The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

EDITORIAL: Join the Collective

The Editorial Board endorses Ceci Cain, Jaden Evans and Riley Reynolds

This week, students must make a decision between two candidates for Student Council President — third-year College student David Alari and fourth-year College student Ceci Cain. If the past year has shown us anything, it is that Student Council has the power to enact substantive change — from wealth redistribution to policing reform, the organization has entered a new era of student self-governance. As such, it is incumbent upon us to take this year’s election seriously. The Cavalier Daily’s Editorial Board endorses Cain, along with third-year College students Jaden Evans for vice-president for administration and Riley Reynolds for vice-president for organizations. We implore students to join the Collective — advocate, organize and reclaim this vision of student self-governance.

Cain’s extensive experience speaks for itself — we cannot imagine anyone more qualified to take on this role. Most recently as vice president for administration, she managed internal operations and actively worked to make Student Council a more equitable institution by leading historical recontextualization efforts and managing major fee and budget reallocations. Cain’s commitment to bettering the University community doesn’t stop there — on Grounds, she is also a first-year resident advisor and serves on the Black Student Alliance’s Political Action Committee. More than any other candidate in recent history, Cain’s unique understanding of how to couple student organizing efforts across Grounds with the institutional power of Student Council sets her apart. Further, her pre-existing relationships with student groups and organizers will aid her in ensuring that stakeholders have a voice in decision-making.

Even more, Ceci’s willingness throughout the campaign process to be candid about the deeply personal financial and mental health struggles she has faced as a low-income Black student at the University was never necessary. Still, we applaud her for doing so, and commend her ability to identify the University’s institutional shortcomings from both personal and administrative experience. More importantly, she has actively worked to combat and resolve these throughout her time here — despite the fact that it never should have been her responsibility to do so in the first place. In short, Ceci has proven herself dedicated to creating a university that better supports those whom it has historically failed — including herself. 

Cain’s ambitious 27-page platform outlines tangible ways Student Council can make the University a more accessible home for low-income and Black students — compensating student leaders, developing institutional support for marginalized students entering the University and securing a student vote on the Board of Visitors are just a start. These three initiatives alone demonstrate that Cain understands how to leverage the collective bargaining power of Student Council in support of those who have been historically disenfranchised. The Collective Campaign’s comprehensive plan to empower these students is impossible to summarize succinctly — we encourage you to read more on their website.

The rest of Cain’s ticket is equally well-equipped to tackle substantive change. As Student Council’s director of finance, Evans brings a depth of knowledge and wealth of experience to the table. He is cognizant of the ways in which Student Council must better support its own members in order to be representative of the student body it purports to represent, and plans to communicate more effectively with the student body in order to engage the community in student self-governance. Most importantly, Evans views Student Council as a service-oriented organization that should advocate for and support its constituents and members.

Reynolds has experience with Student Council as the Director of the Textbook Access Office, where she worked to increase the growth of the library to lessen the burden textbook expenses pose for first-generation and low-income students. As VPO, Reynolds plans to revamp Student Council’s CIO Consultants program, create a guide and workshop to address student burnout and coordinate with marginalized CIOs to increase funding. Reynolds understands the funding issues that plague cultural and marginalized student groups, and her plans to ameliorate these failings through direct communication and affirmative outreach are promising.

The Editorial Board of The Cavalier Daily wholeheartedly believes that these candidates will dedicate themselves to making student governance more accessible and equitable so that the University reflects the needs of all students on Grounds. We believe and trust in their vision, and encourage you to vote for the Collective Campaign this week. Voting opens Wednesday at 10 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. Friday — make sure your voice is heard.