First black woman elected as SJC Chair

Three candidates ran unopposed in this year’s Executive Committee and Student Judicial Council elections

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First black woman elected as SJC Chair

The Executive Committee white book for the 2018-19 academic year.
Photo by Hannah Denham, '20.

The Executive Committee white book for the 2018-19 academic year. Photo by Hannah Denham, '20.

The Executive Committee white book for the 2018-19 academic year. Photo by Hannah Denham, '20.

The Executive Committee white book for the 2018-19 academic year. Photo by Hannah Denham, '20.

Elizabeth Bell

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The student body elected Joëlle Simeu, ‘20, who currently serves as junior justice of the Student Judicial Council (SJC), to take over as chairwoman of the SJC next year. She is the first black woman to hold the position on campus and will replace current president Andrew Agrippina, ‘19. 

“I hope to be someone that my peers feel comfortable approaching,” Simeu said. “This position means that I will work with the rest of the SJC to ensure the safety of all members of our W&L community. Being elected into this position also means that I plan on representing the interests of the student body as a whole.” 

Simeu ran unopposed for the top SJC position. She said the responsibilities of the SJC are less well known to students than the functions of the Executive Committee (EC).

“I think part of it is that the EC has more of a name-brand recognition,” she said. “There are usually less SJC candidates each year.”

She said she hopes that the SJC can be a student board that upholds honor, integrity and individual responsibility. She also wants to consider ways the SJC can contribute to the ongoing conversations about mental health on campus. She wants all members of the community to feel like they can safely belong. 

“I hope to expand on the way we think about safety on campus in regards to not just physical safety but also the emotional safety of members of the student body,” Simeu said. 

Simeu discussed that goal in her platform, which was sent to the student body by the Student Election Commission.

“As someone who is deeply interested in ways in which Washington and Lee can be an inviting and safe place for all students, I work with faculty and professors on various groups to carry out this initiative,” Simeu said. 

Simeu is also involved in the Student Association for Black Unity, Amnesty International and is a peer counselor.

Veterans will return for new academic year 

Executive Committee veterans Will Bolton, ‘20, and Helen Gray Dunnavant, 2L, will lead the committee for the 2019-2020 school year as president and vice president, joined by newcomer Kana White, ‘20, as secretary. The Student Judicial Council’s executive team will be led entirely by veterans: Joëlle Simeu, ‘20, and Daniel Clark, ‘20, as chairwoman and secretary. 

The Student Election Commission announced the results in an email to the student body on Thursday night, March 21. They sent several emails throughout the day on Thursday to remind students to vote, citing low voter turnout.  

Like Simeu, Bolton and Clark ran for their positions unopposed. 

“We would love to see more students running for both EC and SJC representatives in the future,” said Gabrielle Smith, a member of the Student Election Commission. 

Will Bolton, ‘20: president of the EC 

Bolton, a two-time class of 2020 representative, was voted to become the president-elect. He ran unopposed and will replace current president Elizabeth Mugo, ‘19. 

Bolton said he’s confident in his abilities to lead the EC because of his experience serving as class representative. 

“Frankly, the work that the Executive Committee does can be complicated and time consuming,” he said in his platform. “It is hard to prepare for a role that includes everything from investigating potential honor violations, to deliberating on the budget, to just meeting with public safety about doors being unnecessarily locked.”

Helen Gray Dunnavant, 2L: vice president of the EC 

Dunnavant will become the first law student to serve on the EC executive team since the 2015-2016 school year, said Gus Cross, the 2019 class representative for the EC. 

Dunnavant has served as a class representative to the EC and is also on the education subcommittee.

“The SEC was very happy to see participation this year from both the undergraduate students and law students,” Smith said. 

Dunnavant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2017. Outside of the EC, she is a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and participates in the Law School Football League.

Daniel Clark, ‘20: secretary of the SJC

Clark was elected to a second term as secretary of the SJC. He also served two terms as a justice of the SJC.

Clark said he has focused on giving students the opportunity to provide restitution to communities affected by their offense. He does not believe in punishment for the sake of punishment.

“I actively strive to uphold the pillars of trust and fairness that define our community,” Clark said in his platform. “I judge every case equitably, considering not only the rules, but also the unique circumstances surrounding each offense.” 

Kana White, ‘20: secretary of the EC

White, who has never served on the EC before, won the position of EC secretary as an off-campus candidate. She is currently studying abroad in England. 

She said in her platform that she aims to ensure further transparency between the EC and the student body and continue the EC’s efforts to solicit more feedback from the student body. 

White is a member of the Williams Investment Society, treasurer of the Washington and Lee Repertory Dance Company and a Career Fellow at the Office of Career and Professional Development.

Vacancy for 2020 class representative 

According to an email sent by the Student Election Commission to the class of 2020, there is now a vacant seat for a senior representative to the EC. Frances Conner, ‘20, was originally one of only two candidates for the spot and appeared on the original ballot on March 28. The email did not state why Conner is no longer a candidate. 

A special election to fill the vacancy will be held on Friday, April 5. 

Election Results

Class Representatives

Executive Committee

2020: Andrew Brouse, vacancy

2021: Chad Thomas, Olivia Indelicato

2022: Gavron Campbell, Matthew Conden

Law 2020: Sean Moran

Law 2021: Dan Kator

Student Judicial Council

2020: Erin Dringman

2021: Matthew Muller

2022: Robert Rosen

Law 2020: Talia Hughes

Law 2021: Emily Dalessio

At-Large Law School Representative:

Jackie Bontjes

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