The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
As student life on campus continues to return to a more normal status, so too comes another normal mid-March Miami event — the election of a new Student Body President and Vice President.
The Miami Student has consistently been reporting on the race for SBP and the three pairs of candidates. We also feel that it is also important to give our opinion on who we believe will represent the Miami community best.
On Sunday night, our editorial board had the opportunity to meet with all three pairs of candidates running for the positions — Amitoj Kaur (SBP) and Khenadi Grubb (VP), Austin Tyree (SBP) and Dan Pollock (VP) and Danielle Stein (SBP) and Adam Weiss (VP). We heard presentations from all three slates and had the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates’ campaigns, goals and core values.
After hearing these presentations, the editorial board is confident in our endorsement of Amitoj Kaur and Khenadi Grubb for the respective positions of Student Body President and Vice President.
With their heartwarming slogan #LeadWithLove and focus on leadership through service, Kaur and Grubb are both heavily involved on campus.
Kaur has served as a student trustee at Miami, is the co-founder of Women of Kolour Excellence (WOKE), is a member of Advancing Women in Entrepreneurship, runs her own small business and currently serves as the President of Commuters of Miami and the Secretary of the Armstrong Student Center Board. Kaur also worked to implement new menstrual product dispensers in Armstrong.
Grubb is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, Women in Law, Miami University Mock Trial and the MU chapter of the Ohio Innocence Project. She also has experience in Associated Student Government, having served as a senator for District 6 in the past.
Beyond their overwhelming qualifications for the positions, the Student’s editorial board was impressed with their well-thought-out campaign presentation and the ambitious, yet realistic goals that Kaur-Grubb have set for themselves.
The three pillars of their campaign — student life, student health and wellness and enhancing the multicultural experience — represent these goals well.
Additionally, beyond what Kaur and Grubb have already accomplished, they have bigger goals that would take more time to complete. One of these objectives has to do with student life — specifically, raising the minimum wage of student workers at Miami to $15 an hour — and the other, the formation of a group called the Nellie Craig Scholars, is related to enhancing the multicultural experience.
This latter goal is impressive and actionable. The Nellie Craig Scholars would be fully staffed by the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion and act similarly to the pre-existing SEAL Ambassadors, in that organizations would meet weekly with a Nellie Craig Scholar to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion are being enhanced campus-wide.
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We at The Student believe that this proposed group would be incredibly beneficial for many organizations across campus, and in our opinion, the proposal is also advanced by Kaur’s personal connections and passion for the subject. Her dedication and people-focused drive are clear.
On the other hand, no slate can be perfect. We feel that Kaur and Grubb’s goal of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour may not be viable. Logistically, it may be difficult to pass that kind of wage increase in a year. With that being said, we believe that Kaur and Grubb are on the right track; we are simply hesitant to believe that this level of change could occur in such a short time.
Also, Kaur and Grubb seem to be very focused on the spread of easy-to-access, free and clean menstrual products across the campus as part of their pillar of student health and wellness.
This is an admirable goal and, while the editorial board is completely in support of it, we would also like to see an expansion into other wellness and safety initiatives for students.
All in all, we believe that Kaur and Grubb have the best number of workable ideas, the most impressive list of qualifications and the highest levels of teamwork and chemistry as a Student Body President-Vice President pair.
The editorial board’s second choice for Student Body President and Vice President are Austin Tyree and Dan Pollock. Their campaign is focused on three pillars: equity for all, empowerment to achieve and renewal of what it means to be a Miamian.
Some of the goals underneath these pillars were well-researched and built on excellent intentions. Among those, ensuring that heritage months are actually celebrated, rather than simply written off as another box to check when it comes to diversity and inclusion, is a worthy cause; Tyree and Pollock propose the creation of Directors of Black, Latinx and Asian-American Affairs within ASG to ensure that voices of different cultures are heard not only in the student senate but also campus-wide. Their idea to include more, and more diverse, counselors in Miami’s mental health services is also a workable and necessary task.
Tyree and Pollock want to support every member of the student body — that much is clear.
Other goals, however, we believed to be far too ambitious so as to be inactionable. The main of these: Tyree and Pollock are running on the idea of imposing a cap on the cost of off-campus housing, yet have not reached out to members of the city council to discuss what this would entail.
Another of their proposals, a SafeWalk system similar to the pre-existing SafeRide (only with volunteer students walking others home instead of riding a Butler County Regional Transit Authority vehicle), is well-intentioned, but unnecessary and flawed.
The main reason as to why we at the Student have chosen to endorse Kaur and Grubb over Tyree and Pollock is their views on campus culture. We felt that Tyree and Pollock pointed out many issues on campus with a frankly negative view of Miami culture, whereas Kaur and Grubb recognized Miami’s problems, but also came up with an optimistic outlook on how campus could someday be.
To put it simply, Tyree and Pollock pointed out problems, but Kaur and Grubb posed actionable solutions.
As for the third slate in the running, Danielle Stein and Adam Weiss, we felt that their goals and pillars were well-intentioned, but not as developed or enterprising as those of the other two slates.
Their goals, such as implementing healthier food options in vending machines and adding information about Miami’s ties to the Freedom Summer into UNV 101 classes, were actionable but unimaginative for the positions of SBP and VP.
Our endorsement, in the end, goes to Kaur and Grubb. We understand that their slate is not perfect, as no slate is, but a campaign that has received historic endorsements from both Miami’s College Democrats and College Republicans has done so for a reason.
We don’t know who will win the election. What we do know is that we look forward to seeing the changes made by whichever pair of candidates takes home the titles.
We know that the winners will represent Miami with all of the love and honor they can possibly give, and we hope that the Student Body President and Vice President — whoever they end up being — will make good on their promises and bring about positive change on this campus as we finally get back to some semblance of Miami normalcy.
As we do every year, we wish all candidates luck, love and honor in their campaigns.
To the Miami student body: it is your responsibility to vote to elect a pair of candidates to represent the student body over the coming year. It is even more essential to know who you’re voting for.
Remember to vote for your preferred candidates on the Hub starting this Tuesday, March 15 at 7 a.m. Voting will close Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. For more information about the candidates, click here.