Isaiah Carter-Sydney O’Connell support safety, inclusion and acceptance

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Photo Credit: Emmanuel Briseño | Daily Texan Staff

As election runoffs results draw near on Thursday night, Isaiah Carter and Sydney O’Connell have one message for the student body — “Come As You Are.”

Government junior Carter said the campaign’s “Come As You Are” message is designed to empower students to be unapologetic of what makes them unique.

“We’re trying to urge students to be proud of what makes them different and unapologetic and empowered to express their views freely,” Carter said. “I think that’s a message that again is more important than Sydney or myself or our campaign, but a message that, above all else, we want every student on this University to hear and believe in.”

Carter said the campaign plans to expand SURE Walk, implement a fall break over Texas-OU weekend, provide funding to Voices Against Violence and create the “UrNext in Student Government” program in which any student who wants to be a part of SG in an official capacity will be accepted.

Carter said he will not be opposed to making political statements in office because political issues directly affect the student body.

“If we shy away from what really matters, then students are not going to have really any incentive to get involved with an institution that is designed to serve them,” Carter said. “We have to talk about issues that matter (to) them.”

Corporate communications junior Sydney O’Connell is a member of Alphi Phi and a co-founder of “Not On My Campus,” a student organization dedicated to breaking the silence surrounding sexual assault.

“My work with Not On My Campus has given me a lot of insight on conversations that need to be happening, education that needs to be continued (and) trainings that need to be implemented,” O’Connell said. 

With campus involvement in Silver Spurs, Camp Texas and Texas Wranglers, and having served as current chief of staff and past campaign manager for current student body president Kevin Helgren, Carter said he can provide a perspective that has long evaded campus conversation.

“I know what the job entails, I know what’s hard (and) I know what’s easy,” Carter. “I think experience is something that’s incredibly important when you’re deciding on who to elect.”

Receiving 32.87 percent of the vote, the Carter-O’Connell campaign came in second to the Alejandrina Guzman-Micky Wolf campaign in the general elections on Thursday, and Carter said being the underdog is where the team wanted to be.

“It really lit a fire, and we made sure that in our social media (this week) that we were looking for quality, not quantity,” Carter said.

This week, the Carter-O’Connell campaign received two significant endorsements from the Black Student Alliance and the Blake Burley-Robert Guerra team, who placed third in last week’s general election.

Former presidential candidate Burley, philosophy and government junior, said he decided to support Carter after Carter released a revised freedom of speech policy on the Isaiah & Sydney 2017 Facebook page Monday saying that the Carter-O’Connell campaign will protect all forms of free speech. 

“That was super important for us to make sure our constitutents and supporters felt like they’re voices would be included in a platform,” Burley said. “We ended up going with Isaiah, but we know that both groups will do an awesome job.”