The Baldwin Scholars are pleased to endorse both Yemi Kolawole and Kristina Smith for DSG President. We found both candidates to be extremely qualified and passionate about making Duke a better home for all students. 

Yemi impressed us with her original policy proposals and her ability to describe her own Duke experience in a candid, genuine way. While serving as Chief of Staff, she did not shy away from critiquing the organization. Her interest in making DSG more transparent signifies her willingness to be an authentic advocate for the student body. Her platform of internal DSG reform is centered around Angela Davis’s vision of not letting buzz words like “diversity and inclusion” absolve us of our responsibility to transform systems; Yemi believes that if someone is included in a space like DSG, but is not given agency to act in that role, we have made no progress. We believe her interest in collaborating with NCCU’s student government would lead to a more authentic relationship between Duke and the Durham community. 

Kristina has done great work as the Vice President of Services and Sustainability and has a strong track record of implementing tangible change on campus. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of student voices and our capacity to influence Duke. Her ability to listen to her peers, translate a broad range of perspectives into policy, and implement those policies successfully is emblematic of her strong leadership. We greatly appreciated the emphasis she placed on financial and physical accessibility on campus and the effective policy she has implemented to that effect. These include lowering flex increments, ensuring that all students have access to affordable meals, and her latest initiative to increase the availability of professional clothing to students on financial aid. 

The Baldwin Scholars remain committed to creating a more equitable and open Duke community, and we are confident that both Yemi and Kristina will apply this vision to DSG, Duke, and Durham. 

Katie Hammond, Baldwin Scholars Chair