The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday March 4th

Editorial: Meet Student Body President candidate Keshav Javvadi

Keshav Javvadi is a junior and the current speaker of the Undergraduate Senate. As speaker, he leads the legislative branch of student government. 

In our interview, Javvadi told us he is the best candidate for four reasons: passion, vision, experience and empathy. His extensive experience in student government means he is equipped with the institutional knowledge necessary to get things done.

Keshav Javvadi

Candidate Report Card

Affordability and accessibility

B+

Being a voice for students

B

Diversity, equity and inclusion

A

Reforming student government

B+

Sexual assault and safety

A-

Student wellness

B

Final Grade: B+


Affordability and accessibility 

  • Advocate for graduate student living wages
  • Emphasize neurodivergent accessibility
  • Continue push for textbook and access code affordability
  • Address food insecurity on campus through initiatives such as a meal swipe sharing program

Score: B+


Affordability: Keshav Javvadi

Transcript —

"A lot of the barriers that we have at this university are monetary. It can be hard for students to afford textbooks, it can be hard for students to afford iClickers, to eat properly. And all of these things play into academics. If you're not eating right, if you're not getting the proper resources, if you're spending a lot of your time working part-time or work study because you can't afford to not do that, then we see a natural disparity in those students, and those students who don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or don't have to worry about having the proper textbooks and stuff. Now that every student is at Carolina, we should all have the same opportunity."


Being a voice for students

  • Increase communication between student government and student activist organizations 
  • Improve student relations with local, state and federal officials

Score: B


Elevating Student Voices: Keshav Javvadi

Transcript —

"All these experiences mean I am not going to be spending the first month or two of my role learning the ropes. It means that I come in with the knowledge of I am Student Body President, here is how everything works, I have sat in all these rooms before and I have a clear idea of what I want from my few ideas in student government so that I am not confused when I come in here."   


Diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Create an external review board for instances of discrimination
  • Increase implicit bias training
  • Respect for preferred names in ConnectCarolina and on OneCards
  • Open public survey for feedback on racial equity on campus

Score: A


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Keshav Javvadi

Transcript —

"If the people in charge of diversity and inclusion aren't a diverse body of people, then you can never actually have diversity or inclusion. So that's the first step for me, is including that as a core part of our mission, and ensuring that the people in charge of it are diverse and inclusive in the first place."  


Reforming student government

  • Revamp Communications Taskforce to spearhead outreach efforts, specifically for marginalized communities
  • Mandatory club outreach
  • Increase stipends for student government positions 

Score: B+


Reforming Student Government: Keshav Javvadi

Transcript —

"A big barrier to access in student government is money. A lot of students on campus that our issues affect need to work part-time or need to do work study in order to support themselves on campus. And because of that, they can't dedicate the necessary time to student government. So we create this bias where the members of the Executive Branch and the members of Senate are already disproportionately well off because they have the time to be dedicating in this role."


Sexual assault and safety

  • Create an external review board for incidents of gender-based violence and harassment
  • Add QR codes to the back of OneCards to increase visibility of essential resources
  • Require Haven and OneAct trainings for students, faculty and staff

Score: A-


Sexual Assault Prevention Policy: Keshav Javvadi

Transcript —

"The ways that we plan on changing the culture at UNC, the ways that we plan on holding student orgs accountable, is we are planning on implementing a student led review board of incidents of sexual assault and of incidents of harassments and misconducts. The purpose of this board is to help hold student orgs accountable and censor them if they don't deal with it in the proper way. In addition to that, we also want to make some small policy changes like adding some safe resources to the back of OneCards like a QR code to safe.unc.edu or Transloc or apps like that help students be safe around campus. Hopefully it would increase a student's measure of safety in those incidents." 


UNC Police: Keshav Javvadi

Transcript —

"UNC Police might be perceived as a measure of safety for some students, for white students on campus, but it most certainly is not perceived as an institution of safety for Black students, or for students of color. I think UNC Police should be limited to like emergency situations only, and even in those cases they should be purely deescalatory and purely nonaggressive. I don't think we need police in spaces like move-in day, for example, or at sporting events. Their presence often creates an unsafe space for the very students they claim to try to protect."


Student wellness

  • Mandate mental health providers by department
  • Secure more funding for CAPS
  • Create mutual aid fund for mental health resources

Score: B

@dthopinion

opinion@dailytarheel.com

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