Nia Robinson for SGA President

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Each year, The Campus endorses a candidates for Student Government Association president. This comes after a sit-down with candidates, in which each is allowed 15 minutes to present their platform and answer questions. Our subsequent endorsement reflects who we as a board feel is best suited for the position — someone who represents the interests of all Middlebury students. This year, the candidates for SGA president are Rae Aaron ’19.5, Charles Rainey ’19 and Nia Robinson ’19.

Once elected, the SGA President serves as the first line of communication between the student body and Old Chapel. Should an issue (say, a contentious debate or student outcry on-campus) arise in the Middlebury community, administrators turn to the SGA President first, in order to gauge student sentiment and craft a response. As such, it is imperative that the president in question not only communicate well, but hold the interests of Middlebury students at heart. Beyond that, the SGA President shoulders a vast array of responsibilities and must be committed to working diligently in order to convert visions, ideals and values into tangible institutional change.

In the 2018 SGA Presidential race, the editorial board believes Nia Robinson best suits this role.

Until two weeks ago, Nia herself was an opinion editor at The Campus. Rather than see this as a conflict of interest, we believe this affords us unique insight into Nia’s suitability for the position, one for which we eagerly endorse her campaign.

All three candidates presented impressive platforms. Rae Aaron offered a platform centered around campus life, accessibility and inclusivity. In addition, her extensive SGA experience as Feb senator and speaker renders her highly qualified for the position. Rae’s weekly email updates are beloved by the Feb community for their humor and informativity, and demonstrate her communication ability. Charles Rainey presented an incredibly thorough platform focused on three areas: social life, community and support. His proposal consists of 15 total points, with five specific points he hopes to achieve for each of these three main areas. He aims to weave ideals of inclusion and accessibility into his platform (for example, hiring a counselor of color at Parton). Yet, while the breadth and detail of both Charles’ and Rae’s campaigns were impressive, Nia emerged as the stronger candidate.

Nia has deep and varied experience in working with students and administrators. As a member of the college’s Judicial Board, Nia understands well the inner workings of bureaucratic systems at Middlebury. And as a former co-president of the Black Student Union, she has already built the relationships needed to work with cultural organizations and bolster inclusivity initiatives on campus. In short, she has worked both inside and outside of the system to make Middlebury a better place.

Unlike Rae and Charles, Nia has never before served as a member of the SGA. Rather than see this as a shortcoming, the editorial board believes this presents an exciting opportunity for a fresh and unique perspective Instead of spending her time exclusively working within the SGA, Nia has lived and worked through many valuable and authentic Middlebury student experiences. Who better to lead us?

During her time at The Campus, Nia proved to be incredible writer, eloquent speaker and meticulously thoughtful participant in discussions about the state of the Middlebury community. During these discussions, Nia displayed a sincere and unwavering desire to create a Middlebury that serves all students equally, pushing time and time again for transparency, accessibility and social inclusion on campus. She entered each discussion with an intense focus and presence that conveyed not only her values and vision, but a sincere desire to follow up and convert her visions into tangible change.

On a more personal note, Nia’s work on campus has demonstrated what a thoughtful, focused and good-humored individual she is; we on the board believe these qualities make her aptly suited to the role of SGA president.

Anyone who has watched Nia at work in Crossroads Café or witnessed one of her admissions tours cannot possibly fail to notice the efficiency, grace and responsibility with which Nia conducts herself.

Responsibility aside, the way that Nia interacts with other students is nothing short of special. Nia not only makes it her project to connect with as many of her peers as possible, but to do so on a genuine, personal level. As a result, she is known and loved by the Middlebury community — professors, deans, students, staff and administrators alike. We on the editorial board are excited by the value Nia places upon building authentic individual relationships, and we are sure she would pursue honest, empathetic communication with every member of Middlebury’s community.

Above all else, what makes Nia most suited to the role of SGA president is the breadth of her experience at Middlebury. Nia possesses unparalleled knowledge of day-to-day student issues. This will be crucial in balancing community members’ perspectives, which, as a board, we identify as the single most important requisite for SGA president. We are excited to endorse Nia’s candidacy in this year’s race.

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Nia Robinson for SGA President