Early next week, the student body will elect this year's Student Assembly, the student organization responsible for student initiative and disbursing about $500,000 in funds.
Students will vote for College Council (CC) and Graduate Council (GC) online at sg.uchicago.edu, beginning at 9 a.m. Monday and finishing at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Twenty students are running for fifteen seats on CC. The executive slate, which provided the Maroon with the list of students running for CC class officer, could not give details on the GC elections, said Ananya Das, one of the slate's vice presidents.
The candidates spoke to the Maroon via e-mail about their aspirations for the year.
Jeremy Guttman, running for fourth-year class officer in College Council, said that SG should try to create a customizable e-mail service informing students of lectures, performances, meetings, and events.
"Such a place is not currently available with the inefficient glut of listhost e-mails, posters, word of mouth, and the non-comprehensive events.uchicago.edu and ORSCA calendars," Guttman said. "SG should be able to help change that."
Students running for CC class officer, could not give details on the GC elections, said Ananya Das, one of the slate's vice-presidents.
There are two third-years running for three third-year class officer seats, meaning that at least one CC member will win as a write-in candidate.
Pat Rich, running for first-year class officer, said that he hoped to help under-funded and under-represented RSOs. "I want them to get the publicity and funds they need." He also indicated that he was running on a slate with first-years Andrew Flowers, Leah Endalkatchew, and Christian Brockman.
Flowers added that because they each have different backgrounds, hometowns, personalities, and dorms, they hoped to "address the current issues of diversity, transportation, academic concerns, and funding for RSO's with an open mind and a yearning to represent best the wants and wishes of the undergraduate students."
There will be a short ceremony in Hutchinson Commons to confirm the elections at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Rem Koning, running for first-year class officer, emphasized his main goal: giving his classmates a place to voice their concerns. His campaign posters iterate that he wants to "improve and maintain the already strong student health system," make sure that sports teams are strongly funded, and maintain the College's commitment to the arts while ensuring that all humanities and social science classes "meet the current standard of being the best in the nation."
Siddharth Bhammar, a first-year from India running for class officer, said that his unique perspective made him an attractive candidate. "[This] would in itself, and undoubtedly, enable me to perceive at least some, if not all of our concerns in a manner unique from that which has already been sought after."
Kyle Lee, running for first-year class officer, emphasized his passion for representing his class. "My purpose is rather singular in nature: to show this school that the Class of 2008 is indeed a force with which to be reckoned and a powerful group of individuals," Lee said.
Feliks Pleszczynski, running for second-year class officer, said that he had three prongs to his platform. First, he wants to maintain shuttle service to the Red Line. He said that former CC members and current candidates against the shuttle were "out of touch with the student body."
Second, Pleszczynski wants to "add subjectivity" to the Student Government Finance Committee, an SG body that funds RSOs. "Right now, anyone can get pretty much anything they want for pretty much anything."
Pleszczynski also said that he wanted to change the bureaucratic culture of student government. "People say that having gender-neutral bathrooms doesn't cost the school anything. Well, it wastes all this time talking, talking, talking while you could be working on more important things. That issue should be handled in a different forum." Pleszczynski said that SG should instead work on items such as putting traction on the steps to the basement of Cobb.
"If you walk into a meeting and just say no, that is going to send waves," said Pleszczynski. "I want to rattle some cages and make some noise."
Other candidates running for College Council who did not respond to an e-mail by 7 p.m. Thursday include Cameron Downing and Katherine Field running for fourth-year class officer; Peter A. Christiansen and Ben Walsh running for third-year class officer; Nina Chihambakwe, David Clayman, David Courchaine, Andrew Kiersz, Jacques Launer and Megan Stritchko running for second-year class officer; and Daniel Kimerling and Auddie Sweis running for first-year class officer.