RAMESH

“I’m voting for Kelsey Vita and Ellie Thomas for SA President and Vice President. Kelsey is one of the most hard-working, loyal, and genuine people you can find on this campus. Every issue on her platform is thoroughly researched and she has a clear and honest interest in improving the campus for students from ALL walks of life. Also, she’s the epitome of women supporting women.” – Yash Ramesh ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / NATALIE ROWLAND

“I am voting for Kelsey and Ellie to lead our Student Assembly Account because of their dedication to change, diversity, and creating a happier, healthier campus. They empower students to share their voices loudly and I am proud to support these strong women!” – Natalie Rowland ’21

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / MEGHANA BOOJALA

“I am voting for Kelsey and Ellie, because during my time as class of 2022 senator, I was able to see how dedicated they are to this school. Over the course of the year, they played a huge role in countless initiatives in order to make this school more inclusive for everyone, whether it be their comprehensive Title IX reform plan, dedication to mental health resources, or their commitment to diversity on campus. Every week, both of these women come to SA meetings with new ideas and a long list of actions they have been working on everyday. Their guidance has helped me become a better student representative, and I know that if they get elected, they will be able to greatly enhance the experience of all students at this school.” – Meghana Boojala ’22

 

COURTESY PHOTO / ABHI CHADHA

“I’m voting for Kelsey Vita & Ellie Thomas because their platform has broad goals for our community that are then broken down into tangible steps they will take if elected. They’ve also demonstrated a continued willingness to listen to and communicate with the student body, something I’m sure they would continue to do if elected.” – Abhi Chadha ’20

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / VERONICA MANTHA

“I’m voting for Kelsey and Ellie because they’re super cool and nice.” – Veronica Mantha ‘22

 

 

 

AVERY LACKNER / THE FLAT HAT

“I’m voting for Kelsey and Ellie because I believe it’s necessary that our school reforms our Title IX processes because I’ve seen many students struggle with trying to navigate the system and also balance schoolwork at the same time, and it’s really necessary that we help the system become more streamlined and better for survivors.” – Charlotte Lucas ‘22

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / SIKANDER ZAKRIYA

“During my four years in Student Assembly, I have had the privilege of seeing how eight different generations of student leaders have worked. I can say without a doubt that I have not seen anyone with as much passion, drive, and work ethic as Kelsey Vita. From their first day in Senate, Kelsey and Ellie stood out as go-getters who wouldn’t let anything get in their way of accomplishing their goals. They have both shown an overwhelming commitment to their class and have had an astounding number of initiatives and programs under their belt. I believe the student body would be in the best hands possible under their administration.” – Sikander Zakriya ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / MAXWELL CHLOE

“I’m voting for Kelsey and Ellie because of their platform’s strong commitment to issues I’m particularly concerned about–namely protection for survivors of sexual assault, the hiring of more people of color to various parts of the school, and the advancement of the the school’s sustainability measures.” – Maxwell Cloe ’20

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / CODY MILLS

“I am voting for Kelsey Vita/Ellie Thomas for SA President/Vice President because they are two of the most intelligent, diligent and hard working individuals on this campus.  They are committed to diversity initiatives and ensuring that all members of the W&M community feel respected and included. I couldn’t be prouder to endorse these two incredible candidates.” – Cody Mills ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / JESSICA SEIDENBERG

“Kelsey and Ellie are such extraordinary human beings. They are extremely hard workers and are so dedicated to all of the ideas they are so interested in. They’re not just passionate about their ideas but they also make them reality.” – Jess Seidenberg ’19

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / BRENDAN BOYLAN

“I have known Kelsey and Ellie for the last three years that they’ve been in Student Assembly.  I’ve gotten to work with them since they started and they started my sophomore year. We’ve become really great friends and I’m really proud of all the progress that they made, both in personal leadership skills as well as what they’ve contributed to the College.  Kelsey is very focused on justice and equity for the students. She cares deeply about issues that I think are really important, voices that I don’t think are necessarily heard all the time on our campus, and I trust her and Ellie to take the reins and work with the administration and to be adept bridges between the student body and the administration.”  – Brendan Boylan ’19

 

COURTESY PHOTO / KATIE HERTHEL

“Hands down, Kelsey and Ellie have my vote in this year’s SA election. This school prides itself for its welcoming and inclusive environment – we all shouted “one Tribe, one Family” together during orientation. Kelsey and Ellie don’t just shout this mantra though, they literally embody it. They care so much to ensure that every voice shouts and that every shout is heard. It CLEARLY shows in their platform – a platform that addresses many underrepresented issues on campus, such as student rights, campus diversity,  sexual assault prevention, and mental health. They’re clearly qualified – with Kelsey as Class of 2020 President for three consecutive years and Ellie as Chair of W&M’s Senate, I don’t quite know of a more objectively qualified pair. And to be honest, they’re just straight-up caring and empowering people…to me, that’s what leadership is about.” – Katie Herthel ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / WILL CURTIS

“I’ll be voting for Kelsey and Ellie, I’ve worked with them in the past on a committee working on issues related to Title IX and am very impressed by both their passion and ability to have tangible plans. I also appreciate the amount they’ve called in other students to be a part of their platform; they seem genuinely interested in empowering other voices.” – Will Curtis ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / JONDAVID NICHOLS

“I’m supporting them because through my time here at William & Mary, I’ve seen the dedication and hard work that they’ve put into not only Student Assembly, but also all their other extracurricular activities, and I think that at the end of the day, their experience and their dedication is what drives my support.” – JonDavid Nichols ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / VICKY MORALES

“They were really good role models for me coming into Student Assembly, and just seeing the initiative and compassion they’ve had throughout this whole year has really motivated me to follow in their path.  Some of the programs they’re trying to implement, I feel like are going to be really impactful for the student body and really beneficial, especially their mental health platform…I feel like it’s going to help the student body progress, and that’s something the students need and they deserve, so that’s why I’m supporting them.” – Vicky Morales ’22

 

COURTESY PHOTO / AMELIA KNELL

“I’m voting for Kelsey and Ellie because I know that they will provide the best chance for fighting for improved mental health care services on campus. In my four years here, I have repeatedly found this to be the most pressing issue that students are united behind. Kelsey and Ellie pose the best chance for representing students needs in this area to the administration and the board of visitors as well as through legislative initiatives. They have my full support!” – Amelia Nell ’19

 

COURTESY PHOTO / PATRICK SALSBURG
“I am voting for Kelsey and Ellie because I like how their campaign platform advocates for, among many other things, the implementation of a Student Bill of Rights and to make the campus more accessible for disabled students. I also like how they want to bring more student voices into the departmental decision-making process at W&M and how they want to live-stream public Board of Visitors meetings on Facebook in order to increase transparency. I believe Kelsey and Ellie would be amazing leaders of the student body.” – Patrick Salsburg ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / DAISY SINEAD
“I am excited to vote for Kelsey and Ellie because they are tackling the issues that matter to me the most! Implementing a new sexual assault reporting system created by survivors and the Start by Believing Campaign are needed changes to show solidarity with survivors on campus. I also appreciate that Kelsey and Ellie want to fight for changes that will give students a greater voice in college affairs, such as a standing committee with the William and Mary Police Department.” – Daisy Sinead ’20

 

David DeMarco ’21 and Nyla Pollard ’21: “Your Choice, Your Voice”

COURTESY PHOTO / SAM LEVER

“I’ve known Dave for about a year now, and ever since I’ve known him he’s been a very upstanding individual. He works super hard as part of SA, he’s running his campaign very hard and I see him working all the time. That’s the sort of effort I want to see as part of SA, I like that he’s looking out and trying to talk to voters and trying to make sure that he is able to represent their voice.” – Sam Lever ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / JESSICA ELLISON

“I am voting for David DeMarco and Nyla Pollard for SA president and vice president because they represent the wants of the student body.  A big thing for me was also how diversity and sustainability were not their own separate points on their platform, but are interwoven into all aspects of what they want to achieve!” – Jessica Ellison ’20

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / ANKITA MOHAN

“My name is Ankita Mohan and I’m a freshman at the college! I support David and Nyla for SA president and Vice President because they listen to our voices. Their platform focuses on very important issues such as mental health, inclusivity, and sustainability, not to mention the practical issues of parking and food on campus. I believe that there is no better pair to lead us in the 2019-2020 school year!” – Ankita Mohan ’22

 

COURTESY PHOTO / SOFIA QUINTEIRO

“I’m voting for David and Nyla because I’ve never met two people with more passion for student needs and comfort. Also, one of the most important issues in my personal life as a woman of color and an LGBT+ individual/ advocate is improved representation of these groups. I believe that they are the candidates that have the best grasp on who these populations are and what they need going forward.” – Sofia Quinteiro ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / CAROLINE AUSTIN

“Dave DeMarco because all he has done for the food offered on campus” – Caroline Austin ’19

 

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / ERIN MCKEOWN

“I am voting for Dave and Nyla for SA President and VP because I believe that they are truly representative of this campus community and it’s goals for improvement. Dave has worked tirelessly in SA and made incredible progress, but still sees a bigger goal. Nyla has such an important perspective being outside SA and experiencing the school from a different view. I think together they will have the most impact because of their dedication to the student voice and excitement for the future of our school.” – Erin McKeown ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / KATE DOOLEY

“I’m voting for David DeMarco and Nyla Pollard because they truly listen to what the students have to say. David has two years of experience from being the class of 2021 president and   has passed several impactful bills, such as the bill for free emergency menstrual products. Nyla brings in a unique outside voice. Since she has never done SA before, she is able to see what is wrong with the system because she has fresh eyes. David and Nyla are the best options and I will be voting for them on Thursday!” – Kate Dooley ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / BECCA SYMMES

“I’m voting for David and Nyla for SA because of they plan to actively listen to the student body and want to create tangible change on campus in areas that matter to us. David has shown that he is able to make such change happen with his food initiative. I believe David and Nyla can take this existing momentum and continue to create even more positive change.” – Becca Symes ’19

 

COURTESY PHOTO / JESSICA HALL

“I’m voting for Dave and Nyla because as their campaign has shown time and time again, they listen to us, the students. It may seem like a basic requirement for those in leadership positions, but I’m always impressed with the time they dedicate to listening and helping those in the William & Mary community. They go above and beyond in every regard to making our campus a better place each and every day. So that’s why I’m voting for them!” – Jessica Hall ’21

 

LESLIE DAVIS / THE FLAT HAT

“I am supporting them basically because of all the work I’ve seen David do so far working for our class. I think the biggest thing that drew me towards his platform and supporting him is his dedication to listening to what the students want. He is really dedicated and puts out a lot of different surveys and things, trying to figure out what the student body is looking for. He bridges the gap between the things that SA are doing and what the students actually want, and I think sometimes that gets lost a little bit in SA. They are all doing great work, but its not necessarily what students are looking for, but David is very dedicated to everything he hears is a problem on campus, he gonna work super hard to fix it. I think one of the biggest things I’ve seen him do was with regard to dining halls and food – it’s a big problem on campus. Everyone likes to complain about it and rightfully so. You are paying a lot of money to a service that isn’t giving us what we need and what we want, and he has done a lot of different initiatives that you can literally see in the dining halls. The food quality has gone way up, they have a lot more options, they have a really good feedback system with the buttons when you are leaving and they have now little QR codes. Even with the Tribe Food Truck, there is a lot more options. Everything he has been doing is going on the right path. Dining halls is one of the things that seemed like it was a lost cause, at least for me. When he was running as [SA 2021] Class President last year, I was like that’s great that he wants to improve the dining halls, everyone wants that. But you never really thought anything would happen because it’s a big thing to deal with – a lot of people involved. But he really has rallied the students and gotten attention of the administration and administration of the dining halls and made some progress.” – Abby Fergus ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / NEAL GOING

“I will vote for David DeMarco and Nyla Pollard since they have crafted a platform of concrete, achievable changes. Most important to me is their plan for mental health progress. David has consistently delivered results throughout his time in S.A., including leading the push for the new Tribe Truck. Some students have argued that David is running prematurely because of his class year. I have had a front row seat seeing his hard work since he and I lived in Yates together and are now brothers in SAE. Although he has had less time in S.A. than the other candidates, David has dedicated the overwhelming majority of his days at William & Mary to S.A. meetings and interacting with the student body. He has the right pulse of what the students want and what the Tribe needs.” – Neal Going ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / RILEY SMITH

“I’m voting for David and Nyla because I’ve been able to see just how passionate and determined David is during his time as my Class President. He has always listened to what my class has to say and been very transparent with us. I also think it’s important to have an outsider perspective and Nyla is a great person to that to the table. I have no doubt they would make a revolutionary pair as SA President and Vice President.” – Riley Smith ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / ELIZABETH ASHLEY

“I am voting for Dave DeMarco because he has taken a strong interest in sustainability at the College. Being one of the leaders of Take Back the Tap, it is incredibly important to me that our sustainability is brought to a wider view and is more encouraged by the people in charge of the student body for the student body to actually take part in sustainable initiatives.” – Elizabeth Ashley ’21

 

LESLIE DAVIS / THE FLAT HAT

“I am voting for David DeMarco for SA President, and it really started when Hurrication happened. I was a brand-new freshman, but I put my family’s name under ‘we can drive people home’ thing, because my parents were coming to get me. About 20 minutes after, I got a call from David DeMarco and he was trying to coordinate everything, and that was the first initial moment of like ‘woah, this guy really cares about this community very fully and about everybody being safe’. And as the year’s gone on, I’ve gotten to know him a little bit, but I’ve seen all the things he’s done with just listening to the students and knowing what they want out of their school with the Sodexo demands and reading his platform and seeing how the interests of the students here aligns with Dave and Nyla’s platform.” – Margot Flanders ’22

 

COURTESY PHOTO / HAILEY GUERRA

“In this election, I will be voting for David and Nyla for President and Vice President. The graduate schools have been ignored by SA for far too long and, while graduate schools have the opportunity to appoint representatives to the student assembly senate, reaching out has felt very one-sided, despite the fact that SA should be committed to serving everyone. In this election, David and Nyla have made a concerted effort to figure out what the needs of grad students are and have created an entire platform to address issues faced by graduate students. It’s about time SA reaches out to make graduate students who do so much for William & Mary feel like they’re a part of the tribe.” – Hailey Guerra J.D. ’20

 

COURTESY PHOTO / PETER LEONARD

“I think Dave and Nyla are some of the most hard charging, caring people who’ve ever run for Student Assembly. Dave consistently amazes me with his dedication to helping other students, whether it be through standing out on the terrace dressed like Santa to get feedback from students or revamping Sodexo’s meal offerings, an oft talked about problem that Dave had the tenacity to tackle. I believe the duo would go above and beyond the call of duty and make Student Assembly what it should be: a body dedicated to handling student concerns and affairs.” – Peter Leonard ’19

 

COURTESY PHOTO / MARK SMITH

“I think Student Assembly functions mainly off of very abstract and good-looking ideas. We’ve spent many of tens of thousands of dollars on bringing in speakers and stuff. I don’t know if this is making the best differencet. Dave is a big data guy. Dave has been collecting data and looking at what the students actually want and he’s going very practical. I mean you can look at abstract things, which are all great too, and we’re looking at those too, but we’re going to start out with food, parking, mental health initiatives, things that we know we can tackle, that we know we can represent well, and things that everybody will be able to talk about how it is bettering their lives and on an everyday basis. And I think that is why I choose to support. Further, my passion is diversity of ideas and reducing any kind of polarity between and also promoting free expression and free speech. That’s something I’m very passionate about, that’s what my job specifically should be. I’m very excited to see what he’s doing. He’s one of the smartest people in this body— He and Kelsey both.” – Mark Smith ’22

 

COURTESY PHOTO / BRIAN MEYER

“I’m supporting David and Nyla! I think those two have the knowledge, temperament, and conviction to be the leaders of our student body. Furthermore, David and Nyla care deeply about the experiences and perspectives of graduate students who are just as much a part of William & Mary as undergraduate students. Their campaign platform includes great ways to provide more resources to the various graduate schools and recognizes the different roles graduate students play on our campus.” – Brian Meyer ’17, M.Ed ’19

 

COURTESY PHOTO / MORGAN BUZZO

“I’m voting for David and Nyla! David has been my class president for the past two years and has done an amazing job. He truly listens to what students have to say, and has put in a lot of work to make life on campus more enjoyable. I also believe that Nyla is a great choice to run alongside David and can bring fantastic outsider knowledge into SA. Their platform to improve campus food, parking, environmental issues, and having students’ voices be heard are things that are all very important to me. – Morgan Buzzo ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / JORDAN LIPINSKI

“I’m voting for David DeMarco & Nyla Pollard for SA because they are focusing on giving the student body a voice. Their platform, which is focusing on sustainability and diversity, highlights the most talked about problems on campus. Personally, I’m interested in their plan to change the mental health culture on campus by creating a more accessible and inclusive Wellness Center.” – Jordan Lipinski ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / XAVIER SOTO BURGOS

“I’m supporting David and Nyla because they are offering a clear attempt to tackle the true concerns of the student body. David and Nyla plan to tackle every issue that has been recently voiced by the student body. Most importantly, they want to hear more of what the student body has to say.” – Xavier Soto Burgos ’20

 

 

COURTESY PHOTO / CHRISTOPHER DEMALLIE

“I am voting for David DeMarco and Nyla Pollard for Student Assembly President and Vice President. David’s effort to truly better every student’s college experience never fails to amaze me. He is someone that has listened to my concerns late at night and actually worked to resolve them the next day. I am voting for David and Nyla because they are two people who seek out the diverse concerns and opinions of the students and actively work to solve them. David has shown this time and time again as class president  with his frequent surveys to the class of 2021. Additionally Nyla has invaluable insight having never served in Student Assembly. She knows what the average student cares about and how it feels to want your voice to be heard. These are just a few of the reasons that I will be voting for David DeMarco and Nyla Pollard.” – Christopher DeMallie ’21

 

COURTESY PHOTO / AMANDA SASINA

“Both campaigns are awesome and it’s a difficult decision to make, but David and Nyla have my vote because their campaign is founded on something integral to a successful democracy: listening. Being heard is important, but being listened to takes things ten steps further. They show us their intentions to listen by providing an impressively extensive platform on their website. The platform delineates student concerns and presents detailed plans of action to address them.” – Amanda Sasina ’20

 

Reporting contributed by:

Heather Baier / Flat Hat News Editor

Leslie Davis / Flat Hat News Editor

Emma Ford / Flat Hat News Editor

Nia Kitchin / Flat Hat Editor-In-Chief

Charles Coleman / Flat Hat Chief Staff Writer

Averill Meininger / Flat Hat Chief Staff Writer

Ethan Brown / Flat Hat Managing Editor

Sarah Smith / Flat Hat Senior Staff Writer