Jeremiah Williams and Idalis Perez are running for UNC Charlotte student body president and vice president for the 2021-2022 academic year. Williams currently holds the inaugural chair of the Student Senate’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, and Perez is the current junior class president. Perez and Williams have held various roles in SGA and other leadership roles in various clubs and organizations on campus.
“It is important for us to run, and we have said this several times as a theme of our campaign, is that even if we do not win, we will still be doing the same work because this is what we are passionate about,” Williams told the Niner Times.
Williams’ and Perez’s platform is centered around three primary points of action: community outreach, transparency and advocacy. They have prioritized several crucial issues and plans of action. Among them is an in-person spring 2021 graduation and fall 2021 semester. They also hope to implement regular town hall meetings to communicate to the UNC Charlotte community and provide transparency in current events.
“We want everyone to know that they are heard,” stated Perez in an interview with the Niner Times. “We want to be student leaders, but attainable to the students.”
Williams-Perez advocates a smoother transition into the first year on campus for both freshmen and transfer students by expanding immersive opportunities.
“I transferred spring of 2020 and immediately became involved in SGA and other student organizations,” said Williams to Niner Times.
Williams also stated their campaign would work to “make sure people like myself, and freshmen can better understand not only locations but also customs and traditions.”
University cohesion on diversity, equity and inclusion are also important to this campaign, as Williams is the Student Senate’s inaugural chair’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.
Another key issue is the expansion and increased funding of the Counseling and Psychological Service (CAPS). William-Perez also hopes to improve the affordability and resources available to low-income students through improving resources such as the student food bank, textbook services, emergency housing, revenue, and support. Finally, Williams-Perez is dedicated to reviewing Title IX to ensure that it is fair to all students by creating equitable access to students of color and the LGBTQ+ community, after seeing discrepancies while Williams served on the Student Senate’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, “We are trying to bring a human touch to SGA,” explained Williams.
In a recent press release, Williams-Perez stated, “We believe we are the best candidates for the Student Body President and Vice President Positions because of our leadership experiences combined with an intense commitment to community service. Students will know there are fierce and uncompromising advocates in the highest leadership positions on campus. We will utilize this influence to be a direct pipeline from students to faculty. As leaders, we will be receptive to the needs of those we are leading, and we will fight to make our administration a cohesive unit which can best represent students.”
When asked about the meaning of student representation by the Niner Times, Idalis said, “Being in this position means to me to advocate for everyone as much as I possibly can,” she added.
“Representing the student body means an opportunity to listen and then to serve from what we hear,” said Williams.
Williams-Perez is running against Richard Beekman and Gabrielle Hitchcock. The election will take place March 23-24 online at vote.uncc.edu. The results will be announced on the Student Government Instagram page at 12 p.m. on March 25, followed by an announcement on the Student Government website.