The student body presidential candidates did not provide that for the student body, who every candidate claimed to serve. This election reinforced the mistrust the student body has toward Student Government.
The night of the Campus Y debate where Jane Tullis openly denounced Savannah Putnam’s use of the n-word, we learned of Tullis’ association with a 2015 social media post. The post, which featured Tullis and a friend posing with cornrows, contained a racially-insensitive comment by Tullis: “Straight Outta Compton or straight out of prison?”
On the night before elections, Jack Noble was “found guilty of five violations: three counts of misrepresentation, one count of falsification and a location violation,” according to an article by The Daily Tar Heel. All four of the cases were brought forward by individuals affiliated with the Martin campaign — one of whom was Martin’s campaign manager. Make of that what you will. Furthermore, the timing of the accusations —right before voting began —is suspicious. Although Noble was found guilty for the charges, the violations ultimately boil down to petty, subjective semantics.
Worst of all, the day elections took place, allegations arose against Tarik Woods regarding abuse of power and directed misogyny toward fellow female members of the student government. Although Woods apologized, he excused his behavior by blaming his “aggressive leadership style” claiming he “wasn’t aware” of the effects his actions had for his female peers. Sure, Tarik.
None of these circumstances should be deemed appropriate or reflective of our student body. Given everything that has happened over the last year, the student body is in dire need of unity, integrity and strong leadership. But apparently, that was too much to ask. These traits are not present among this year’s collection of SBP candidates, campaigns and agendas.
Nonetheless, congratulations to Ashton Martin for winning student body president. We genuinely wish her the best in her term, if not for her sake, but for ours. The Editorial Board will be holding her accountable throughout her term to make sure her campaign promises, which we graded her so highly on, will come to fruition. We don’t want a repeat of the Putnam administration.
The student body needs someone strong-willed and dignified to guide us through what is sure to be another tumultuous year. As for whether or not Martin will be that leader? Only time will tell.