Wilson Hall will be the new president of Associated Students after a landslide victory over incumbent Emily Hinton last week. Hall campaigned effectively, getting 1,536 votes compared to Hinton’s 669.
“It’s nice to see that the hard work of campaigning has paid off,” Hall said. “I’m happy that the student body believes in me and what I can achieve as president, especially winning by such a large margin, 70 percent. It really shows the students are confident in me advocating for them.”
So, who is the man who will be the new face of Associated Students? If you haven’t met him already, he wants you to know he will be fighting for you.
“I am coming in committed, ready to put in all the time and work that it takes,” Hall said. “Students believe in me, and I believe in myself. I want to show I’m not just a popular guy on campus, but I’m actually committed to enriching students’ lives.”
During the campaign, Hall spoke to at least three classes, clubs or teams every day.
“It was very time-consuming, but I was happy. I love being able put my face out there and reaching out to students,” Hall said. “That’s something I’m going to continue to do as president.”
During the campaign process, there was some controversy about the tactics being taken by some of the candidates. Hinton accused Hall of turning a professional campaign into a popularity contest.
“I dont think students understand Associated Students role at the university, they don’t take these elections seriously and instead they vote for their friends,” said Hinton, “However, if the roles were reveresed, and I had the knowledge I have now of AS, and Wilson was the current president, I would have wanted him to win.”
Hall believes the students made their choice not becuase of his popularity but because of his ability to connect with students.
“Regardless of who you know, as a student you’re going to vote for the candidate you believe can help everyone the best,” Hall said. “The student body has had the chance to see what Emily has done and they’ve chosen to go a different route. I think it’s not because I’m a popular guy, but because they feel I’m attainable and reachable, and also can get things done.”
In high school, Hall played the saxophone, participated in choir and played football, soccer and track. This high level of involvement translated immediately to Sonoma State when he became an orientation leader. From there, he was appointed by the academic senate as an Associated Students representative, where he mulled a run for an executive position.
Hall, who is entering his third year, plans on running again next year. For inspiration, Hall looks to his mother.
“Coming from single-parent, low-income family, she sacrificed so much for me to get where I am today,” Hall said. “She’s a teacher, so she was really strong on academics. This has made me go even harder to make sure I reciprocate the work she puts in.”
Hall was raised in Oakland, but his mom wanted him to go to Alcalanes High School in Lafayette. Graduating from a high school in an affluent suburb and being raised in inner-city Oakland gives Hall a unique background.
“I feel like I’m bilingual in a sense, because I can relate to students from various backgrounds,” Hall said.
Hall said his agenda will mostly be set by feeling the pulse of the student body; he wants to respond to student needs rather than solely coming up with his own ideas.
“We’re going to roll with the punches, and assess things accordingly,” he said. “With the relationships I’ve built with different students and departments, I’m like a hub that can positively influence Sonoma State and its students.”
According to Hall, there are already some areas he knows he wants to improve, such as increasing academic support. During his campaign, Hall spoke of making advising mandatory. He also wants to make the academic senate more visible to students.
Hall wants to improve athletic fields so teams don’t have to leave campus to play. He would love to see more dining options on campus. Hall believes it would be great if there was a space for underrepresented students.
“I can’t wait to really impact Sonoma State. I’m ready to work. It’s not going to be easy, and I’m not expecting it to be. I think we’re going to have some great things coming to campus within the next year.”
The newly-elected Academic Senate has high hopes for the next academic school year, but Hinton has some fears for the future.
“Our newly elected team are all brand new to the senate, and we have no returning members for the first time in years,” she said. “Which frankly, is a very scary thing for the coorporation, the organization, the students and the university.”