This piece is in response to the student body president endorsement made by the Daily Campus. The original editorial can be found here.
By: Amit Banerjee
I’ve always been a strong supporter of the Daily Campus and the decisions its staff makes. They’ve continued to report on bold topics and call out administrators for their actions at the risk of losing their financial backing from the University. As usual, the editorial board made their endorsements for student body president and student body vice president.
This year, I disagreed with their ultimate choice for who they thought would best advocate the needs of the SMU student body and most effectively execute on their platform.
I think that when determining the best student body president candidate, it’s important to look at their track record and see how it aligns with their vision. Molly Patrick has the legislative history and the ambitious vision that students need from a student body president. That’s not something that can reasonably said for any of the other candidates.
I believe the justification used to select a presidential candidate was shortsighted. If transparency was truly a significant priority, then it makes more sense to consider the candidate who is seeking to promote transparency in all areas of administration and has curated a trust-based relationship with the administrators. If we’re looking for someone to effectively deliver on this transparency, that person needs to be someone who can tactfully publicize the actions of the school’s leadership without pushing them away.
Additionally, the Daily Campus’s editorial mentioned how sexual assault prevention and policing is essential to a safe campus. It’s odd that this was a defining platform point for a VP endorsement, but it didn’t hold a similar weight for the presidential endorsement. For three years, Patrick has been fighting on the front lines to increase safety and preventative measures against sexual assault as well as to improve investigative procedures that would identify and punish assailants.
Patrick has also worked to recognize underrepresented groups on campus through her work on the Student Concerns Committee and through co-authoring legislation to combat xenophobia and cultural insensitivity. She was also involved in the development of the SMU Safety app and pushed for the option to anonymously or non-anonymously submit evidence of discrimination and hate speech if students observe it on campus.
While the Daily Campus has already made an endorsement, I hope that students will take a closer look at each candidate’s familiarity with the powers and responsibilities of the presidency before casting their vote. I wholeheartedly believe that voting Molly Patrick for president will ensure an effective student government and a productive relationship between the students and the administration.
Amit Banerjee is a senior at Southern Methodist University who strives to engage students with the issues on campus and in the greater Dallas community.
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