Newly-elected Class of 2026 President Zoe Wang ’26 is ready to step into her role and enact the change her class wants to see. Winning 55.9% of the vote in a run-off ballot after a highly contested election ended in a tie, Wang says her personal philosophy is what led her to even run for the presidential position.
“If I’m going to do something, I’m going to go for it,” Wang said. “So I wanted to go for it.”
Despite being sick when she finally received the call that she had won the run-off election, Wang says she feels very honored and wants to fulfill her role to the best of her ability.
“I was literally like in bed with chills, body aches…It was so bad I had a fever, but… I felt incredibly… like happy and grateful that I won… It’s like a huge responsibility that people have given me,” she said. “…This is something that other people trust me to do, so I want to do that well.”
As an intended international relations and public policy double major, Wang is wasting no time getting involved around campus. Wang currently holds the charge d’affaires position in the travel Model United Nations team which is run by the International Relations Club. Wang is continuing her high school experience with Model United Nations into college.
“I’m really excited about that… I was away from the campaign for four days because I went to New York for a MUN Conference,” Wang said. “…And I loved the Conference, so I decided to apply and then I got the position which is super fun.”
During her sophomore year of high school, Wang attended a MUN conference at the College of William and Mary, which gave her a good first impression of the school, saying she “really liked the vibe” here on campus.
“Maybe it was the architecture or I just liked the people here,” Wang said regarding her sophomore year visit. “…I got an impression that the values here at William and Mary are really strong and align with my own… And then when I came here over this summer… the people here were just so nice and I wanted to go in-state… so I was like ‘William and Mary is the perfect fit.’”
Wang first became interested in the idea of participating in Student Assembly after talking to some current members, and after serving in her high school’s assembly. Originally running for her high school’s freshman president position, Wang lost the race but stayed in the organization as a secretary and continued as an executive member for the next four years.
“Maybe it was the architecture or I just liked the people here,” Wang said regarding her sophomore year visit. “I got an impression that the values here at William and Mary are really strong and align with my own… And then when I came here over this summer… the people here were just so nice and I wanted to go in-state… so I was like ‘William and Mary is the perfect fit.’”
Her favorite part about campaigning for the class of 2026 was being able to meet and talk to a wide variety of people.
“What I loved most about campaigning was getting to know more people and having interactions with people who, you know, maybe I don’t see them in class or maybe they’re not in my hall and stuff,” Wang said. “So I thought that was really great.”
Wang’s platform focused on an array of campus-life issues, including redesigning the Center Court dining menu display to improve readability and expanding subsidies for student transportation, such as airport shuttle rides.
“I think people liked my policies, because they were unique and also achievable,” Wang said. “ Expanding the number of subsidies we’re giving to students for airport shuttle rides dependent on need… or changing the menu display at Sadler instead of trying to change the whole dining system… like more achievable but also will make an impact.”
Wang is also involved with cultural organizations around campus, such as the Vietnamese Student Association, the Asian American Student Initiative and the Chinese Student Organization.
For the future, her current career goal is to become a foreign service officer, as it combines her two interests of travel and foreign policy. Frequently visiting her grandparents and extended family in Taiwan growing up, her interest for travel grew as these trips allowed her to also visit neighboring countries, such as Japan and Malaysia.
“I’m so lucky that my parents have given me the opportunity to [travel],” Wang said. “I also really like the planning side of travel… I like the ‘finding new places’ and then the ‘today we’re gonna do this this and this’… just exploring new places is also something I really love doing.”
Looking to her next four years, Wang is excited to work with the new senators and the older students in Student Assembly, and better understand the needs of her class. As one of her platform points was transparency, she hopes to fulfill her campaign promise through the email newsletters she will be sending to the class.
“I want to leave like a net positive… on William and Mary,” Wang said. “Whether it comes to some infrastructure thing that can be implemented with SA or like a policy change, you know, like that’s what I want to leave. Like no matter what it is just a positive impact.”