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Supporting students of color is at the forefront for Campus Y presidential candidates

Kipp Williams and Raymond Tu
Kipp Williams and Raymond Tu are running unopposed in their co-presidential campaign for the Campus Y. Photo taken by Ziola Kowzan and courtesy of Williams.

Sophomores Kipp Williams and Raymond Tu aim to expand outreach and inclusivity as part of their platform for running to be co-presidents of the Campus Y. 

Williams and Tu spoke unopposed at their co-president forum on Feb 4. The election will be held on Feb. 12. 

Currently, Williams and Tu are director of membership and director of communications respectively, positions that work closely together. Williams and Tu have both had the opportunity to work with the many sub-committees in the Campus Y as well as get to know each other, leading them to create a dual-campaign. 

Williams and Tu’s campaign is centered around the idea of "building bridges," which entails better representing people of color and other historically marginalized communities. Williams said the Campus Y has been historically white, but that many committees are majorly represented by people of color and that the voice of the Campus Y should reflect all involved.

“All people should come here and feel empowered to better themselves and our community,” Williams said. 

Acknowledging that the Campus Y is a place for education is also important to their campaign. Tu said that though Campus Y maintains a high standard of accountability, it is a place for those curious about the realms of activism as well as for those who are already passionate about involvement when they come to UNC. 

“We want to act as ambassadors for the Campus Y by uplifting voices that aren’t always heard,” Tu said. “We want to use the Campus Y’s platform to elevate marginalized communities and different communities of students on campus.”

Despite former UNC Chancellor Carol Folt's recent resignation, Tu said he hopes their campaign, which focuses on making meaningful connections, will encourage students to stay engaged and informed with campus affairs. 

If elected as co-presidents, Williams and Tu will be responsible for all of the inner workings of the Campus Y including administration, finances, outreach with other groups on campus and overseeing the productivity of its 30 committees. Williams said the position parallels a full-time job.

However, the intensity of the position inspires Williams and Tu. 

“I have a little bit of that ‘want to change the world’ inside me,” Williams said. “I think that is our civic duty as people to constantly try to improve ourselves and our institutions, and I see the Y as one of those institutions that needs to constantly be improving itself but also has the power to improve this University.”

For Tu, the Campus Y provided a home for him to learn about both Chapel Hill and the United States as an international student from Canada. Tu said the Campus Y was a place which allowed him to explore intersectionality.

Williams and Tu said they hope they can continue fostering the Campus Y to be a home for anyone by upholding and uplifting activists and actions on campus.

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