SGA is currently holding Spring 2022 elections, which includes class president, senator and student body positions. Voting will occur March 15-16, with results announced on March 17. Below is a feature on one of the student body president/vice president campaigns.
Jeremiah Williams, a third-year student, transferred to UNC Charlotte in spring 2020 and is majoring in political science and history. He joined SGA soon after and is currently the secretary for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition, he is on the Executive Leadership mock trial team and was a peer mentor in fall 2021.
Abigail Warren, a third-year, has different roles in SGA as a U-Cross senator, vice-chair for Internal Affairs and her role as attorney general last year. She also volunteers and mentors in the Teen Court program, where she helps with the rehabilitation process for juveniles in Charlotte and Gaston County.
The following transcript has been edited and condensed.
Will you tell me a bit about yourselves?
Williams: I try to stay busy, and I'm super passionate about people. I think that's the center of everything I do. I walk into a room and think to myself, 'What's the most good I can do before I leave?' So that's been Student Government and trying to advocate for students and make student life better because it's hard being a college student.
Warren: When I started at Charlotte, I knew I wanted to advocate for the student body. Student Government gave me an outlet to do that. Within the community, I serve as a guardian ad litem [advocating] on behalf of foster care children in the Charlotte area. I'm passionate about making students at Charlotte feel like they're getting to experience campus life.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
Williams: I'm a big movie guy. I watch pretty much anything except horror movies, but they've been growing on me. I like music a lot. Frank Ocean is one of my favorites. I love hanging out with my dog. He's a Boston Terrier; he'll be out there on the campaign trail.
Warren: I love dancing. I danced for 14 years as a kid. I love going out to organizations, dancing and going out on the weekends. Dance was a huge part of my life, and it's how I expressed myself as a kid. I love music, so I love going to concerts and jamming in my room. I'm also a member of Alpha Chi Omega.
Why are diversity, equity, and inclusion important to your platform?
Williams: I think DE&I is key to everything globally but specifically on campus. I think it's important that the student body president candidate—because they're on the board of trustees— are representing students when it comes to policy. At this high level, I think it's crucial for them to have some background, experience or proven interest in DE&I.
How do you plan to reach out to students?
Warren: We've reached out to all [organizations], not just the top 10 you hear about, and we want to hear from them. We want them to know, as a small organization on campus, they still have a voice. We still want to find a way, next year, to allocate a certain amount of money through our funds to help them get funded because it is harder for small organizations on campus to get their name out there to have events. There [are] a lot of beneficial organizations that deserve to be heard on campus that not many people know about. We want to give them that outlet as well. So we've been reaching out to a lot of people, a lot of organizations and speaking to students as they walk by.
How will you increase voter turnout this election?
Warren: As attorney general, I was head of elections. I saw the lack in voter turnout in the past years. Our biggest thing is spreading our outreach, letting students know that this is going on, like, 'This is your chance to put good leaders in leadership. [In] leadership that follows through.' I want the Charlotte community to know they have a chance to let their voice be heard, and they do have a say-so in who shares their voice with Charlotte.
Any final thoughts you want to share with students?
Williams: I want people to leave this seeing our passion for students. I want people to see how genuine it is. I feel like a lot of times, people, unfortunately, have this perception that they only hear from the student government when it comes to elections. I can say I have aid invested in student organizations like Black Student Union, Asian Student Association, and other organizations and try to go to meetings as much as possible throughout this year because I care about the people in those organizations. I care about the people on the eBoard. But also from the student government side of things, I want people to feel that Student Government isn't just there when we need something, when we need elections or when we need to pursue something.
Warren: I feel like students forget that we're students too. When we say 'We want to be your voice,' we're also our own voices because we're speaking out for what we want as students too. That's a really big thing to us. We most definitely care, and we pour love and compassion into every single thing that we do. That's the biggest takeaway I want students to get: we're here for you. We're also here for ourselves. We're here for students, and we're here for the community.