The Editorial Board is endorsing Teddy Vann for student body president.
To make endorsements, the board researched each candidate’s platform, conducted interviews with each candidate and met as a group to assess their qualifications for office. We evaluated candidates on numerous topics, ranging from diversity, equity and inclusion to expectations for the University’s COVID-19 response.
We strongly believe that the next student body president should be able to represent the diverse student body at UNC, and marginalized communities that have historically been silenced on campus.
Vann currently serves as the president of the Black Student Movement and works closely with the NAACP — she has made it clear that service is essential to her work in the community and that she takes a personal responsibility to represent the student body.
“I’m not a person from a very wealthy family; I’m a Carolina Covenant scholar, I’m a first-generation college student, and so service has been a really core element of my identity and my upbringing,” Vann tells The Daily Tar Heel. “I try to live my life in a way where I’m always striving to serve others and provide for them as I’ve been provided for.”
She has first-person experience feeling unheard as a BIPOC student, and hopes to create more ways for students that are not a part of student government to engage and talk to people in power. Vann has made it clear that she hopes to bring in new perspectives from outside of student government into the office, which the Editorial Board believes will allow her to act as a voice for students who are often left out of administrative decision-making.
Vann is able to effectively and heartfully connect, engage and communicate with other students — we found ourselves laughing with her multiple times throughout our interview with her. She was honest about her own experiences with mental health resources on campus, knowledge of UNC and her discussions with administration. Still, Vann is headstrong in her platform — when asked about the role of the UNC Police, she responds succinctly:
“Reduced. No, I’m just kidding. No I’m not, though.”
She is upfront and relatable, creating a connection with everyone in the room and still being able to communicate productively with higher administration. Vann is able to acknowledge her privileges and identities, and is willing to work with other communities to extend her representation where it falls short.