Student groups prepare for arrival of Chancellor-elect Martin
Andrew Martin will assume his role as chancellor-elect of Washington University January 1.
As chancellor-elect, Martin will manage the day-to-day operations of the University. Chancellor Mark Wrighton will continue serving as a liaison to the Board of Trustees, focus on program development and perform ceremonial tasks of the chancellor including spring commencement.
Martin will be officially named chancellor on June 1, with a formal inauguration ceremony to follow in October. Wrighton will continue to hold a full-time position at the University and has plans to teach a first-year seminar.
Student activist groups are eager to plead their cases to Martin next semester. Green Action Co-president junior Khalid Mahmood said they are optimistic about Martin’s arrival to campus.
“We want a chancellor who’s conscious of the impact that our university has both on a local and global level; so, we’re hopeful that Martin can help the University impact for good,” Mahmood said.
According to Mahmood, Green Action’s number one priority will be their continued push for the University to divest from fossil fuel companies.
“That represents a commitment to local communities not only because of the local impact these companies have on them, but also a global impact because of climate change and carbon emissions,” Mahmood said. “I know Wash. U. has talked about being a climate leader, and this is one way that they can show a tangible commitment to combating climate change.”
Green Action is similarly focused on the establishment of a committee that would advise the chancellor on issues of endowment transparency. Wrighton announced its creation in fall of 2017, but its members have yet to be seated.
“I think just getting that in place [will give] students access to information about where our money goes and where it’s invested,” Mahmood said.
Title Mine organizer junior Luka Cai is hopeful that Martin will be receptive to hearing directly from students about how they want to reform Title IX policies on campus.
“I think because he’s someone who’s going to come in without having that personal experience of how this movement has transformed the campus, I would really want to see empathy and an openness to listening from students and a desire to learn more about the movement,” Cai said.
Cai says that Martin was receptive after they reached out, and expressed interest in meeting with organizers.
“He’s actually responded really proactively saying that he would support our movement; he’s wanting to learn more about our movement as much as possible,” Cai said.
Title Mine organizer sophomore Candace Hayes wants Martin to take a stronger stance on sexual violence on campus.
“I hope that he [Martin] takes a firmer stance against interpersonal violence on our campus, and holds the administration more accountable when it comes to adjudicating perpetrators and accommodating the needs of survivors,” Hayes said.
Co-Chair of the executive committee of Washington University Graduate Workers (WUGWU) Grace Ward said that WUGWU isn’t willing to compromise on their demands.
“I hope that he will work to raise all campus workers’ wages to $15 an hour, look at providing free childcare for all workers and…we hope that he’ll be responsive to our rights to unionize and collectively bargain going forward,” Ward said. “I think we have to look at this shift in leadership and approach it with good faith that Andrew Martin seems to be somebody who cares about Wash. U. as a community like our group cares about Wash. U. as a community.”