Newly-elected student body President Terra Sloane ’25 shares experience, goals for her administration


Student Assembly Secretary of Health and Safety Terra M. Sloane ‘25 was recently elected SA president at the College of William and Mary, following a long road of involvement. In her freshman year, a campaign for SA Senate and community council opened up a large network of connections for Sloane. Along with being a resident assistant for the past two years and leading peer education in Someone You Know, a sexual violence prevention organization, Sloane has established herself as a leader on campus.

A deep concern for issues that concern all students pushed Sloane to run for the top job at SA.

“I think in the past, I probably wouldn’t have gone for something like this,” Sloane said. “But I really care about sexual violence prevention. I really care about a lot of core issues to our student body. And so even within my role in Student Assembly, I was able to see all the cool stuff that I could do. And I was like, I might as well take this a step further. I started planning out with my platform, and then just adding people on to the team.”

Sloane met her running mate, SA Secretary of Diversity Initiatives Oscar Lazo ’25, through SA. She said she soon realized that both of them shared common goals for the future of student government. As head of the SA Diversity Initiatives department, Lazo had ideas about the power of peer education that Sloane admired. She also appreciated his drive and ability to create genuine change within the student body.

Together, Sloane and Lazo built an executive team by pulling from different parts of the student body.

One of the core values of their campaign was transparency.

“I think that this whole process, especially the things that have occurred in the past few weeks with the special election and some of the commentary around how the student body interacts with student assembly, showcased to us a long history of student assembly being inaccessible to our students,” Sloane said. “And so throughout, we are hoping to implement different forms of transparency so that students understand what’s going on in student assembly.”

There are many unique aspects to the presidency that Sloane is excited for, specifically getting to speak to large groups of students. Immediately after winning the election, Sloane has noticed a greater willingness for students to come up and discuss issues they have on campus with her. Being able to elevate the voices of others is a priority and rewarding for Sloane.

Additionally, the ability to speak face to face with those who have even more power to create change, she says, is another fulfilling aspect of the role for Sloane.

“Even just this morning, we met with the chief of police of Williamsburg,” she said. “Being able to make eye contact with someone and be like, ‘This is like a real concern that students have, and this is causing all of these different sort of emotions and our students are afraid’ being that voice for those students that either might not choose to go into those spaces for fear of interacting with those people or like don’t get the chance to. Having that responsibility is so cool, and it’s so rewarding.”

As a result of the special election called by the SA Review Board, both campaigns in the election faced criticism. Sloane adopted the belief that all feedback is good feedback, receiving the genuine concern as beneficial because it pointed out faults within the SA system.

The SA Review Board ruled that SA Attorney General Owen Williams ’25’s involvement in the Sloane campaign was a campaign infraction that could have altered the results of the election, following an appeal filed by the campaign of Class of 2025 President Yannie Chang ’25 and SA Sen. Hashir Aqeel ’25.

“I think the benefit of doing [the revote] is that it pointed out some flaws in the way that our elections are run right now, and some flaws within our sort of William and Mary community in terms of completely disrespecting candidates for no reason and like, spreading information that was not true. It’s actually been very helpful to watch that play out, to see exactly what we need to fix moving forward, to make sure that no candidate has to go through that experience again,” Sloane said.

Although not always easy to manage, the positive side of feedback for Sloane is that it ensures the student body is invested in their leadership, and Sloane expressed her determination to follow through.

“If anything, I feel like it’s very mobilizing,” Sloane said. “Like the pressure is on to do a good job because so many people are looking at us. And I know that we’re able to deliver on that, but it’s been good to have the attention of so many students, to make sure that they’re caring about this, and caring about the issues that are at stake with an election like this.”

Sloane also touched on her experience with SYK.

“It has been the most fulfilling experience of my college career,” Sloane said. “I love getting to go into spaces and talk about why every student should care about sexual violence prevention. So much of the change that we can see is cultural and is not actually like intervening in acts of violence, but is intervening when you hear people say things that normalize violence, or when you hear people say things that dehumanize people. Being able to expand that message and bring so many people into that education, I hope, has had an impact.”

Sloane believes that everyone should listen to gut instincts saying that something is not right to create change. 

I think that having that optimism is really crucial for campus advocacy,” Sloane said. “There is something that you can do. And I want everybody to know that they do have avenues to create that change. And maybe you don’t even need to be the student body president to achieve that change. But if you have that passion and that drive, pick a project that you really feel passionately about and see it going to the best of your ability, and you will be making your campus community better in some way.”

Sloane encourages all students to reach out to her with any questions or concerns through her email, She expressed excitement in interacting with the student body throughout her next year as SA president.


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