In the midst of an unparalleled, tumultuous school year, the Student Assembly presidential election presents a unique opportunity to renew optimism and trust within the College of William Mary’s student body. Since students returned to campus last fall, the College community has faced an extraordinary amount of unprecedented issues: from dealing with a pandemic that has taken over all aspects of students’ lives, to the cutting and eventual reinstatement of seven sports teams, to weekly student protests and changes in academic policies, this campus requires a strong set of leaders to help guide us through this new era.
With a comprehensive and well-rounded platform that we believe best represents the wishes of the student body, The Flat Hat Editorial Board is excited to endorse the uncontested ticket of Sen. Meghana Boojala ’22 and Zenobia Goodman ’22.
Though Boojala and Goodman are not entering into the executive with the same level of combined experience as the Anthony Joseph-Kyle Vasquez administration, we have no doubt that SA outsider Goodman is up to the task of corralling the various interests of the student body while going up against the imposing College administration and the infamously uncooperative Board of Visitors.
Boojala, on the other hand, has been involved with SA since her freshman year, and she has already served as both senate finance chair and chair of the senate. We are sure that their combined passion for student advocacy will propel them through the difficult discussions that lie ahead as they prepare to take the reins from the outgoing administration. Though at this point last year we held reservations as an editorial board about the potential efficacy of what we viewed as an overly-optimistic Joseph-Vasquez administration, we are satisfied that over the past year, they upheld the high standards previously set by the Vita-Thomas administration.
With a platform equally focused on COVID-19 response, campus safety, diversity and racial equity, Boojala and Goodman are poised to inherit the goodwill of the campus community built by the previous administration. We have no doubt that over the next year they will dazzle and impress us with their uncompromising dedication to the student body.
Despite the Board of Visitors claiming that they will not hear a case about renaming campus buildings again, Boojala and Goodman plan to continue the work that persisted under their predecessors because they believe it is one of the many just solutions put forth that can honor all those who suffered under the institution of slavery.
They further offered the point that if the College wants to separate itself from its racist history and ensure the safety and comfort of students on campus, renaming buildings is a necessary step that the administration can no longer avoid taking. We respect that the pair are willing to persist on this issue, despite the difficult situation that they have been put in by the staunchly unchanging Board of Visitors and the College administration.
Of particular note has been their commitment to financial reform in SA. It had previously come to the attention of the Editorial Board that many senators are unaware of the processes by which money can be allocated to the various Registered Student Organizations. In order to better service student organizations on campus, as well as to reign in damage caused by misinformation about the budgetary process, the Boojala-Goodman administration plan to completely overhaul and simplify the Executive Appropriations Process — intentionally building in more flexibility. These changes, if implemented, will help to bring much-needed funding to organizations focused on student diversity, which have in the past been disadvantaged in the allocation of funds when compared to larger organizations.
With this financial reform, the Editorial Board urge Boojala and Goodman to commit to transparency in all SA procedures and decisions. In the past, students have expressed their frustrations at SA’s complicated processes, closed committee meetings and lack of publicly accessible information.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, weekly senate meetings have been livestreamed on Facebook. Despite the uncertainty of the upcoming fall semester, we hope that Boojala and Goodman continue this practice, allowing students to easily access SA’s weekly meetings in a digital format. Although The Flat Hat prides itself on our SA coverage, we should not be the only source of information regarding senate proceedings: Boojala and Goodman must commit to disseminating information in an accessible format for all students.
Boojala and Goodman seem fully prepared to inherit the executive from Joseph and Vasquez; however, it is important to note that the Joseph-Vasquez administration have faced many difficulties getting through to the administration about students’ needs. Although the balance of their plans seems very realistic and attainable, there is still concern going into their term that the College may rebuff their efforts, despite how willing Boojala and Goodman are to fight for the interests of the student body. Nonetheless, we remain optimistic.
The staff editorial represents the official opinion of The Flat Hat. The editorial board, which is elected by The Flat Hat’s section editors and executive staff, consists of Gavin Aquin Hernández, Zoe Beardsley, Lulu Dawes, Claire Hogan and Alyssa Slovin. Email email@example.com.