With the ballot finalized and election season for UNC's new student body president fully underway, candidates Lamar Richards and Keshav Javvadi discussed graduate student needs, COVID-19 precautions and racial equity in their first debate Wednesday.
The debate was hosted by the UNC Graduate and Professional Student Federation and took place over Zoom for one hour. Each candidate had two minutes to answer their question with a one-minute follow-up. Questions were submitted by students beforehand or asked in real time by those who chose to watch live.
The moderator began the debate by asking the candidates why they wanted to be elected as student body president.
Javvadi said that, while Student Government does great work and has a lot of passionate students, it is not often as representative as it could be.
“If we can break down these areas in Student Government that exist between marginalized communities and Student Government, then we can truly claim to represent the students,” Javvadi said.
Richards said he realized there were not many other students involved in the Undergraduate Senate who looked like him and were part of a marginalized community — representative of part of a systemic issue that he wants to fix, he said.
“Through the means of student body president, I can work to effectively address these systemic issues, while also putting in place institutionalized practices that are more inclusive, not just in undergraduate Student Government, but professional and graduate,” Richards said.
Graduate and professional students