Being the President of the Tufts Community Union (TCU) is perhaps the hardest job on campus. The occupier of this office must be in tune with his or her core beliefs while also having a pulse on the sentiments and happenings of campus life. The president must be a proven leader, someone who has experience reaching across the multiple divides of passion, culture, gender, race, class, academic discipline and political affiliation. In short, the preferred candidate cannot simply be the president of the TCU Senate but must instead be the president and voice of the student body. This candidate must have a track record of standing up for students even when it’s unpopular and standing against popular opinion when it’s the right thing to do. We need a leader who knows when to work with the administration and when to take a stand on principle. We must elect someone who is strong enough to defend treasured institutions such as the Naked Quad Run and Greek Life while also standing behind the LGBT community and communities of color with an equally fierce urgency. We need a voice able to thread the needle between alcohol safety and the reality of on?campus drinking. We need an advocate who will speak to the experiences of women, queer folk and students of color unable to access the safe?ride system without police hostility. Logan Cotton is that person.
In the past we’ve seen a Senate and a student government that has become both unresponsive to and out of touch with the general sentiments of the average Jumbo. We’ve seen numerous senators become overzealous with “power” and act as if they were federal officials a step above the rest of us. We’ve seen senators rebuke one concerned student as “jaded.” The Senate has wasted time voting on topics as trivial as the Charles Tufts statue and the definition of “nerdy.” Instead of wasting time on such dubious topics, we need a student government that will focus on issues important to the student body. For example: How many times has your student group’s budget come under the axe of a senator who has never heard of your group? Let alone attended any of your events? Logan is invested in a Senate that is responsive to group needs and familiar with the groups and events that make this campus a vibrant, unique and safe space.
The candidate we seek must come humbly and daily to the spotlight, leading with an open ear and an empathetic heart. More than a Polly?Anna?activist or a sycophantic Senate kid, Logan will be a president who refuses to be constrained by the cyclical failures of our recent past. He is a reasonable, proven leader who sees our campus clearly, outside of its Tufts?bubble image, without being cynical. He knows that each and every student has particular challenges and talents that are the result of interlinking, complex identities and backgrounds. Like many of us active?citizen folk, he is a fighter who cares deeply and passionately about the causes he believes in. However, he does so without demonizing those who hold a different worldview; he is committed to having spirited, high minded dialogues to produce high?quality, data?driven solutions.
Though Logan and I often disagree on tactics and short?term results, he has proven to be a great friend and an amazing advocate. Logan is someone who cares about justice, fairness and equal opportunities for all students. I’ve seen him connect with folks from every corner of campus; with activists and the apathetic alike. I’ve seen him hard at work as an ally. Logan was a visible leader in the community response to anti?gay chalking two years ago. His work with student activists resulted in the hanging of hundreds of rainbow flags across campus that many now see as a point of pride. Logan further solidified his status as an active ally by organizing conferences and workshops to foster a better relationship between Greek Life and the LGBT community. I’ve stood witness as Logan continues to tackle the issue of safety and sexual assault with a multi?pronged approach: organizing consent workshops between his fraternity and VOX, lobbying the administration and listening to the inexcusable experiences of women, LGBT folk and people of color with TUPD and safe?ride. I’ve listened as Logan has advocated for a Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship in Davis Square – much like Harvard and MIT – where entrepreneurial?leaning students, faculty, alumni and industry leaders can learn together, collaborate and innovate. I’ve watched him work side by side with students, alumni, faculty and administration to create new academic program housing and implement Africana Studies and Asian American Studies focusing on the intersection of identities, power and oppressions and tentatively titled Critical Studies: Race, Sex, Power and Social Justice. Thanks to the work of Logan and a coalition of many others, Africana Studies (after a 46?year wait) is likely to open as a major this fall. I’m supporting Logan because he knows that active citizenship requires more than a simple Senate resolution.
As someone who knows Logan personally, I could speak for days about the strength of Logan’s campaign and the exemplary content of Logan’s character, but don’t just take my word for it. Perhaps the greatest example of Logan’s character, competence and ability to unite seemingly unconnected folks shows itself through the people campaigning for him. Look closely and you’ll find people representing a multitude of Greek houses, disciplines, political groups and cultural/identity organizations as well as athletes and dedicated academics. Logan is focused on creating a student government that exists as a vehicle for the students, by the students – and not as just another check on a post?grad resume. He gets it; he lives it. And that’s why I believe in Logan: More than believing in himself, Logan believes in us and what we can do when we work together.
Tabias Wilson is a junior majoring in sociology and American studies. He is the president of the Pan-African Alliance.