Due to his previous experience  and his ability to lead and motivate the legislature, the Wheel endorses College junior Raj Tilwa for Student Government Association (SGA) President. However, we that find some of the initiatives Tilwa promoted in his campaign for SGA Vice President went unfinished, such as advocating for underrepresented groups on campus, such as students with disabilities. Therefore, our endorsement comes with some hesitation.

Although Tilwa cites unexpected and unforeseen circumstances for the inability to accomplish these goals, we hope that as SGA President, he will work to ensure he can accomplish the goals outlined in this year’s platform while also handling the day-to-day tasks of the position.

We believe one of Tilwa’s greatest strengths lies in his ability to lead and his institutional knowledge of SGA. This background, coupled with the important personal relationships he has with Emory administrators, will allow for a smooth transition between leadership and allow for SGA to continue operating at full speed, where Tilwa will be able to know exactly who to contact in order to get different initiatives completed. However, these personal relationships could also be detrimental to the role of SGA President, where, at times, Emory students may be critical toward the administration. As SGA President, we hope Tilwa represents and responds to these students and is willing to be critical of the administration when necessary and to challenge the status quo.

Although we are not extremely inspired by the ideas outlined in his candidate statement and platform, we do believe there are some important changes he can bring to the Emory community.

One of the larger projects he will face will be in the already ongoing implementation of a management and collaboration platform. Citing the ineffectiveness of the Emory Bubble, Tilwa has said Emory needs a truly integrated social platform to allow for students to really engage with one another. Tilwa’s emphasis on improving Emory’s digital infrastructure is critical, as students need a place to become informed about events, club chartering information and more. As long as Tilwa continues the strong communication that SGA has instituted this year and ensures student feedback and support for the new platform, we believe this is a strong move in the right direction.

Tilwa also included in his candidate statement the TapRide app, which is in progress, to allow students to call SafeRide shuttles through an app much like Uber. We are excited for this idea and hope that if elected, Tilwa can deliver on this promise as well.

The above two ideas highlight some of our favorite portions of Tilwa’s campaign. Other ideas such as continuing to grow the Student Experience Fund, pushing for a neutral programming space at Emory and increasing support for independent student initiatives, to which he would devote 30 percent of his executive budget, are also important to his candidacy.

Overall, Tilwa is a strong candidate who has presented many useful, tangible ideas to the table, but we hope he can deliver on these promises while still maintaining the strong communication the current administration has already established. We hope he can channel his obvious passion for the Emory community through ensuring he accomplishes most of the goals outlined in his platform in the coming year if elected the next SGA president. ​

This article was updated on Friday, February 27 at 10:00am: A previous version of this endorsement stated that Tilwa did not fulfill his 2014 campaign promise to increase alumni engagement. That statement, which appeared in the first paragraph, was updated as Tilwa has been developing an alumni engagement program called “Emory for Life” which will be piloted during Fall 2015 orientation.

The above represents the majority opinion of the Endorsements Committee.

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The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.

The Wheel is financially and editorially independent from the University. All of its content is generated by the Wheel’s more than 100 student staff members and contributing writers, and its printing costs are covered by profits from self-generated advertising sales.