Do not be afraid to ‘switch things up’

Dear Fellow Canes,

As the presidential candidate for The Switch Up, I, Dewayne Washington II, would like to publicly congratulate Emily Gossett, Millie Chokshi and Jason Kaplan on being selected as our next Student Government executive branch leaders.

This election cycle was truly one for the record books, as there was an unprecedented increase in voter interest and demand for information, which resulted in over 3,500 students from all corners of our university casting their votes in this exciting election. I believe the University of Miami student body is now experiencing renewed energy and interest in our student government, which I hope carries on for years to come.

This renewed energy has led to multiple conversations surrounding The Switch Up’s race to become Student Government executive branch leaders. I would like to address any misconceptions regarding the platform and mission behind our campaign. The Switch Up ticket and its supporters were comprised of student leaders from across our university who were passionate about bringing positive, sustainable change to our campus while holding its elected leaders accountable.

I find it disheartening that there are continued questions surrounding our true motivations for running for office. I blame myself for not campaigning on a clearer message, but I want to address these concerns.

One common misconception surrounding our ticket was that, if elected, we were going to change every aspect of Student Government as a whole. Let me assure you that was not the case. As student leaders, we felt that we were not getting the authentic representation that we were promised and felt we deserved. As explained in a video released on the second day of campaigning, The Switch Up derives from electing an executive ticket that is not totally comprised by people from within student government, which has been the only type of leadership so far experienced by our student body. In order to leave the lasting impact for students that we felt was necessary, we believed student leaders with authentic UM experiences would be the best fit to lead during this time.

However, I assure you that your student government is in extremely capable and qualified hands. Whether you originally supported Empower U or not, I implore you to put all of your support behind them and their dedicated team. Since the UM community is now intrigued by and aware of its student government and its functions, be sure to hold your leaders accountable.

Whether it is your student body president or respective senator, I recommend that you actively pay attention to their progress and assure that you are receiving the change on this campus that you truly deserve. If you are not getting the change you feel is necessary, do not sit back and complain, go act on it yourself. Be a change-maker in your community and do not be afraid to switch things up.

Although our campaign is over, this is not the last of The Switch Up. We will continue to leave our mark on this campus. Over the next few weeks, Justin Grauer, Julia Lynch and I will be discussing which direction we would like to go in as we continue advocating for the student body and its collective interests, assuring that you see the results you were promised. Continue to follow us on Instagram @TheSwitchUpUM, as we will be sure to keep you all posted.


Dewayne Washington II

Washington is a junior majoring in finance.