The Signal

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Monday May 20th

A talk with Jared Williams and Trish Le: Your new executive leaders

<p><em>Jared Williams and Trish Le were recently elected as executive president and executive vice president (Photo courtesy of Jared Williams). </em></p>

Jared Williams and Trish Le were recently elected as executive president and executive vice president (Photo courtesy of Jared Williams).

By Liz Ciocher
News Editor

Political science major Jared Williams and history secondary and special education major Trish Le came to the College as freshmen in 2021 and eventually took up roles as the freshman class president and vice president, respectively.

Now, for their senior year, the two friends are coming full circle in their political roles. 

In the April 18 student government election for the upcoming fall semester, Williams was elected executive president and Le executive vice president of Student Government. Together, the two talked with The Signal about how they are both prepared and excited to serve the student body. 

“I think it’s very nostalgic because we started together freshman year in student gov, and now this is our last election cycle in senior year, so what if we were like, ‘What if we just run it back to freshman year?’” Le said. “We were like, ‘Why don’t we just do it?’”

While this is their first election season working alongside each other since their freshman year, Williams and Le have been consistently serving notable roles in student government for many semesters. Previous to the most recent election, Williams served as executive vice president and Le as vice president for campus operations and relations.

“I’m definitely excited to advocate for students, especially in our new roles, and we have a record of working together, so I’m excited for the future,” Williams said. “When I was coming to TCNJ, I knew I wanted to leave some sort of impact on the institution, and I wanted it to leave an impact that would outlast my time [here]. I think through student government, I am really able to advocate for things that will be here long after my time at TCNJ and being able to leave a long lasting legacy.” 

The two executives have a lot planned for their senior year, including advocating the return of tailgating back to campus, supporting student organizations and introducing a third-party dining location to campus. Among these ambitions, Williams and Le anticipate a lot of due diligence but are most excited about being representatives for the student body. 

As executive president and vice president, Williams and Le will be given the opportunity to meet with Sean Stallings, vice president for student affairs, on a biweekly basis to discuss student life on behalf of all students at the College. Under similar pretenses, the pair will also meet with Interim President Bernstein in monthly meetings. 

“The meetings with the president and the vice president for student affairs are definitely what I’m most looking forward to,” Williams said. “Those meetings are definitely the best opportunity to advocate for student interests to the two highest officials who make a lot of the changes that especially affect students, so I’m very excited that as president and vice president, you get to meet with those individuals.”

In addition to their personal meetings with Stallings and Bernstein, it is important to the two student government officials that students outside of the office get the opportunity to hear directly from the administrative officials as well. Especially in relation to Bernstein’s LIONS Plan, they anticipate that communicating with the College president will be important to the student body.

“We’ve been trying to make sure that the president has a platform in our meetings, and students can come to one room and be able to see that,” Le said. “I feel like with the LIONS plan happening, we see students directly speaking to him and asking these questions happening more in the future.” 

The LIONS Plan is in an attempt to make the College more fiscally sustainable. The plan may lead to significant changes to various elements of the College, including reduced library offerings and changes to course requirements, something Williams and Le have been making preparations for in their previous roles. Both students went to the New Jersey State House in April to advocate for increased state funding.

“It sucks to see our school go through these changes, but I think our students really care about this college and I think our administration cares too,” said Le.

Dylan Nguyen, a senior communication studies major and current student government executive president, has worked alongside Williams over the course of the school year and said he has high hopes for the incoming leaders.

“I think [Jared and Trish] are going to do really well,” said Nguyen. “Next year is going to be a major year for them, student government and TCNJ in general because there’s a lot of things happening, but there’s no one else I’d rather have at the help than them.”

While facing these administrative changes and advocating for things like a third-party dining location are high on their list of priorities, Williams and Le are said they will put students before anything else. 

“I think the biggest challenge that we will encounter is just finding and advocating for issues in a way that we can promote [solutions] to be revenue generating or cost neutral so we can make it happen,” Williams said. “We’re going to stay innovative, we’re going to stay creative to try and make those solutions because even though TCNJ is going through a difficult period, we can’t let that reflect on the student experience. Students still deserve the best experience possible. They’re only here for four years, so regardless of what TCNJ is going through, we want to make sure that they have the best four years possible.”

In order to prioritize and advocate for students as best they can, Williams and Le plan to be very open to student communication. They encourage students to approach them in any way they feel comfortable, whether that be through other student government representatives, social media or face-to-face communication. There is also a feedback form available in the bio of Williams’ Instagram account.

“If students have any concerns whatsoever, please bring it to us,” Williams said. “We would be more than happy to take a look into it, to try and make the best change for students because we really want to be as receptive as possible to the student body. They gave us their trust to serve them, so we want to serve them well and the best way to do that is through hearing their concerns.”

The pair also expressed great gratitude to have been elected to these positions.

“I’m very thankful because in my culture and in my family, it is not usual to see people who look like me in these positions or for a woman to feel heard,” Le said. “Getting the privilege to work at this executive level with Jared has meant a lot to me and has made me feel very seen in the work that I’ve done in the past four years. I’m very thankful to the student body and this experience.” 




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