The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
Beginning today, Miami students have the opportunity to vote for who they want to represent the student body as the Student Body President (SBP) and Vice-President (VP). This is a crucial choice for Miami students, as Associated Student Government (ASG) controls nearly $1.2 million in student fees and has direct lobbying influence over many aspects of student life.
After meeting with both campaigns, The Miami Student Editorial Board endorses Jaylen Perkins and Dante Rossi as the best candidates to lead ASG and the Miami student body through the next year. We believe Perkins and Rossi are the best candidates to represent the varied interests of the Miami student body.
Perkins and Rossi have carefully crafted ideas and real-world advocacy experience to lead ASG in a new direction. They have worked as leaders within the Miami community over the past three years to fight for issues that truly matter, especially regarding the experiences of minority populations on this campus. The Perkins-Rossi ticket has a clearly defined vision for diversity, student wellness and the betterment of the Greek community at Miami. They offer a new perspective to ASG as students who have been a part of the Black Action Movement 2.0 (BAM 2.0) and as students who are not tied to the internal drama that has plagued ASG this past academic year. We expect our student leaders to hold themselves to a higher standard than we have seen, and The Student believes Perkins and Rossi are more than capable of doing so.
This is the kind of leadership which ASG desperately needs.
The Perkins-Rossi campaign has made Greek life a central pillar in their campaign. Given the events in recent weeks within Delta Tau Delta, our next student leaders must be equipped to recognize both the importance of Greek life to nearly a quarter of students on campus and the problems it needs to address, especially within IFC.
While all candidates running for SBP and VP are a part of Greek life, the Perkins-Rossi campaign is the only one to place Greek life as a central platform of their campaign. Their plan includes working with the Tri-Council to recognize the issues facing the Greek community while also promoting the values of philanthropy and leadership that are integral to many of the Greek organizations on our campus.
Their campaign has the most comprehensive plan to address the lack of diversity on campus, which starts with changing the environment on campus. Their plan includes creating more multicultural LLCs and diversity training workshops at convocation and orientation, and hosting more cultural events on campus that take center stage, rather than one-off attempts at town halls that fail to garner real student attendance. These are real plans, not platitudes, which will actually help foster and promote diversity on campus and encourage more students from underrepresented communities to enroll at Miami.
Not only that, but Perkins-Rossi expressed a desire to promote more transparency between ASG and the student body.
Our job here at The Student becomes unnecessarily difficult when our reporters struggle to gain access and information from ASG — information that should be public in the first place.
There are many students on this campus who have never heard of ASG and do not know its purpose or who their representatives are. This is a perennial problem that we try to fight with our reporting, but only so many people can be enthralled by our ASG coverage every week. It is ASG’s responsibility to make themselves available to their constituents.
This culture must change, and the Perkins-Rossi campaign has a plan to do it. They have measurable ideas to reach out to constituents, like a monthly newsletter sent out from ASG to the student body, which would include the minutes from ASG meetings.
These are steps in the rights direction in not just promoting more transparency between ASG and The Miami Student, but between ASG and the whole student body.
We believe in Jaylen Perkins and Dante Rossi and in their platform, because they have the experience to back up what they stand for.
Perkins serves as a Resident Assistant, the president of the Black Student Action Association, the financial secretary of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and was one of the leaders of BAM 2.0.
Rossi is the president of the Honors Student Advisory Board, a member of the Chi Psi fraternity and an undergraduate teaching assistant. His research and advocacy has focused on the experiences of members of the LGBTQA+ community.
They are both members of the marginalized communities at Miami and they seek to include and represent these communities more fully.
It’s all too easy for career ASG senators to become complacent in their role and do little to measurably change the Miami community. Perkins and Rossi’s perspectives as outsiders give them an edge, and they will be less likely to take “No” for an answer from the Miami administration. Their history of community organizing is encouraging when we look for real changes we hope to see on campus.
Perkins and Rossi have the chance to make history at Miami and create real social change on this campus. We encourage the Miami community to see this as an opportunity to change the narrative.