Letter to the Editor: Julia and Erik endorse Noah and Christina for ASG president, executive vice president

Julia Watson and Erik Zorn

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This past week, campus has been inundated with catchy slogans, slick graphics and staged photos of students posing with whiteboards. This means it’s campaign season for Associated Student Government’s President and Executive Vice President positions.

In the midst of this marketing ‘arms race,’ we’re encouraging you to look past the gimmicks to make informed decisions about who will actually represent your best interests.

As the current President and Executive Vice President of ASG, we wish to express which ticket truly stands for its values. While both tickets utilize buzzwords like ‘inclusion,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘accessibility,’ only one ticket has begun to think critically about these terms and how they are used at Northwestern. Separating the rhetoric and rehearsed answers from genuine thoughtfulness and courageous leadership is critical in distinguishing the two campaigns.

After doing just this, we are strongly supporting Noah Star and Christina Kim for ASG President and Executive Vice President.

Over the past year in ASG, we have worked extensively with all four candidates. While we do not contest the work ethic or commitment of any candidate, we believe Noah and Christina’s leadership style and experience have shown that they will actually take a stand for students.

In their time on the ASG Executive Board, the ‘complexity’ or ‘divisiveness’ of an issue has not prevented Noah and Christina from amplifying the voices of students. Instead of existing in the comfortable outskirts of an issue for the sake of a potential bid to our Executive Office, Noah and Christina both engaged in challenging conversations.

The leaders of ASG should not pick or choose what issues they address while in office. Students on this campus, whether they are unjustly targeted by police or unable to participate in student programming due to limited finances, do not have the luxury or privilege of choosing to deal with racism or classism in their everyday lives. In order to be truly committed to working on the hardest issues at Northwestern, ASG’s future leaders must, at bare minimum, be aware that having the ‘choice of engagement’ signifies power and privilege. Noah and Christina understand this, and are committed to continuously engaging in these issues.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Going further, we greatly respect Noah and Christina’s acknowledgment of their personal limitations and their understanding of how and when to defer to other community leaders. Their humility and respect for the work being done outside of ASG reaffirms that these partnerships would not be burdensome or exploitative in nature.

In addition to their commitment to listening to others, Noah and Christina have made sustainable accountability a tenet of their platform. This is where we believe ASG has failed over the past year. While we have centered our term’s initiatives around the core values of accessibility and equality, we realize that we need to do better in transparently communicating our projects and their progress. Students should have the ability to call out ASG when it fails to represent them and feel that they are being heard. Noah and Christina are the only ticket that openly calls for critique by community members and offers channels to measure their progress on their platform.

As the current ASG President and Executive Vice President, we support Noah and Christina because we have seen that their words align with their actions. After listening to their mission, platform and experiences, we believe Noah and Christina have the genuine thoughtfulness required to lead with courage and integrity. We are voting for Noah and Christina because they don’t shirk away from standing up for student voices.

Signed,

Julia Watson, ASG President
Erik Zorn, ASG Executive Vice President

 

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