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  • Writer's pictureAmit Banerjee

SMU Daily Campus misguided Student Body President endorsement

This is in response to the Student Body President endorsement made by the Daily Campus, SMU's student newspaper. The original endorsement editorial can be found here.

I've always been a strong supporter of the Daily Campus and the decisions its staff makes. They've continued to report on bold topics and call out administrators for their actions at the risk of losing their financial backing from the University. As usual, the editorial board made their endorsements for Student Body President and Student Body Vice President. This year, I disagreed with their ultimate choice for who they thought would best advocate the needs of the SMU student body and most effectively execute on their platform.

I believe the justification used to select a Presidential candidate was shortsighted. If transparency was truly a significant priority, then it makes sense to weight the candidate who is seeking to promote transparency in all areas of Administration AND has curated a relationship built on trust with those in Administration. If we’re looking for someone to effectively deliver on this transparency, that person needs to be someone who can tactfully publicize the actions of the school’s leadership without pushing them away.

Additionally, later on in the article, you mentioned how sexual assault prevention and policing is essential to a safe campus. It’s odd that this was a defining platform point for a VP endorsement, but it didn’t hold a similar weight for the Presidential endorsement. Patrick has for 3 years now been on the front lines of the fight to increase safety measures to prevent sexual assaults and improve investigative procedures to identify and punish assailants.

Patrick has also been ensuring that underrepresented groups on campus are advocated for through her work on the Student Concerns committee and through legislation she helped write to combat xenophobia and cultural insensitivity. She was also involved in the development of the SMU Safety app and pushed for the option to anonymously or non-anonymously submit evidence of discrimination and hate speech if students observe it on campus.

I think that when looking at who will be the best Student Body President, it’s important to look at their track record and see how it aligns with their vision. Molly Patrick has the legislative history and the ambitious vision that students need from a Student Body President. That’s not something that can reasonably said for any of the other candidates.

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