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Asian American Alliance Endorses Tara Bansal for DSG President, Ilana Weisman for EVP

The Asian American Alliance endorses Tara Bansal for President and Ilana Weisman for EVP.

We appreciate Bansal’s commitment to the archiving role of DSG, the implementation of Asian American Studies, as well as the exploration of innovative ways to bring Asian American Studies faculty to Duke. Ilana Weisman clearly had a better understanding of the tools available to the EVP and how those tools influence political change. We were additionally impressed by her thoughts on creating a digital database for student demands and her interest in changing DSG bylaws to increase accountability for senators who use their connections in organizations to influence electoral politics.

We appreciate Annie Adair’s excitement for increasing DSG’s archival role, but her emphasis on open discussions failed to focus on removing the root causes of campus power dynamics. John Guarco’s lack of vision and specifics of his platform left us dismayed. We were also troubled by John Turanchik’s knowledge of issues that pertain to AAA. The fact that we had to explain the need for a DSG archivist sheds suspicion on his commitment to “long-term programming” as an EVP which, in his view, is putting Harris Teeter on food points.

Ultimately, however, as a progressive political group, Asian American Alliance is not necessarily interested in working through the bureaucracy of Duke’s institution, and is certainly not always reliant on DSG to advocate on our behalf. While we want to hold DSG candidates accountable for their promises, historically speaking, DSG has not been a driving force for student activism and has not shown up for minority voices in the past. We are endorsing Tara Bansal and Ilana Weisman in hopes of seeing a future DSG that holds more responsibility in sharing the work that is necessary for the liberation of minority students at Duke.

Please see here for Asian American Alliance’s full endorsement.

Dipro Bhowmik, Trinity '18

Cindy Li, Trinity '18

Stanley Yuan Pratt '16

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