Editor’s note: This is part of a series of Student Government executive alliance candidate profiles before the election on March 2 and 3. Read the rest of the profiles and submitted columns from all of the candidates here.
Student body presidential and vice presidential candidates Simona Harry and Lynn Huynh are running to uplift student voices and connect Student Government with the student body’s needs.
Their campaign, which was endorsed by University Democrats on Thursday, emphasizes health and safety, environmental sustainability, affordability, and continued collaboration with student activism.
Huynh, an advertising and women and gender studies junior, said they decided to run after they began working with the Coalition Against Sexual Misconduct to reform the University’s sexual misconduct policies.
“(Our campaign) was born out of circumstance,” said Harry, an English and Black studies junior. “We decided to do it out of necessity ... out of anger at current structures. We’re doing this because there is a disconnect.”
Harry said they felt that administration would not listen to them unless they had SG titles, so that also motivated their decision to run.
Huynh said one of the campaign’s key points is continuing the fight for sexual assault survivors.
“It shouldn’t take three months for (the sexual misconduct) town hall to have happened just to be disappointed by the results,” Huynh said.
Huynh also said they want to create a blacklist of what they call “abusive West Campus landlords” and make the list available on a UT website to inform students’ housing decisions.
“It’s about holding these imbalances of power accountable for their actions,” Huynh said. “UT really has no service or pathway that helps students navigate housing.”
Harry said they want to create a Counseling and Mental Health Center bank where students can donate their unused free sessions to those who need them but cannot afford to pay. She also discussed sustainability initiatives, such as meatless Mondays in dining halls and the addition of a sustainability flag to College of Natural Sciences courses.
“(Meatless Mondays) are a way of maintaining your health but also ... a way to reduce your carbon footprint,” Harry said.
Huynh said another focus is sensible drug policies, especially because of rapidly changing laws surrounding marijuana possession. Huynh said education about marijuana policy similar to AlcoholEdu is necessary for incoming students.
“We are not career politicians,” Harry said. “We’re not here to further our résumés or careers or for personal interest. We’re going to do our best to put ourselves and everyone else who works with us at the forefront.”