The Platform, and Why I’m Running for HUSA Senate

Howard University is in a state of flux, one that I’m not sure we can immediately escape from. While our budget is finally balanced and our university’s received some good publicity, the students face mounting challenges, institutional apathy, and a student government that cares more about the appearance of authority and order than it does the protection of student rights and expansion of opportunity.

It’s with this in mind that I declare my candidacy for HUSA Senate and put forth the following platform with the aim of promoting Bold, Progressive Leadership within the HUSA Senate.

Universal Suffrage and Open Access to Elections

One of the more controversial measures that the HUSA Senate has taken has been to bar people with financial and academic holds from participating in student elections in any capacity. This is heinous, and as Senator I will work to promote universal access and suffrage to all Howard students in good academic standing. Preventing students who, for the most part, make immense contributions to the culture and collective knowledge of our school from participating in one of its most sacred traditions is tantamount to a poll tax, and that cannot be what Howard University stands for.

Accountability Politics

The HUSA Senate has, as of late, been the subject of a number of corruption allegations and scandals, and several members of the Senate’s leadership have been forced to resign in shame. There is no excusing this. As representatives of the students not just to the administration, but to the rest of the world, Senators have to be transparent, accountable, and unyielding in their adherence to ethics laws. As a Senator, I will work to promote a more transparent and open environment for the Senate, while also pushing back against entrenched names and forces that believe that they are above scrutiny and accountability. When faced with systemic corruption, I will always fight for the students, not the special interests within the Senate.

Empowering the Voiceless

It should be no secret to anyone on Howard’s campus that, despite cultivating an outward image of safety and accommodation for all oppressed peoples, Howard’s own administration and staff have repeatedly made students feel unsafe and unwanted. Reports of blatant racism, transphobia, and sexism have unfortunately become commonplace, and it’s the role of the HUSA Senate not only to condemn these acts of violence, but also to play an active role in pushing the administration to either reprimand or fire the offending teachers, administrators, and staff. No level of tenure, acclaim, or power should give anyone the right to discriminate or harm a Howard student.

I must stress that this list is far from exhaustive, and I’m always open to the suggestions and prodding of the student body. I want to hear what you want out of your Senators. I eagerly look forward to hearing from you all, and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to serve you.

In truth and service,

David DePriest

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