Editorials

Editorial: Nguyen ’17 for UCS president

By
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

As students gear up to vote in elections for the Undergraduate Council of Students this week, The Herald endorses Viet Nguyen ’17 for UCS president.

Nguyen, like the other two candidates — Kevin Garcia ’18 and Zachary Nelkin ’17 — plans to prioritize amplifying marginalized voices on campus and increasing campus inclusivity and accessibility. All three of these candidates are clearly passionate, qualified and promising, but Nguyen is the best man for the job.

While Garcia and Nelkin have both been active members of UCS for several semesters, Nguyen spent the past three years building connections with student groups and administrators. He spearheaded projects such as the First-Generation Student Center set to open this summer, working closely with President Christina Paxson P’19, Provost Richard Locke P’17 and current UCS President and Vice President Sazzy Gourley ’16 and Alana Bhatla ’16. He has also established ties with cultural student groups, international student groups and LGBTQ groups, and he hopes to use those relationships to help bring attention to and prioritize the concerns of historically underrepresented groups in the future.

Nguyen intends to realize his goals by advocating campus resources that take into account the multifaceted identities of students. For example, he would like to see the University hire more Counseling and Psychological Services counselors who specialize in areas in which students most frequently seek help in order to decrease CAPS appointment wait times and the workload of counselors who specialize in those areas. (The average wait time for an appointment with one of the two practitioners of color employed by CAPS is currently over a month.) He wants to increase the accessibility of Title IX services by pushing for partnerships between the Title IX office and other campus resources so that students can report sexual assault cases to whichever administrative body they feel most comfortable approaching. Nguyen also hopes to increase the number of career-oriented on-campus jobs available to international and undocumented students, especially teaching assistant positions, which require students to provide Social Security numbers when applying.

It is important to note that Nguyen devised his plans in cooperation with the student groups he hopes to represent. He hopes to continue pushing for the incorporation of student input into University initiatives in order to avoid situations like the frustration over the recent strategic plan released by the Swearer Center for Public Service. He believes that future initiatives should be preventative rather than reactive, a goal that can be accomplished by providing more channels through which students can provide feedback to the University.

Nguyen seems to be the candidate best situated to address the issues most salient in our community. We hope our fellow students will keep him in mind as they place their votes.

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Emma Axelrod ’18 and Emma Jerzyk ’17, and its members, Eben Blake ’17 and Leeron Lempel ’19. Send comments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.