Student body elects TABLE and Honor and Discipline Committee members

Annie Lu

Last Sunday, the Task Force on Student Governance announced the results of the most recent elections for The Advisory Board for Lobbying and Elections (TABLE) and the Honor and Discipline Committee, which occurred on the same ballot.

This was the first election for members of TABLE, one of the “three pillars” of student government constructed by the task force alongside the abolition of College Council this past February. The task force’s proposal suggested a restructuring of student government to comprise the Facilitators for Allocating Student Taxes (FAST), TABLE and the Williams Student Union.

The TABLE and Honor and Discipline Committee elections took place between May 11 and May 16, and 519 students voted with a response rate of 24 percent, slightly lower than the 26 percent that voted during the FAST and Williams Student Union elections earlier this semester. The ballot used ranked-choice voting.

The entire student body was able to vote for their preferred candidates for TABLE, while each class elected two members of their class to represent them on the Honor and Discipline Committee. TABLE comprises the five student chairs of student-faculty committees. 

Huy Pham ’22 was elected student chair of the Committee on Educational Affairs. “I view the position of student chair as an incredible opportunity to advocate for the student body,” Pham said, “so I’m really looking forward to having more conversations with students and involving more student voices and opinions in our discussions regarding educational policy. 

He also emphasized the importance of student engagement in the context of the pandemic. “The next academic year will be particularly challenging in terms of logistics due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pham said, “so there will potentially be many more adjustments that have to be made in terms of educational policy and curriculum in order to reflect these circumstances.”

Essence Perry ’22, the new student chair for the Committee on Diversity and Community, also made note of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. “For many of us, Williams is as much a home as a college,” Perry said, “and this has never been more present in our lives than during the current crisis.”

In her new role, Perry said she hopes to “make sure the campus we return to begins evolving to match the students that inhabit it… I want to make sure our campus is the community we all deserve and can claim as our home.”

In particular, she said she intends to focus on addressing sexual assault on campus, improving access to mental health resources, strengthening social and support networks and improving academic advising.

The newly elected student chair of the Committee on Priorities and Resources (CPR), Adam Jones ’21, expressed his satisfaction with the transition away from College Council. “I am happy with the implementation of the Three Pillars Plan, as well as the will of the Williams community, in creating organizations that look like the students they represent,” Jones said.

 “I look forward to representing the critical needs of our students on CPR and TABLE, and closing the gap between student-faculty committees and student needs at large.”

Niku Darafshi ’21 was elected student chair of the Campus Environmental Advisory Committee, and Aria Mason ’21 is the new student chair of the Committee on Student Life.

According to an email to all students from former Three Pillars Task Force Chair Adly Templeton ’20, the newly elected members of TABLE will “assume their roles and begin the selection and appointment process of student faculty committees.” Students at the College have already submitted self-nominations for student-faculty committee positions, and TABLE is reading through the applications. The appointment process will conclude by June 1.

The ballot also included voting for student candidates to the Honor and Discipline Committee. Solly Kasab and Gabby Martin were elected to be the representatives for the class of 2021, while Aliya Klein and Morgan Noonan will represent the class of 2022, and Stephanie Goodrich and Onder Kilinc will represent the class of 2023.