Students have a choice between two candidates running for Student Council President this year — third-year College student Ellie Brasacchio and first-year Curry student Arabella Lee. This decision is important, as the winner of the race will represent the entire undergraduate student body in the upcoming academic school year. After careful consideration and examination of the two candidates’ platforms, we have decided to endorse Ellie Brasacchio for Student Council President.
Brasacchio is uniquely prepared for the role of StudCo President. She has been a representative her first year and was re-elected to the position her second year. During her time in this position, she has served as chair of the Internal Affairs committee, where she worked to ensure there was no in the budget and wrote resolutions concerning the March to Reclaim Our Grounds Demands following Aug. 11 and 12. Moreover, she was also by her peers to be chair of the representative body twice, serving in this capacity since her second year. As chair, Brasacchio manages the representative body and has worked to crack down on absenteeism among StudCo representatives. These positions have given her the wealth of experience necessary to both build on her predecessor’s initiatives and begin working on her own.
Specifically from current StudCo President Alex Cintron’s , Brasacchio would like to continue lobbying the administration to fund the free-menstrual hygiene which was last year. She would also like to continue the support Cintron offered minority student organizations during his administration by the effort to make translated financial aid documents available to ease the process for non-English speaking parents.
Brasacchio’s own platform also contains a number of ambitious policy goals. These include advocating the Board of Visitors to gender-neutral housing in all on-Grounds housing options and lobbying the City Council to pass an that would delay lease signing dates, which would give students more time to carefully consider their housing options.
However, most prominent to us is her drive to make the University more accessible for low-income and first-generation students. As a first-generation student herself, Brasacchio understands the plight that many of these students face. During her time in StudCo, Brasacchio the project to make a low-income resource handbook available and is the Co-Chair of the AL1GN Conference, a conference for low-income students that is coming to the University this year. In addition, her platform includes several policies to make U.Va. more , such as the creation of a Financial Accessibility Committee in StudCo and making discounted meal plans available for low-income students. These goals are ambitious, but Brasacchio’s background and experience makes us confident that she is the candidate most likely to bring about the transformational change that this University needs.
While Lee's proposals come from a good place, we are skeptical of her ability to concretely implement her goals if she were to be elected. Her platform is one of cultural unity, where she believes that it is the role of StudCo to “build bridges” with groups around Grounds. This is a worthy goal. However, given the wide range of issues tackled by StudCo, this position is not the right place to achieve her initiatives. Moreover, her lack of familiarity with the inner-workings of StudCo also concerns us, as managing the various aspects of the organization is an important job of being president.
Given the importance of the role of StudCo President, we have faith in Brasacchio to carry out the role effectively. She has the experience and skills to move the University forward and has earned our wholehearted endorsement.
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