Sloane elected student body president in historic special election

Terra Sloane '25 reacting to her victory in the April 8 special election. COURTESY IMAGE / TERRA SLOANE
Terra Sloane '25 reacting to her victory in the April 8 special election. COURTESY IMAGE / TERRA SLOANE

Monday, April 8, students at the College of William and Mary elected Student Assembly Secretary of Health and Safety Terra Sloane ’25 and SA Secretary of Diversity Initiatives Oscar Lazo ’25 as SA president and vice president. This was the second presidential election of the term following a decision by the SA Review Board to deem the results of the Thursday, March 28 election invalid.

Sloane and Lazo received 1766 (57.2%) votes in the special election, while the opposing ticket of Class of 2025 President Yannie Chang and SA Sen. Hashir Aqeel ’25 received 1218 votes (39.5%).

This competition came after the Chang-Aqeel team appealed the last election. In response to a hearing on Monday, April 1, the SA Review Board ruled that SA Attorney General Owen Williams’ ’25 involvement in the Sloane campaign was a campaign infraction that could have altered the results of the election.

Review Board member Robert Drake, Jr. J.D. ’24, who penned the unanimous decision, declined to provide the original complaint, citing historical precedent.

Sloane and Lazo won this race with a greater margin than the initial election, in which they beat out Chang and Aqeel by just under 150 votes.

Sloane said her team is ready to get the ground running.

“We missed out on a week of prep, so we are making up for that lost time,” Sloane said. “And our cabinet applications are going to go out so soon, so that we can make sure to get everybody sort of adjusted before we leave. And obviously, our next session is meeting this Tuesday, it’s the last meeting of our session. So we're looking at making sure that that transition goes smoothly, even though we have had a little bit of a buffer time in there.”

She added that she would be open to appointing Chang and Aqeel to positions in SA, including in the cabinet or as representatives with the College’s board of visitors. She said she hopes to include them in her work to reform SA.

“As we've said, sort of in all of our comments about the appeal, we think that it's brought up a lot of internal Student Assembly culture that we are looking at addressing in the future,” Sloane added. “And I know that they feel passionately about that as well. So they're going to be involved in the process, without a doubt.”

However, Chang said she would decline appointment offers.

“[Because] of the toll Student Assembly has taken on my mental health, I would likely have to step away from these commitments,” Chang said in a statement to The Flat Hat. “I did what I needed to and have given 20 hours a week to Student assembly for the last three years. I’ve put in my time and health to fight against so much of the institutional racism, bureaucracy and inability to listen. I’ve faced so much slander and hatred from paid faculty and students that I hope everyone can understand why I’d like to pursue happiness outside of working in this capacity.”

Secretary of the Senate Sen. Hazel Vineet ’25, who served as the campaign manager on the Chang-Aqeel campaign, shared the campaign’s reaction to the results.

“The results were honestly expected and we did what we intended to do and stood by our convictions to stand against the corruption in Student Assembly,” Vineet added. “Our hope is that this inspires new guidelines and will help protect the integrity of future elections. We hope we put up enough of a fight and paved a way for people in marginalized communities to have their voices heard. We also want to thank everyone who has supported and helped us and who had the courage to make an informed vote and stand against what was wrong.”

Sloane and Lazo, as well as members of the 332nd session of the Senate, will take their oaths of office at the inauguration on Monday, April 15.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here