Candidates for Duke Student Government’s upcoming elections announced their campaigns on Thursday. Juniors Chase Barclay, Isaiah Hamilton and Robert Sprung are running for DSG president, while juniors Ashley Bae and Brandon Qin are running for the executive vice president position.
The voting period will run from Wednesday, March 1 at noon to Thursday, March 2 at noon.
Barclay, who is majoring in economics and math, currently serves as a senator on the Academic Affairs Committee and as a member of the Information Technology Advisory Council. He is also involved with Scale & Coin, Duke Tour Guides, Duke Investment Club and the Duke Financial Economics Student Advisory Committee.
In an email to The Chronicle, Barclay wrote that he hopes to reorient DSG to better center student needs, pointing to his campaign slogan, “Forward Together.” The five pillars of his platform are enhancing courses and community, prioritizing equity and inclusion, cultivating a culture of accountability and transparency, improving accessibility and safety on campus, and strengthening Duke-Durham-DKU relations.
Barclay said he believes his experience in DSG “has made [him] a better leader and advocate for students; that experience sets [him] apart as a candidate.” His time on DSG has taught him how to effectively listen to students and produce policy ideas that reflect those concerns, he wrote. Those ideas have found their way into his campaign.
“Since coming to Duke, I have been committed to making an impact on campus, especially through DSG. From Extended Dining Hours and Duke Syllabus Bank to Duke Unlock, I have endeavored to be a champion for students and effectively represent a wide variety of people with different interests, backgrounds, and beliefs,” Barclay wrote.
The campaign’s official Instagram account is @chase4duke.
Hamilton is currently the president pro tempore of the DSG Senate, and previously served as a senator on the Equity & Outreach Committee. He is majoring in biology and global health, with a minor in chemistry. Hamilton also serves as the president of the Duke Black Student Alliance, an undergraduate researcher at the Drea Lab and is a member of the Alpha Alpha Chi Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma.
Hamilton is running during what he sees as “an inflection point in [Duke’s] history,” citing the aftermath of the pandemic, the Great Resignation, national discussions of police brutality and affirmative action, as well as Duke’s current state of on-campus housing.
“My top priority is to elevate these issues to a higher level than they historically have been. Diversity, equity, and inclusion work is not simply a box that a candidate should strive to check but should rather be at the forefront of their mind. I am passionate about trying to reverse this killing of campus culture that we have witnessed over recent years,” he wrote in an email to The Chronicle.
His platform is centered around three tenets — inclusivity, mindfulness and humility. Hamilton seeks to create a more inclusive campus by “promoting diversity and inclusion and supporting underrepresented groups through advocacy and resource allocation.” He also aims to advocate for mental and physical health resources and hopes to encourage students to engage in “respectful and constructive dialogue.”
The campaign’s official Instagram account is @isaiahfordsg.
Sprung is a computer science major and pursuing minors in economics and Chinese. He currently serves as the co-president of Crowell Quad, the President of Duke International Relations Association, and the programming chair of the Alexander Hamilton Society.
During his time at Duke, Sprung, who is not a current member of DSG, has noticed the “absence of transparent student voices in the administrative decisions” that have transformed the student experience, namely QuadEx. He believes that serving on Quad Council and the Quad Identity Teams has given him a “unique and crucial perspective” on the level of advocacy that the next president needs to accomplish.
“After a year of work on housing, I understand the system and its flaws better than any candidate and have built the requisite relationships with admin to resolve them if placed in an elevated position,” Sprung wrote.
Sprung’s campaign consists of four main pillars: fixing QuadEx, opening up DSG, achieving equity, and restoring social and campus infrastructure. He is an advocate for presenting DSG’s work to the student body in an accessible and transparent way. He also wants to propose innovative solutions to Duke’s “physical and social infrastructure,” such as revitalizing Central Campus.
The campaign’s official Instagram account is @robert4duke.
Executive vice presidential candidates
Bae is the current vice president of services and sustainability and previously served as a senator on the Services and Sustainability Committee. She is majoring in public policy and cultural anthropology. She also serves as an ombudsperson for KAjok, the Korean-American affinity group, SHAPE community organizing and events team lead, and project director for pGlobal. Bae also conducts research with the Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research and is an ambassador for the cultural anthropology major.
The three themes of Bae’s platform are demystifying, restoring and amplifying. She hopes to make the work of DSG more visible by sharing regular updates on DSG projects and Senate proceedings. Acknowledging the “harm that DSG has caused” on student groups, she plans to restore representation within DSG by establishing a diversity, equity and inclusion chair “whose sole role is to ensure DSG is centering DEI internally and in project work,” Bae wrote in an email to The Chronicle. Additionally, her platform expresses intentions to “advocate with cultural organizations to secure functional affinity spaces” and create a fund for new student groups seeking formal recognition.
Bae wrote that she criticizes DSG “out of care and faith that we are an organization that is ready for positive transformation.”
“I do know that my willingness to acknowledge where DSG has failed Duke’s student body, to collaborate with students and student groups on how to best establish a working relationship on their terms, and desire to challenge DSG to rethink what equity and inclusion looks like at Duke, are qualities of an EVP that are not just beneficial to DSG, but sorely needed,” Bae wrote.
The campaign’s official Instagram account is @ashley4evp.
Qin currently serves as a DSG senator for campus life and co-director for Blue Devil Buddies. He is majoring in biology and global health, and pursuing an innovation and entrepreneurship certificate. Outside of DSG, Qin is a tour guide and the co-director of community service for Project BUILD.
As a member of DSG, Qin has had the opportunity to witness “both the amazing aspects and some large failures of this University,” he wrote in an email to The Chronicle.
“I want to take accountability for both of these things,” he continued. “Using my experience from Duke Student Government, I have worked on identifying pain points and implementing change that I wish to see in regards to life on campus.”
Qin’s platform centers on three key pillars: cultivating cultural communities, supporting social scenes, and internal and external DSG reform. Specifically he is committed to advocating for permanent cultural and identity spaces that meet students needs and creating a vibrant safe and enjoyable social life on campus.
The campaign’s official Instagram account is @brandon4dsg.
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Kathryn Thomas is a Trinity junior and news editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.
Milla Surjadi is a Trinity junior and a diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously editor-in-chief for Volume 118.