Letter to the Editor: Ani and Alex endorse Julia and Erik for ASG

Ani Ajith and Alex Van Atta

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It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as your student body president and executive vice president this year. We’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with so many passionate, talented students, and have been part of conversations and efforts that moved this campus toward a more inclusive, supportive and healthy future.

Along the way, we’ve come to better understand the depth and breadth of the challenges that face Northwestern University. No one issue stands alone: From mental health to Frostbite shuttles to resources for students from low-income backgrounds, our greatest challenges stem from deeply intertwined, entrenched structural problems. To make real progress on mental health, we need to take a serious look at the quarter system and the regular course load; to fix the shuttle system, we need to improve how we support students transitioning to and living off campus; to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to access Northwestern’s countless amazing organizations, we must look to providing substantial non-tuition financial aid.

Tackling these issues can’t be finished within a 12-month term. It must be, and is the responsibility of, each generation of Northwestern students to leave this school better than we found it. We did our best, and we’re proud to say our team made real progress on improving policies, services and resources for students. But at every step, we knew that our greatest responsibility was to lay the groundwork for a new generation of leaders with fresh ideas and renewed energy.

That’s why we’re endorsing Julia Watson and Erik Zorn for ASG President & Executive Vice President.

We’re voting for Julia and Erik this Wednesday because they’ve chosen to see Northwestern’s challenges not as isolated concerns affecting some students and not others, but as interconnected issues that need to be addressed by a student government that pushes Northwestern to live up to its core values. They’re asking us to empower them to serve as your advocates, and they’re promising to make our voice heard on all the issues that matter to us.

It’s a daunting task: To move the needle on our toughest issues — mental health, sexual assault, inclusivity — we need leaders with unique perspectives and solid track records in achieving real results.

Julia is one of the most impressive leaders we’ve worked with over the last four years. We’ve never seen her rest on her acheivements, which are numerous: launching the largest student-run events listserv (the Campus Loop); developing a comprehensive PR Guide for student groups; and creating new opportunities for students to engage directly with administrators outside of the regular ASG channels. Her work ethic and focus made her an invaluable member of our team this year, and her experiences with a diverse array of student groups allow her to see connections and opportunities where others see obstacles.

We’ve worked with Erik in his role as the president of the Residential College Board, and as the president of Chapin, as well as an ASG member working on some of our most important projects. Erik brings proven executive experience from his time at RCB, and is deeply familiar with creating and strengthening partnerships with student groups and communities to achieve more together than we could ever apart.

Julia and Erik are the leaders we need. We hope you’ll join us in supporting them on Wednesday, April 9.

Ani Ajith, ASG president
Alex Van Atta, ASG executive vice president

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