Amani Ahmed: AAS President We Need
Issue   |   Wed, 04/02/2014 - 00:51

Amani Ahmed did not get us Ludacris, or Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and won’t be getting the band du jour that will rock LeFrak this year for Spring Concert. She has not aligned herself with a special group on campus nor previously served on the Executive Board. So why would she even deserve a mention, much less a hard look and even the cast of your vote for AAS President? While you should certainly check out every candidates’ platforms, what I would like to share with you is something that cannot be explained on a poster in your hallway or a post on Facebook. Amherst, this is the time to get informed and ready to make a thoughtful decision about the best candidate for AAS President, so please allow me to explain in so many words why we need Amani for our AAS President.

My father once told me that he tries to let his clients “eat well and sleep well.” By that, he means two things: he works hard to have their investments grow and allow them to do things like pay for their children’s college tuition, but he also works to have a relationship with them so that they trust him with their investments. I think these two concepts relate to any sort of service-oriented position, especially that of AAS President. Amani will allow us to “eat well,” with her many ideas listed on her platform that as I have said you should examine, along with those of the other candidates. Frankly, all of the candidates have great ideas for next year, but what convinced me that Amani is the best candidate for the job is what I have seen both inside and outside of Senate. Amani will allow us to sleep well more so than any other candidate.

Amani is a force of nature during meetings, adding critical insight to the issues at hand, and her depth of experience makes her the most prepared candidate within the Senate. It is this experience, knowledge, and perspective that gives her the greatest capacity to innovate and make change from the position of President. Outside of Senate, she has been an RC, which gives her plenty of experience of how Residential Life and other offices on campus work. Within Senate, she has served on the Budgetary Committee, which not only has given her valuable time understanding the inner-workings of our funding procedures, but demonstrates her commitment to helping and assisting the clubs and student groups at our college. In the setting of College Council, where faculty and students interact to determine policy in student residential and social life, Amani has been trusted to represent all of our voices. As AAS President, Amani will be working with the administration in a similar fashion as in College Council. Navigating through personalities among fellow students is one thing, but politics takes a whole new form with faculty and administrators. Amani has valiantly served in this role, and her experience with College Council has packaged her, along with her AAS and RC experience, as the best candidate to represent is in those meetings with the President and Deans when the door closes and things happen that affect us all.

Skills, backbone, integrity, experience, check, check, check... But what makes Amani truly stand out as the AAS President we need? Perhaps what is most important in AAS Presidents is their reach and approachability. She is a People’s President, and WE are her people. As a Senate and student body as a whole we will disagree throughout the year. We need a President who not only can reach out to different groups all over our campus, but already has developed relationships of trust with people. Amani’s established presence on our campus with students of all backgrounds points to a leader who will hear our many voices and channel it into one, articulate, and thoughtful voice that will demand to be heard.

Before this year, I had no idea what really goes on in a Senate meeting, or what the AAS President even does. Yet now, as someone attuned to what really happens, I need a candidate who will assuredly serve our student body in the best way possible. The candidates’ activities, platforms, and accomplishments are all important, and Amani stands with the best of them. What pushes her out to the front of the pack, and what is critical for us to consider, is that she is someone who can represent our whole student body in the fullest capacity as AAS President. Nobody else can hold a candle to the level of trust and confidence we already have with Amani. We can trust her with our vote and support. We will all sleep well with Amani as our President.

Andrew Lindsay '16 (not verified) says:
Wed, 04/02/2014 - 11:10

"She has not aligned herself with a special group on campus nor previously served on the Executive Board." I am assuming that the reference to "special group" is a subtle reference to Julian's role on the E-Board of the Black Students Union, just as the points on Spring Concert was meant to reference Peter Crane and the Executive Board mention, a reference to Tomi's role as JC chair. I thought that the endorsement letter was sound, but why use coded language to refer to affinity groups on campus? The use of the word special group implies "special interest group" in my mind at least. Why are affinity group referenced as special? Is it a taboo term? Why are the other groups noteworthy enough to be explicitly named and affinity groups not? Why not just use the word affinity group or club? Why not just subtly reference another of Julian's roles on campus such as Diversity Intern or Residence Counsellor? I'm genuinely confused. I would love to get a response by the author.

Blaine Werner '15 (not verified) says:
Wed, 04/02/2014 - 13:53

Readers, by "She has not aligned herself with a special group on campus nor previously served on the Executive Board," I do not mean to pair aligning with a special group with the serving on of such a group's Executive Board. This pairing would limit the reference only to groups with an Executive Board, such as the a fraternity or the BSU, but this was not my intention. By special group, I mean any group on campus that bears a designation as its distinction as a group would imply. I mean for this to be vague since our club recognition process is not clear. The phrase "special group" certainly can be a reference to a role in a recognized club such as the BSU (which has been the main concern brought forth to me, so I address whether the phrase special group refers to that group specifically here), but also refer to others' roles in other groups as well. In referring to Executive Board, I referred to the AAS Executive Board, which other candidates may have done. The first sentence is very specific, while the second is meant to be vague. I hope this clarifies what I meant.

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