Sophomore Will Hardee wants to make Duke Student Government work for students if elected president.

Hardee began his DSG career as a senator for services and currently serves as the vice president of that committee. During his two years in DSG, Hardee said that some of his most notable projects have involved expanding student health options, including creating a mental health advisory committee and providing FitDesks in Perkins. In addition, Hardee has been involved with DSG’s internal affairs subcommittee, held a position on the Business and Finance Committee of Duke’s Board of Trustees and served as chair of the Young Trustee Nominating Committee.

At the core of his campaign, Hardee said that he hopes to maximize DSG’s impact within the Duke community.

“One of the biggest things [I hope to do] is transition DSG to an organization of 'servant leadership' and be about honest work that helps the student body rather than spending a lot of time talking about ourselves with restructuring,” he said.

Hardee described three major initiatives as first steps toward his aim, emphasizing a focus on connecting directly with the student body.

“First is creating office hours for administrators,” Hardee said. “And those would be the most important administrators on campus, plus the director of parking and transportation, Duke’s police chief and the director of dining, so students can directly advocate on their behalf.”

Additionally, Hardee proposed a council of student leaders from groups across campus who would write “a 10 year plan for how we see the University going under President Price’s tenure.”

Hardee added that he also hopes to work more directly with underrepresented groups on campus.

“DSG often speaks for marginalized groups rather than going to groups and asking how they can help them,” he said. “So instead of saying, ‘Oh, we can help this group this way,’ we'll actually go to that group and say, 'How can we help you?’ which is what the student council will help with too.”

Hardee said he also plans to make rental iPads available for general student use, featuring educational tools and standardized test preparation for students who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

In addition, he noted that he would advocate for better student financial aid by leveraging DSG’s positions on Board of Trustees committees.

“Making Duke more affordable would be a big thing—making sure that students have access to things that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to because of financial concerns,” he said.

Hardee pointed to his track record as vice president for services as a testament to his leadership abilities, highlighting the 20 projects he and his team have listed on DSG’s website.

“We've put together a different way of doing a team model, and it has actually been really successful,” Hardee said. “I’ve really tried to empower my senators and make sure that they can create real change on campus and that they own their projects.”

Within DSG, Hardee expressed a desire for increased accountability, stating that his work as president could lay the groundwork for future efforts.

“Accountability would be another [long-term goal], actually making sure that we're going through with what we say we're going to do and that these aren’t meaningless campaigns that we all work on,” Hardee said.