For the 2015-16 student government elections, the Lariat Editorial Board is endorsing Houston junior Pearson Brown for student body president. We believe he will best represent the interests of the student body as student body president.
The board conducted interviews with each of the candidates and heard their platforms and aspirations for student government.
While each of the candidates have well thought out plans, Brown was the only candidate that offered up both specific and broad goals that also align with the mission of Baylor University.
The board believes Brown has a strong understanding of the issues that most concern the student body as evidenced by his platform.
Brown’s plan is summarized in three words: Ignite, Launch and Soar. These represent three stages of a typical Baylor student’s time during the application process, while on campus and after graduation. Brown has generated a platform that is not only viable, but also applicable to every student at Baylor.
The first step of Brown’s plan examines Baylor’s affordability. Brown demonstrated a detailed knowledge of Baylor’s tuition rates that he has applied to exploring how Baylor can slow tuition increases. Brown understands this isn’t a quick fix, but he also knows affordability is something nearly every student, including himself, has to contemplate upon being accepted to Baylor.
To help with affordability, Brown is hoping to establish a scholarship for siblings. When younger siblings attend Baylor, they could pay the same tuition as their older sibling, instead of the normal, higher tuition.
The next step of his plan pertains to student growth on campus. Brown hopes to see future leaders bud and bloom while at Baylor – something we believe is an admirable goal. Brown demonstrated humility as he told the board about his desire to further God’s glory and not his own. This aligns with Baylor’s mission as a Christian institute.
Perhaps the most compelling and pertinent part of Brown’s campaign deals with helping students soar upon graduating from the university. The final stage of Brown’s plan would allow students of all majors and ambitions to meet with professionals and Baylor alumni who are in their respective fields. Through speakers, networking and hiring opportunities, Brown hopes to help guide seniors to know where they’re going after graduation.
As a professional sale major in the Hankamer School of Business, Brown realizes the importance networking with individuals in a given career can have on securing a job. Among one of the most impressive plans he presented about opportunities to network, was starting a “career tailgate” at the beginning of each game, that would allow students to connect with alumni in their respective fields. Unlike many networking events and initiatives held by the university, Brown would like to alternate the tailgates between different departments, and not just focus on the business school. This move by Brown would serve to include other departments in the networking circle at an event where several alumni and students could be reached.
A major concern on campus is Baylor’s lack of diversity. Through the speakers and alumni he hopes to bring to campus, Brown wants to promote diversity among students and faculty.
As someone who has been involved in student government since freshman year, Brown boasts an impressive resume within the organization. Beginning as a freshman Senator, Brown has worked hard during his tenure in the Senate, and now serves as the chair of the Operations and Procedures Committee and the Senate Pro Tempore. With a hefty amount of experience from both of these positions, Brown has a working knowledge of the constitution, which will prove useful in the coming legislative year.
Beyond his experience, Brown was without what the board perceives as conflicts within student government. Katy junior Lawren Kinghorn was strengthened by the Student Court trial that found her guilty of violating the student body constitution.
However, it seems as though Kinghorn still has unfortunate ties to drama within the student government. Should she be elected president, this drama will most likely continue.
Frisco sophomore James Porter also shared his frustrations with student government this year and told the board he would work to correct the problems. While we do believe the student government shouldn’t consist of people who all agree – nothing would get done otherwise – we do not believe attempting to right the perceived wrongs of this past year should be the goal of the student body president. Porter did have a plan involving safety on campus, a focus on interactions between student government and other organizations and more opportunities to connect with alumni.
These are all great plans and initiatives, but beside Brown’s thorough platform, these fade.
The next student body president must be confident in his plan. The plan must be well-rounded and researched. It needs to be grounded in reality. It must impact the student body. And the student body president should be willing to serve.
Porter and Kinghorn each have a few of these qualities.
Brown, however, has them all.
With a solid platform that addresses student concerns and a strong constitutional background, Brown is by far the best candidate for the position of student body president.