Lamar Richards is one of two candidates running for student body president this year. Here are Richards' goals for the position.
The office of student body president has traditionally been reserved for a student in their last year at UNC — elected during the spring of their junior year and serving throughout their senior year.
Sophomore and UNC student body president candidate Lamar Richards wants to change that.
“We have an idea of what the SBP should be, and we need to forego that and really eradicate that,” Richards said. “There's nothing that a student should be to be SBP. The SBP is a student who's willing and capable to lead — and that definitely is me.”
Richards said his “I, Too, Am Carolina” campaign — a play on Langston Hughes’ poem with the line, “I, too, am America” — is about giving a voice to the marginalized students who have long been ignored, both at the University and in Student Government.
“I think we’ve spent so much time talking about what Student Government is, what it isn’t, what it has been, what it hasn’t been, and not really strategizing about who we can be and who we can include in that vision of where we need to be,” he said.
Richards’ platform includes extensive policy goals to expand resources to a variety of marginalized groups on campus. Some key elements of that plan include:
- Establishing more direct funding and opportunities for low-income and other marginalized student groups
- Increasing graduate student stipends
- And expanding the offerings of Counseling and Psychological Services.
He also plans to overhaul the Student Government structure, adding several new positions and a recruitment program for marginalized voices to promote greater diversity in the future.
“We are out to build a foundation,” he said. “If I could sum up all of my goals into one thing, that is it. These things will take years of advocacy work, but we are committed to being the foundation for that.”