Applause for Kennedy

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the resignation of former Student Government Association VP Josh Miller, The Cynic believes the choice of Emma Kennedy as his replacement could not have been better.The University of Vermont is building its reputation as a top East Coast public school and, as such, needs leaders in the SGA who are capable of making sure that we, the students, aren’t forgotten during the University’s transition.The SGA certainly has improved in recent years, but there is still a long way to go before the organization can accurately parlay the agenda of the student body to the administration and truly hold the University to their word.In the representation of the student body on campus, few public figures have pushed for more social justice campus initiatives than Kennedy, which is one of many reasons why we applaud SGA President Jay Taylor’s choice for his right-hand executive.Kennedy most recently served as the Chair of the Committee on Diversity, Equity and Environmental Ethics – a post that allowed her to focus on issues of social justice, specifically those centered on LGBTQ identities – furthering her ability to make connections and contributions to the culture of campus.The disconnect between students, staff and faculty on campus is a common frustration that the SGA has not yet managed to quell, but The Cynic feels Kennedy’s appointment is a clear beacon of hope for the future of the student body.We look forward to watching Kennedy exercise her unique capacity to create an atmosphere of accountability, where the voice of students – through the voice of the SGA – will be heard by the administration.We look forward to seeing the administration and student body have a mutual understanding of each other’s points of view.We look forward to thriving in an environment where students feel connected to their elected representatives on campus and where those elected representatives feel a genuine responsibility to students.We look forward to watching Kennedy put these things into action as VP.One of the primary jobs of the SGA vice president is to appoint students to SGA committees, which Miller did not do. The Cynic feels that Kennedy, on the other hand, will not only fulfill this executive duty, but accomplish it in a well informed and thought-out manner.Kennedy will be able to put together a cohesive picture of campus projects in an effort to foster connections between people, creating a more communal and informed campus.Through Kennedy’s new connections to high-level administrators, the gap in communication that has frustrated students and faculty alike will become less of an issue.The Cynic commends Taylor’s choice of Emma Kennedy and it is clear that, as VP, she will work toward building a campus culture Burlington can be proud of.