The Baldwin Scholars had the opportunity to hear all four of the incredibly qualified, and well-spoken candidates for Young Trustee. We were genuinely impressed by each student’s dedication to both the Duke and Durham community and feel honored to call them our peers. After carefully considering the values, qualifications, missions and experiences of each candidate, we are pleased to endorse Ibrahim Butt (Ibby) for Young Trustee.
Ibby presented himself as an authentic, compassionate, courageous leader who will advocate for all students’ needs. Ibby’s life experience and time as co-president of Duke Low Income-First Generation students have enabled him to connect with a multitude of students, faculty and administrators on an assortment of issues. His love for the Duke and Durham community was evident through his engagement with the Community Empowerment Fund, advocacy for affordable housing and his time as a student representative to the Board of Trustees. Ibby has a strong sense of self that allows him to articulate his thoughts and positions in a respectful yet assertive way, a necessity for a Young Trustee. Ibby considers those who are not in the room and finds ways to include their voices in the policymaking process. We trust Ibby to enter the boardroom and speak on behalf of the student body because we believe that he will have the students’ best interest in mind.
We also recognize strong candidates Maryam, Leah and Tim. Maryam demonstrated a commitment to increasing inclusivity on campus. Leah exhibited a passion for social justice. Tim has contributed positively to the sports and health community.
Ultimately, the Baldwin Scholars chose to endorse Ibby because of his vision to make Duke a more accessible, empathetic and inclusive place—as Ibby said, “these aren’t buzzwords for me [him], these are core values.” We believe his strong track record of advocating for students from a myriad of backgrounds will aid the Board in their decision-making process.
Mannat Bakshi, Trinity '20
Editor's note: Leah Abrams is the opinion editor for The Chronicle. The Opinion section played no role in the Young Trustee endorsement process, as outlined in this year's endorsement policy. If your organization would like to submit an endorsement to The Chronicle, please read the policy.