This year, The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board endorses three candidates running for Student Council College of Arts and Sciences representative — third-year College student Gabriela Hernandez, second-year College student Lillian Rojas and first-year College student Princess Olubuse-Omisore. Compared to recent years, this is a low number of endorsements. We attribute this to our firm commitment to endorsing representatives that have displayed dedication to Student Council and to the betterment of students’ lives on Grounds. Each of these three candidates expressed a clear vision of their ideal Student Council and tangible steps they intend to take. In particular, each candidate intends to support programs that enable low-income, diverse and marginalized students to gain full access to the University community and all of its resources.
Gabriela Hernandez — current chair of the representative body — is running to retain a representative position on Student Council because more work needs to be done. Hernandez is not only an active member of the student body — she is involved in a plethora of influential organizations across Grounds — but is also a committed representative. In her most recent term, she co-sponsored legislation creating the University Networks of Care Ad-Hoc Committee and denouncing the University’s lack of support for the plaintiffs of the “Unite the Right” rally trial. As chair, Hernandez recognizes that representatives are public figures at the University and can be targets of criticism. As such, she plans to make it a priority to provide guidance, aid representatives in achieving their goals and keep them safe. In addition, she emphasizes the importance of listening to and supporting the work of marginalized, diverse organizations. She hopes to aid these organizations in having successful interactions with administration. Finally, in this upcoming term, Hernandez hopes to make the process easier for marginalized organizations and student centers to get the money they need and to advocate for more funding of Latinx peer mentoring programs. Over the past two terms of Student Council, Hernandez displayed dedication and hard work that has improved our community. This work must continue for the betterment of the lives of the University’s student body.
Lillian Rojas is a current College representative in the Student Council. She co-sponsored legislation urging the University to re-enact school-wide prevalence testing and effective COVID-19 policies for the spring semester. Rojas is running to continue the work that she already started — including laundry relief aid for students and a paid student notetaker program for the Student Disability Access Center. She is incredibly passionate about transparency from the University amidst the pandemic, increasing representative activity within Student Council and remaining curious by asking questions about legislation.
Princess Olubuse-Omisore is currently a first-year representative on Student Council. As a representative, Olubuse-Omisore frequently witnessed hesitation to ask questions among the representative body. She plans to encourage a body that feels comfortable asking for clarification and expressing the concerns of their constituents — particularly the first-year students Olubuse-Omisore represents. A central issue for her campaign is the early closing times for first-year dining halls, along with understaffed dining halls leaving workers overburdened. Having witnessed these problems, she knows that she must actively advocate for students in her role as a Student Council representative. She believes that a Student Council representative should not be separate from the student body, but rather a voice for it. By making Student Council a more accessible organization, Olubuse-Omisore plans to use these new avenues of communication to help students.
The Editorial Board adamantly believes that each of these three candidates will dedicate themselves to ensuring that Student Council is accessible, accountable and serves the needs of all students on Grounds.
The Cavalier Daily will release its endorsement for Student Council President, Vice President for Administration and Vice President for Organizations after it hosts the candidates for a debate at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 28. The event will be virtual and live streamed to The Cavalier Daily's Facebook page. You can submit questions in advance through The Cavalier Daily’s social media.