As Student Government elections begin Thursday morning, the Lariat’s Editorial Board has made the decision to endorse Zach Tufenkjian in the race for next year’s external vice president.
Of the three EVP candidates, Tufenkjian has the most experience in the executive branch of Student Government. He served on the Title IX policy committee, the Diversity and Inclusion committee and as policy director. Most recently, he has served as attorney general under the leadership of current Student Body President Sutton Houser. Because of all of his experience within the executive branch, he knows best how the offices currently operate and how he would change the role of EVP to make it more effective for his policy initiatives.
In this year’s EVP debate hosted by The Lariat, Tufenkjian had the most concrete, clear vision for what he wants to do with the office. Some of these plans include working with Waco-area chambers of commerce to help Baylor students better support local businesses and working with student organizations so they might better utilize the resources that Student Government has available to them.
Not only has Tufenkjian shown a commitment to his work in the executive branch of Student Government, but he also has worked to author or co-author bills in the Student Senate, which any student is free to do. Of the 13 bills he worked on, 12 of them passed and have left an impact on Baylor’s student population.
In Tufenkjian’s campaign, he has focused on creating equity through empathy. When it comes to all of the big conversations we’ve had as a campus and as a country this year, whether that be on the handling of COVID-19, addressing racism in our history or any other national conversation, equity and empathy are two of the qualities those conversations are missing the most. If elected, this editorial board is sure that Tufenkjian will bring those important values to the work done in next year’s Student Government
As a note on why the Lariat’s Editorial Board is only endorsing one candidate this year, traditionally Lariat endorsements are only made for student body presidential, internal vice presidential and external vice presidential elections. Because there is only one candidate for the offices of student body president and internal vice president this year (Gracie Kelliher and Katy Crawford respectively), publishing endorsements for those races would be superfluous.
Ultimately, the choice of who will hold the office of EVP next year is left up to the voters. Above all, the Lariat Editorial Board encourages students to do their research on Student Government candidates and to vote according to their conscience. All voting will take place Thursday and Friday on Student Government’s website. We wish the very best of luck to all candidates running. Happy voting!