To the Editor:
After weeks of petitioning, campaigning and debate, the election results for the Student Assembly Presidential race have finally been released. As expected, we do not have the same reaction to this outcome, yet we both share a feeling of relief that the process has come to an end, and we both accept these results as valid. There were moments when we feared that the system would not provide a result the public could trust, but through patience and deliberation, we have arrived here.
Nonetheless, we must address the public response to recent events. Although we understand that many students felt an attachment to the election, we cannot condone the personal attacks either of us witnessed. Some of these attacks were leveled against candidates, but many were directed towards Student Assembly members, the Elections Committee, supporters of our campaigns and other members of the Cornell community. We do not consider any of these attacks acceptable, and we hope that we can find support for those negatively affected.
That being said, we remain optimistic about the future of the Student Assembly. In addition to the two of us, undergraduate students have elected 21 representatives, all of whom have been waiting weeks to start preparing for next year’s Student Assembly. Many of these representatives-elect have ideas that can help shape a better Cornell, and with this election over, we can all begin that journey. We also know that we must work to regain a level of respect and faith in the processes of the Student Assembly that have been lost during this election. This will not be easy, but we have hope that the structural changes we create and the connections we build will make the Student Assembly stronger and more representative than it has been.
Varun Devatha ’19
Executive Vice President and President-Elect, Student Assembly
Dale Barbaria ’19
Vice President of Internal Affairs and Undesignated At-Large Representative-Elect, Student Assembly