Kendal Chapman ’22 wins Student Union vice presidential seat unopposed in special election
Student Union Director of Outreach Kendal Chapman ’22 won the special election for Union vice president with 120 votes, Union Secretary Taylor Fu wrote in an email to the Justice on Sunday.
Although she ran unopposed, Chapman won the election by just four votes, with ten abstentions, 36 votes of no confidence and 70 write-in “other” votes against her, according to Fu. The full election results will be released on Tuesday.
Chapman told the Justice she will address structural issues within the Senate to promote accountability for individual senators. The line between serving as a senator and a senator for a specific constituency can be blurred, she said, and she wants senators to recognize that they have a representative role and must work on projects that explicitly serve their constituents.
During the candidates’ debate last Tuesday, Chapman said she wants the community to perceive the Union as a resource rather than a barrier and that she will work to change the Union’s image by clarifying the structure and conducting outreach instead of being too internally focused. She said one method of outreach will involve creating a public document explaining the functions of all the Union positions. “It’s not that people don’t know the Union exists, it’s that they don’t know what we’re doing and how we can help them,” she said during the debate.
Chapman said she also wants to change how senators communicate their senator reports during the Senate’s meetings by eliminating the option to pass. She also wants to further distinguish between committee chair and senator reports.
The special election for vice president came after former Student Union Vice President Guillermo Caballero ’20 resigned abruptly during the Oct. 27 Senate meeting, partly because of a Judiciary case which found him and Student Union President Simran Tatuskar ’21 in violation of the Union constitution and bylaws. Caballero was a complainant in the case.
When asked if she could ensure she would not resign from the job, she said, “I know the time, I know the commitment and I’ve been around to see those past three VPs be here, so I actually know what I’m getting into. I know who I’m working with, so I have a better understanding of what the job is before I’m getting into it.”