By Michaela Guo
The sophomore class presidents announced on Sept. 3 that Ecy King ’23 would be joining them via an email to the class of 2023 a month after Isa Terrazas ’23 stepped down from the post.
John Bailey ’23, Ali Cohen ’23 and Grant Sheen ’23 chose King after reviewing written applications and holding a round of interviews. They did not initiate a class vote on the candidates.
King said she was drawn to the position by the potential for engaging her fellow students and organizing creative events despite the constraints of COVID-19.
“We can still have experiences that are worthwhile, and we can still have these activities that are really worth remembering. It really spoke to me,” King said. “And I could tell from the interview, especially, that they have that same mentality.”
Terrazas was originally elected under the Tree Huggers slate but decided to take a leave of absence for personal reasons.
“I don’t know Ecy personally, but I have heard great things and am very excited to hear about what they will do. I am still very sad I won’t be able to fulfill the role I was elected into, but I know they will do an awesome job,” Terrazas wrote in an email to The Daily.
The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Constitution does not address replacing class presidents post-election. However, the Undergraduate Senate passed a bill in June that would allow Senate members to serve their terms while taking a leave of absence, writing that “replacing candidates duly elected by the ASSU Undergraduate body would be unconstitutional.”
Undergraduate Senate Parliamentarian Mia Bahr ’22, who authored the bill, said she felt it was necessary to ensure that Senate members who could not afford attending class in fall were not disenfranchised.
Regulations about class presidents are “more of a gray area,” according to Bahr.
“They mostly function as event planners and support systems for their graduating class, and although they can sponsor bills and resolutions, they have virtually no controlling function in the legislative branch,” Bahr wrote. “Because of this, and the fact that presidents are trusted to appoint cabinet members already, constitutionally, it can be argued either way.”
Although she called it “a bit of an unwise decision,” Bahr didn’t view the choice to add a class president without a class vote as “malicious.”
“During a time like this, it is honestly understandable they’d want more help organizing as class presidents. I think the COVID-19 pandemic has made things uniquely hard to navigate as representatives. Everyone is trying their best,” Bahr wrote.
The Constitutional Council declined to comment regarding the constitutionality of selecting a president without a vote in the absence of a case being filed.
Over the year, King, who has also written for The Daily, intends to prioritize the “PIES” — physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being — of her classmates.
“I’m a big fan of this Greek word called eudaimonia, which I interpret to be human flourishing and living up to people’s potential,” King said. “During COVID-19, being a class president, planning these events would truly allow us to live up to our fullest potential even though we are in a pandemic right now.”
Cohen emphasized how easily King fit into the group despite not knowing them prior to the selection process. In addition to supporting plans made during the Tree Huggers’ original campaign, King said she has ideas for bonding events online aimed at fostering emotional unity and deeper connections.
“One thing that we tried to do in all the interviews was push a little bit to emulate a brainstorming session because that’s what we do a lot in meetings, sessions where we go back and forth and bounce around ideas,” Cohen said. “We tried to do that in every interview and the way Ecy engaged with that and was willing to play along and came up with really new additions to ideas we already had and new ideas in general –– it was just very much meant to be.”
Contact Michaela Guo at mcguo ‘at’ stanford.edu.