Anagha and Winston will do What It Takes to promote inclusion

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Photo Credit: Jeb Milling | Daily Texan Staff

Join Anagha and Winston as They do What It Takes for UT. 

We belong here, and we do what it takes to carve out our own space at this University. We work part time while studying as full-time students. We encourage our peers on campus and engage people in the Austin community. We dedicate ourselves to service and self-betterment, whether through working jobs after school, studying all night or supporting our friends in difficult times. Every Longhorn has their own unique story about their journey to campus, and that is something to celebrate. 

Since coming to campus, we have been awestruck by the passion and drive that people have demonstrated in their own lives. We have been inspired by our peers to become trailblazers in the spaces that we occupy and disrupt the status quo. This year, we will take it a step further. We did what it takes to make it to UT, and we will continue to do what it takes to make UT a better place — to grow together as we strive to make our University more inclusive, equitable, sustainable, safe, healthy, engaged and spirited. 

Our campaign was founded on the pillars of inclusion and equity, which means not only giving voices to those who have been unheard or silenced, but giving them representation in spaces like Student Government. Anagha spent the past year as the inaugural vice president of diversity and inclusion on the University Panhellenic Council, where she broke down the barriers of a seemingly unchangeable system. In this role, she advocated for representation across all backgrounds among thousands of women, which is what we hope to do on a studentwide level in SG. 

We will create an affordable housing committee of affected UT students who can voice concerns over rising rent prices, the demolition of Riverside and UT Night Rides inequities. We will increase cultural representation on campus by creating nonexclusionary and culturally centered study spaces, renaming buildings named after historically racist figures and advocating for the placement of an Asian American statue on campus. 

Throughout his time at UT, Winston has been involved in many spaces but minimally involved in SG. As a result, he and other students haven’t been able to see the direct effects of its initiatives. We will redefine the way that students see SG, increase transparency and engage with all students. We will do this by sending biweekly emails to the entire student body and being open to communication and feedback. We know that SG has the money to positively affect students, so we plan to perform an internal financial overhaul and restructure the SG budget to include a Success Fund that will make postgraduate education attainable for any student. 

While learning to cope with her chronic illness, Anagha has frequently utilized health resources. In doing so, she has recognized multiple gaps in the care that UT provides its students — gaps that we will bridge with new ideas. Among these are expanding delivery service for pads and tampons in dorms, increasing online access to the Counseling and Mental Health Center and creating a farmers’ market in West Campus. 

But we are not stopping there. Students at UT deserve to love their school. What comes with that is feeling safe. We can help our peers feel safer by increasing Title IX programming at orientation for all incoming students and increasing street lighting in West Campus. As more and more students are becoming passionate about environmental issues, we believe it is time to create a sustainability agency within SG that will promote tangible environmental change on campus. And lastly, we will implement a Spirit Week that includes spirit events and competitions, a day of gratitude and a campuswide blood drive. 

We plan to do What It Takes. To celebrate and uplift the diverse voices on campus. To make SG have the widest reach across campus to help every student. To bring change in our own ways to the administration. To show our love for this University. We will do What It Takes for y’all, and we hope that y’all will do What It Takes with us. 

To learn more about the sources and research for our policy, visit www.anaghawinston2020.me.

Cheers and Hook ‘em, Anagha Kikkeri and Winston Hung