Here at Technician, we understand how important NC State’s Student Government elections are. With the interests and well-being of over 35,000 undergraduate and graduate students at stake, the decision to endorse a candidate is not taken lightly by our editorial board. We sat down and began to deliberate amongst ourselves in hopes of coming to a general consensus about which student body president and vice president ticket to endorse. Board members made valid points for every ticket, weighed pros and cons, and expressed certain reservations.
In the end, the editorial board of the 100th volume of Technician was unable to come to a majority consensus about an endorsement. This came as a result of splintering personal preference amongst individual members of the board. In our final vote, the tickets of Max and Hannah Stoltz, Carlie Higgins and Powell Braddock, and Sam Brohaugh and Erinn Foote each earned roughly equal amounts of support among editorial board members.
The campaign of Melanie Flowers and McKenzy Heavlin did not generate as much discussion. The board largely agreed with criticism Heavlin received regarding a proposed question for housing applications that would ask if the applicant was comfortable living with someone in the LGBTQ+ community, which pointed to a larger problem with lack of foresight on the Flowers/Heavlin ticket.
Every ticket expressed legitimate concerns for problems and issues we believe are important and deserve serious consideration. Some presented viable solutions and displayed a level of understanding and compassion toward consequential topics, and others showcased an ability to adequately represent the diverse communities they represent.
Some members highlighted the voice the Higgins/Braddock ticket would bring to a Student Government body that has underrepresented Greek life in recent history, and a ticket platform that touches on issues commonly vocalized by students, such as on-campus parking tickets. However, opposing board members said since the campaign has done very little public-facing campaigning, they simply did not know enough about its platform to endorse it. The ticket was not present at the debate Technician co-hosted, which further contributed to the lack of knowledge about its platform.
Some members spoke of Sam Brohaugh and Erinn Foote’s preparedness for the Technician and Nubian Message Student Body President and Vice President Debates, their experience in Student Government and their detailed policy initiatives they have thoroughly researched and proposed. However, one extended topic of deliberation was related to the op-ed by Thomas Walsh which Technician published last Thursday. Unknown to Technician at the time was Walsh’s involvement with the Brohaugh/Foote campaign, which suggested an undisclosed conflict of interest. This did not sit well with some members of the editorial board, turning them away from the Brohaugh/Foote campaign.
Other members of the board mentioned the diversity platform of Max and Hannah Stoltz. The Stoltz campaign is running on a platform of inclusion, and as a news publication that places an emphasis on properly representing all communities on campus, the Stoltzes highly align with our views. However, members of the board said the Stoltz ticket flew under the radar in both positive and negative ways. Many members felt that while both Hannah and Max seem genuine in their goals, they often appeared more focused on the abstract without an especially clear course of action.
Some editorial board members disliked Max and Hannah Stoltz’s level of involvement in Student Government, when taking into account other candidates’ fairly extensive experience as committee leaders. Others argued that more involvement and experience does not necessarily translate to a better student body president and vice president. A similar point was made in defense of the Higgins/Braddock ticket; Higgins has never served in Student Government, but some suggested she could do an effective job regardless.
Many board members were also concerned about the conduct of the Brohaugh/Foote and Higgins/Braddock campaigns with regard to both their handling of the news media and of one another. Both tickets have not been fully forthcoming in their campaigns — the failure of a Brohaugh/Foote campaign surrogate to disclose their ties to the campaign when submitting an op-ed left a sour taste in the mouths of some members, while the Higgins/Braddock ticket’s poor communication with Technician raised doubts about their ability to work and communicate effectively with student media and the student body.
For many board members, it is a primary concern when candidates for student body president and vice president behave in ways that limit open communication between the student media and student government, or foster mistrust between these entities. However, other members still argued that the actions taken by each campaign were within their bounds, and that their interactions with the media were second to other aspects of their platform.
None of the individual opinions and arguments outlined above gained the support of a majority of the editorial board. Despite the longest deliberation this board has seen since the fall of Silent Sam in 2018, the lack of a majority consensus means this board will not be endorsing any candidates for student body president.
A strong majority of the editorial board voted to write this editorial outlining our decision-making process in the interest of transparency. This unsigned editorial is the responsibility of the editor-in-chief.