Last year, the News board had an extremely difficult time singling out one candidate to endorse for the position of vice president. This year, the choice was even harder.
Each of the three candidates brings different strengths and perspectives to the table, and all three offered distinct visions in their interviews with us for how they would execute the role of the vice president next year. In the end, though, Kat Lau ’13 distinguished herself as the candidate with the YCC experience and personal qualities to most effectively run the council’s meetings and coordinate and execute the ambitious agenda that all the candidates have put forth for next year.
The candidates’ platforms were not only similar in their ambition, but also largely in their content. All three expressed their desire to continue pursuing initiatives begun this year such as language certificates, extended dining hours and mental health services reform. Where policy differences existed, they were minimal or extremely nuanced; while both Lau and Omar Njie ’13 emphasized housing reform, Njie focused more on housing draws whereas Lau stressed extending gender-neutral housing beyond the senior class.
It was in their past experience and their respective visions for the role of vice president that significant differences between the candidates emerged. While we appreciated Ivan Fan’s ’14 bold plans to reach out to universities overseas and make the YCC more “globally integrated,” we worry that such efforts might distract from the issues of more immediate importance to students. We also have concerns about his lack of experience — as a freshman, he has only had the chance to participate in student government this past year.
By contrast, we were impressed by Njie’s experience and enthusiasm. As president of the Sophomore Class Council this year, he made tremendous strides in establishing the presence of SCC on campus and uniting the class of 2013. His work on YCC has also been commendable, and we appreciated his interest in tackling important policy initiatives.
But ultimately, it was Lau who seemed to have the best grasp of the vice president’s role and the clearest plan to make next year’s YCC run more smoothly and cohesively. In addition to laying out a clear set of policy goals, she was uniquely interested in changing the council’s culture and instilling a sense of commitment in each of its members to working tirelessly for the student body.
With such a strong field, picking one standout was difficult. But we believe that Lau’s experience and vision makes her best equipped to coordinate with next year’s policy groups and help push the next president’s agenda on the ground.