As the candidates for the UVa’s upcoming student body elections gear up for their campaigning, at least one student organization has determined which candidates they are endorsing: the College Republicans at the University of Virginia (CRs). As an officially-sanctioned “endorsing organization” by the University Board of Elections (UBE), College Republicans are given the “opportunity to voice their approval for candidates in a public manner” in exchange for adhering to certain standards that “ensure equal opportunity for all candidates,” according to the UBE.
Here is how the endorsement process works: candidates interested in receiving an endorsement from College Republicans schedule an interview with the organization. “After the interviews,” says Mac McClure, Chairman of the College Republicans, “we deliberate and decide which candidates fit our standards for endorsement.”
It might seem safe to assume that the CRs will always endorse candidates who best capture the policies of the Republican Party, but this is not necessarily true. “We look for candidates who excel in activities related to the positions they seek and have clear ideas for the future of the organizations,” says McClure. “As a partisan group, we also sometimes consider candidates’ views on politically divisive issues that pertain to student government. That said, many of the positions we endorse, such as Honor and class councils, do not have direct political implications, and political stances tend to matter much less than experience and ideas.”
One of the problems with student body elections at the University of Virginia is the threat of low voter turnout, which sat at a mere 25 percent during last year’s elections. When asked how important it is that students get involved in these elections, McClure responded, “I think it’s very important that students at least vote in university-wide elections, as many of the positions for election have the ability to substantively change parts of everyday student life. Of course, voters should also familiarize themselves with the candidates’ platforms and ideas before making any decisions to vote.”
Arguably, much is at stake during this election cycle compared to previous years. The race for the President of Student Council will be hotly contested after two consecutive years of candidates running unopposed. Additionally, the elections for Honor Committee representatives feature stark messages among the candidates, each responding to the three referenda to change the Honor Code and potentially eliminate the Single Sanction.
“Personally, I’m most excited for the Honor elections,” says McClure. “The candidates have varying opinions on the three referenda, and I’m interested to see who wins and how they handle the results of the referenda immediately following the elections.” The College Republicans did not state a preference to the outcome of the referenda one way or the other.
A full list of the CRs’ endorsements can be found below:
– College: Emily Snow, Russell Bogue, Grace Muth, Martese Johnson
– Comm: Faith Lyons, Michael White
UNIVERSITY JUDICIARY COMMITTEE (UJC)
– College: MacKenzie Austin
– President: Locher Grove
– VPA: Daria Winsky
– VPO: Adrien Carré
– College Representatives: Brett Curtis, Uhunoma Edamwen
– President: Henry Reynolds
FOURTH YEAR TRUSTEES
– President: Jack Vallar
– Vice President: Parisa Sadeghi
THIRD YEAR COUNCIL
– President: Lital Firestone
SECOND YEAR COUNCIL
– President: Uhunoma Edamwen
– Vice President: Diane D’Costa