The Editorial Board of the Monitor reached out to the candidates for Representative and President of the Class of 2026 to ask about why they're running for office. They were given three questions to answer as they saw fit:
What should be the role of student government on our campus?
What do you think are the biggest issues on campus right now? What will you do to address them?
What experiences (previous leadership roles, identities, etc) do you have that will make you an effective representative?
Below are the answers of the candidates for Class President in the order in which they were received.
The primary role of the student government should be to create a unified class in which all students feel heard. Additionally, the student government has the responsibility of making sure all students feel safe and welcomed on our campus. The government should advocate for the students they are representing, putting their own interests and motives aside. Once the student body has been heard, the student government should look to create events in which all students can have fun and participate in.
The biggest issue with the freshman class is how hard it is for students to meet each other and find friend groups. Students tend to form “cliques” early on (usually based on sports or clubs) and stick to only hanging out with people in those groups. This isn't due to a lack of openness by those involved in these “cliques”, but by a lack of opportunity to meet people outside of them. I would fix this by planning numerous events that had a strong emphasis on collaboration and meeting people outside of your circle. This would give students the opportunity to meet and befriend peers that they may not have had the chance to meet independently.
What makes me the most qualified and effective representative is my past leadership roles coupled with my caring and hard working nature. Throughout my football career, I’ve been trusted and counted on by my peers to lead several times, being voted captain both in highschool and middle school. During highschool I founded and led a club which focused on the mental health of injured athletes as well as anyone who needed a place to talk. I pride myself on how I treat EVERYONE with respect and kindness and am always open to hearing people out. Coming from a family of 9, I understand the importance of helping others out when they feel overwhelmed and being a shoulder those around me can lean on.
Hamilton already is a super supportive community, full of casual and chill people. Student government always plays the role of a listener, executor, and problem solver, diving into the people's needs and trying to negotiate with the school, and actively solving the problems with full consideration. The student assembly should try its best to ensure students from all backgrounds feel safe and supported, by responding to the ideas of students, helping to improve school policies, and making something real out of them.
The biggest issues for our class students are most likely to be hard to fit in the community and find a sense of belongingness. This is natural but I would like to propose a series of events from dorm decorations, hand-crafting activities, outdoor games, etc. Therefore, allowing students to meet and become friends with different people from all backgrounds but with similar interests. Besides, I have noticed the hive hanging over in the dark side trees need to be removed, most carpeted floor need to be vacuumed, and look for a more diverse meal menu. Also, the smell and daily hygiene management in some north freshmen dorms would be considered to improve.
I used to be the Vice President of my high school students' government for three years: changed to more humane class monitor systems and organized a bunch of online events online during the Pandemic. I understand the importance of really listening to what students need and building a communication bridge between students and school officials. I am always very responsible, dealing with problems with high efficiency and open to advice and criticism. :)
Candidate Lily Spencer did not respond to requests for answers but if she replies they will be added here.
Polls will open via email tonight, September 8th, at 11:59 PM and close tomorrow, September 9th, at 11:59 PM. Results will be announced at 11:59 PM on September 10th.
Updated 9/9: Ting Mei's answers were added to the article, and the title of the article was edited to reflect this change.