Top 10 things I would do if I were U.Va. president

Move over Jim Ryan, a new prez is in town

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Ashley Botkin is a Top 10 writer and assistant managing editor for The Cavalier Daily. 

Christina Anton | Cavalier Daily

1. Nap days

We all love readings days because they’re a chance to gain back all of that sleep we lost over the semester. But is it really possible to return from full zombie to regular student in a couple of days? I certainly can’t. Instead, I would introduce nap days. These would be similar to reading days in that there would be no classes, but the priority would be getting rest and not studying. Would people inevitably end up at the library or some frat party? Probably. But don’t say I didn’t try. 

2. Endorse green books

A lot of people don’t know the difference between blue books and green books, but it’s really quite simple — green books are made from recycled materials. Everything else is the same! Same price, same number of pages and same format. There’s really no reason to buy blue books over green books unless you’re really concerned with the color of your exam booklet you will inevitably throw away after you get your grade back. But maybe all we need to finally realize that green books are superior is a little presidential push. 

3. Amend the Board of Visitors

I truly don’t understand anything about the Board of Visitors. Like, I get that they make decisions for the University and all that, but nothing about it makes any sense. First of all, Board members are appointed by the governor, and Ralph Northam didn’t even attend the University. The members that are chosen might not even have anything to do with our school before being appointed. Additionally, the majority of them aren’t located in Charlottesville, but they keep getting to make big decisions about the University, like raising tuition every year. It’s a totally illogical system in my opinion, so obviously, there would be some changes. 

4. Buy a crown

How will anyone know I am president if I don’t have some sort of indicator? Lots of people wear pantsuits, so dressing professionally wouldn’t help me at all. Sure, people would probably recognize me from the endless media coverage, but where’s the fun in that? Therefore, the only logical and viable solution would be a crown. I’m thinking silver, maybe with little blue and orange jewels as a reminder of which school I rule over. 

5. Get some better food

If you’ve ever read any of my articles, you know I have a little bit of a problem with the food served in the dining halls. Technically it’s all fine, but serving the same under-seasoned options on an identifiable schedule can get a little old, especially for those of us that prefer eating things that taste good. Also, the dining hall workers always look so sad. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re not making a living wage or that they keep making the same thing over and over, but who am I to make assumptions? So who better to make some changes to such a big part of college life than the president?

6. Restore the Castle to its former glory

I’m not here to rag on adding more vegetarian options to Grounds, but did we really have to change the entire aesthetic of the Castle? It used to be like a fast food restaurant, convenience store and trap house combined into one beautiful experience, but now it’s like everything bougie in the world threw up on it. It’s so clean and sterile and well-lit. There’s no love or fun left in it. I’ve only been in the new Castle once. I took one look at it and walked right back out. It was like the end of an era that obviously needs to be restored. 

7. Create free student parking

One of the things that truly drives me insane is the price of parking. I’m not just talking about parking in garages, although they did just raise their rates for a reason unapparent to me. If you live anywhere that has student parking controlled by the University, you’re basically giving away part of your soul to not get ticketed. Some of you hecklers are probably thinking, “Ashley, you fool, just don’t bring a car and take the bus everywhere! Silly, entitled millennial.” But I’ll have you know that getting around Charlottesville is so difficult that a private scooter company might invade in order to help with the problem. So let me live. 

8. Build more Starbucks

I may or may not have a coffee problem. Do I feel terrible throughout the day if I don’t have my cup of coffee in the morning? Yes. Do I have coffee every day of the week? Also yes. Some would call it an addiction, but I think a love affair is more accurate. I have been so blessed by the new Starbucks opening in Newcomb, but I think that there should be way more. Maybe even one in Madison Hall where I’ll spend my days as president. Just throwing ideas out there, but I think it could really work. 

9.  Buy bounce houses

I really can’t find a downside to this idea. I’ve never not had a good time while in a bounce house, and I don’t know anyone else who hasn’t either. Sometimes life gets way too serious, and you need a little joy brought into your life. We could even get them shaped like the Rotunda so we don’t mess up the feng shui of Grounds. 

10. Golf carts

I really do hate walking. I have really short legs compared to a lot of people, so it takes me twice as much time and effort to get places. I’ll be walking along and see Facilities Management employees zooming around on their golf carts, and I always have the urge to stick my hand out like I’m hailing a taxi so I don’t have to exert as much effort to get from one place to the other. So why not just give everyone a golf cart? It could be a selling point for potential applicants and generally increase everyone’s quality of life. 

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