Our View: Tate Thomas for student affairsBy Editorial Board | 03/09/2015 10:30pm
The Crimson White Editorial Board endorses Tate Thomas for the position of vice president of student affairs.
The vice president of student affairs should be held by a person who cares about the multitude of issues faced by students but also recognizes how the role can be used to fix those problems. Throughout our interviews with each candidate we looked for vision, pragmatism and a genuine care for all students, not just a select few. All the candidates possessed vision and a genuine care for students, but in our interview Thomas clearly possessed the experience and pragmatic attitude to turn his platform into reality.
Throughout our interview with Tate, he consistently reminded us that he was an engineer, capable of breaking large problems into smaller, tangible steps. He spoke at length about his experience within the SGA as chief implementation officer and how that shaped his campaign platform and plans for his role should he win. For example, his Student Non-Academic Misconduct forgiveness program will bring much needed change to an unfair, harsh punishment. Far too many students have SNAMs haunting their academic and personal records, which reduce their present opportunities and dampen their future prospects. His ability to develop an appropriate solution with the consultation of University administrators and with the help of fellow SGA members speaks volumes about his leadership ability, problem-solving mentality and desire to serve students.
In comparison to his fellow candidates Thomas lacks a clear idea on how to increase dialogue between students about campus-wide problems like sexual assault, mental illness and race relations. Branden Greenberg, through his work with the U ARE campaign and the Greek Council, tried to help students develop self-confidence and combat mental illness stigma. Ryan Campbell wants to stop compartmentalizing campus by Greek or non-Greek, Honors or non-Honors, out-of-state or in-state and the other categories students use to describe themselves. Nonetheless, Thomas showed both the willingness and ability to reach out and make connections to get the job done. We hope he will use this acumen in an attempt to bridge some of the deep-seated divisions on campus.
Thomas is by far the strongest candidate for the position because of his desire to help other students, his engineer-like approach to problem-solving, and his relatively achievable platform. Ultimately, we endorse Tate Thomas for the vice president of student affairs.
Our View represents the consensus of The Crimson White Editorial Board.