The Eagle’s student government endorsements for 2018-2019 year
The Eagle endorses Fernández, Najafi and Behle
Among a strong group of candidates, Valentina Fernández presents the most eminently qualified individual for student government president.
Fernández currently serves as student trustee. She is the liaison between the Board of Trustees and the student body. Our staff was impressed by her well-documented history of working within University structures in this role including President Burwell’s upcoming strategic plan. Outside of her role as student trustee, we admire her involvement with EmpowerAU, AU’s peer-led sexual violence prevention program. Fernández proposed clear ideas and methods for “bridging the gap” between students and the University. The Eagle believes the AU student community will benefit from a candidate who has a working relationship with President Burwell as well as a track record of accomplishing institutional reform through her role as student trustee.
However, this is not to say that Jarryd Delaney and Sam Rogers did not bring their own strengths to the table. Delaney represents a grassroots, outsider candidacy that The Eagle found refreshing compared to student government regulars. Given his proximity to incoming freshmen as an AU ambassador, he brought forward ideas and vision that more closely resembled the thoughts and experiences of the average student. As president of the Residence Hall Association, Rogers exemplified dedication and a respectable sense of professionalism in a political arena all too often mired by mudslinging and personality politics.
All candidates brought forward cohesive, strong visions for supporting the general student community. Our staff overwhelmingly voted to support Fernández due to her emphasis on improving communication between the student body and the University with a track record to back it up. However, we hope to see all candidates continue to push forward their platforms through various roles in the campus community, not just as talking points for this election.
The Editorial Board will endorse Leela Najafi for vice president. Out of the two people who presented to us, Najafi represents the most viable candidacy. She humbly admits that running for this position represents a leap of faith, as she’d jump from undergraduate senator to vice president. Likewise, our endorsement represents a leap of faith that Najafi will grow in this position while maintaining her sincere commitment to the student body.
We hope that Jacob Munson, the other contender, will continue to find venues for translating his experience and accolades toward building community on our campus through engaging events.
The Eagle endorses Alex Behle for AUSG secretary. His platform represented our core values of transparency and open communication.
We request that Behle meet with all student media organizations to see what we need from student government. While The Eagle’s relation with the current secretary is amicable, access must be available and maintained with all student media organizations and not just The Eagle.
After lengthy deliberation, The Eagle is declining to endorse a candidate for this position. Gisselle Gladden, one of the candidates, is The Eagle’s business manager. It would be an abundantly clear conflict of interest for The Eagle to endorse a candidate in this race. We wish Gladden and Thomas Kenna the very best and offer no further comments on this portion of the ballot.
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