On March 1st, members of the DukeAFRICA Executive Board met with the three Duke Student Government (DSG) presidential candidates for individual interviews. These interviews were the only factors used in the decision-making process of endorsement.
Although all three candidates exemplified strengths in certain areas of their campaigns, DukeAFRICA has officially decided to endorse Lavanya Sunder.
We are convinced that Sunder is a candidate that understands the importance of having cultural groups like DukeAFRICA on campus, given her membership in other cultural organizations such as Diya. We also believe that Sunder possesses the confidence to not only advocate for the opinions of cultural organizations, but has the experience necessary to ensure that the ideas of students from these smaller organizations come to fruition. Many students view DSG as a separatist entity that seeks to establish an exclusive elite and thereby view Sunder's greatest vice as coming from this world. However, Sunder's involvement in other aspects of campus life outside of DSG make her a balanced candidate who will be able to hear a diverse array of student perspectives. With this in mind, her involvement in DSG Senate could only be an asset.
Out of all candidates, Sunder would bring the most perfect blend of listening to student grievances, collaborating to come up with solutions, and then implementing these solutions in an efficient and non-maleficent manner.
We would like to express that Rence Nemeh's unique vision for DSG also makes him a strong candidate for the position. It is evident that Nemeh is committed to dismantling any barriers which prevent DSG from operating directly for students.
Nemeh has shown that he both respects and appreciates ideological, social, and cultural forms of diversity. We also would like to acknowledge that Nemeh is the only candidate to have directly volunteered his time with DukeAFRICA, proving that he would be an attorney for cultural organizations whether or not he has something to gain directly from doing so.