Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 28, 2024

Letter to the Editor 3/13/23

By RYAN CHOU | March 14, 2023

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In response to “Our 2023–2024 SGA Exec. Board endorsements: Time to rebuild” published March 13, 2023: 

I very much appreciate The News-Letter’s endorsement of my candidacy for Executive President of the 2023–2024 Student Government Association (SGA), as well as their acknowledgment of my commitment to student representation and our community. I hope to share some additional information regarding the contents of the article.

The Editorial Board raised concerns about my involvement in judicial appointments this past fall. Last spring, four out of the five justices graduated, leaving the Judicial Branch inoperational. SGA governing documents were ambiguous on how to proceed: Was it up to the Executive President or the “Senate” (and who in the Senate) to present nominees? A semester passed without the vacancies being filled and no updates despite repeated inquiries. At the last meeting of the fall semester, with growing concerns about accountability and unfulfilled judicial responsibilities, I (constitutionally) solicited applications and presented an update to force Senate and student attention onto the issue. Unconventional for sure, but that is sometimes required for change. 

The News-Letter was also interested in concrete plans to improve student life. I will work to secure SGA representation of historically underrepresented populations, such as athletes, Fraternity and Sorority Life members, double degrees and minorities. I will also plan and co-sponsor events with student groups that showcase the diversity of our campus and the Baltimore community as well as boost SGA transparency and student engagement

Check out my campaign infographics from Instagram for the specifics! Having served two terms as class president, I know how volatile campaign promises can be, so I avoided making any that I’m not confident I can fulfill. To learn more about my extensive past efforts, search for articles that mention “President Chou.”

Finally, I’d like to express my appreciation for the election coverage by The News-Letter despite such a tight election timeline. It’s a clear demonstration of their commitment to engaging our student body, and I hope it’s played a role in increasing interest in student representation. What I’ve shared are simply additions that I feel readers would benefit from. Feel free to reach out to me at rchou4@jhu.edu for more information! Best of luck to all candidates this spring!

Ryan Chou is a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He is the sophomore class president and a candidate for the SGA executive presidency.


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