April 24, 2007

SG Election Guide: The Most Known Unknowns

Casting itself as a group of outsiders interested more in amplifying the concerns of students than preserving the Student Government (SG) status quo, the Most Known Unknowns executive slate has framed its relative lack of SG experience as an asset, hoping to tap into campus frustration with some of the perceived inefficiencies and shortcomings of campus politics.

The slate is led by third-year Archie Chandrasekhar, the only member with elected experience, who, according to the campaign, would become the first female SG president in University history. Fellow third-years Eric Vazquez (candidate for VP of Administration) and RJ Virissimo (VP for Student Affairs) round out the slate, emphasizing their involvement with RSOs and student groups as an asset.

“What we’re all about is the phrase we came up with; ‘We’re you’re everyday students, not your everyday student government,’” Chandrasekhar said. “If you have the same people doing the same thing, nothing is ever going to get changed, and nothing different will ever happen.”

Among the changes the Most Known Unknowns hope to implement: the conversion of the Reynolds Club into a late-night study space similar to the one that used to exist on Regenstein Library’s A-level, an increased number of high-profile campus speakers, and an emphasis on student and campus safety.

“These are things that we can very easily do, and you find out from going out and talking to students that they’re the types of issues that really affect students every day and make a difference for them,” Chandrasekhar said. “Creating the study space in the Reynolds Club, which is a place that’s already associated with being social, could help recreate the atmosphere of the A-level, and it would be closer to Bart-Mart and be something that mattered to a lot of people.”

The major selling point of the Most Known Unknowns’ platform, however, has been a promise to seek proactively student opinions on issues, while placing increased pressure on the administration to consider student input.

“We don’t want it just to be the Student Government just trying to predict what the issues are; we want to talk directly to students and see what the issues....are,” Virissimo said.

If elected, the slate has promised to step up efforts to attend house, club, and RSO meetings in an effort to understand the issues facing students and student organizations better.

“When there are issues, we’re going to bring new ideas, things that right now might not even be considered,” Virissimo said. “Archie has the experience to tell us what will work or not, but it gives us an opportunity to bring fresh ideas to the table and better represent what all students are thinking.”