April 22, 2008

Editorial: Executive Slate endorsement

For the first time in recent memory, the race for executive slate has provided two eminently qualified teams, and the decision should be a difficult one for many students. Connect 4, a slate composed of fourth-year graduate student and presidential candidate Anthony Green, third-year Vice President for Administration candidate Kati Proctor, and third-year Vice President of Student Affairs candidate Amanda Steele, offer impressive experience. Green currently serves as the Graduate Council chair and skillfully negotiated the graduate financial aid debate, while Proctor, chair of the Student Government Finance Committee, and Steele, chair of the UnCommon Fund, have worked closely at what remains the core of Student Government’s (SG) mission : dispersing the Student Activities Fee to student organizations. Ultimately, the diversity of the slate, in addition to a refreshing outsider’s perspective, and, most significantly, a willingness to push for reasonable and needed reform to a cumbersome and excessive funding process, leads the Maroon to endorse Connect 4 for executive slate.

One Campus, with third-year presidential candidate Matt Kennedy, first-year Vice President of Administration candidate Julian Quintanilla, and second-year graduate student and Vice President of Student Affairs candidate Toussaint Losier, demonstrated an admirable and thorough grasp of the relevant issues facing SG in the coming year. Kennedy, the incumbent Vice President of Student Affairs, has been particularly impressive in interviews, debates, and campaign literature, effortlessly explaining the rationale behind, impediments to, and realistic possibilities of serious change both to SG and student life at the U of C. Losier, who serves as the President of the Graduate Council Funding Committee, brings similar bona fides to the race, and his specialization in the issue most pressing to graduate students is valuable.

The student body will be well served by either of these slates, but ultimately the reluctance on the part of One Campus to advocate for more than simple tweaking to the RSO funding system is disheartening. While they are correct to note that ORCSA is unlikely to abolish the excessive bureaucracy in the near future, we were encouraged by Connect 4’s commitment to incremental and realistic change, including new avenues to resources for non–RSO student groups, for an increasingly broken system.

Students would not, however, be well served by YEP, a collaboration of woefully unprepared first-years with little-to-no grasp of the complexity or significance of SG. Presidential candidate Yeonjean Gahng, Vice President for Administration candidate Petros Visser, and Vice President of Student Affairs candidate Ellie Elgamal could not possibly parlay a few months of sitting in on SG meetings into anything even resembling the professionalism and effectiveness of One Campus or Connect 4. Even more troubling, YEP fails to even bring the unique or different ideas that their youth or independence from SG might have provided; instead, their major plan was for the creation of a “mission statement” for SG that would accomplish nothing and waste even more of the Assembly’s time.

Finally, the Moose Party, a farcical slate of Delta Upsilon brothers comprosd of third-year presidential candidate Andy Gallucci, second-year Vice President for Administration candidate Tim Leahy, and first-year Vice President of Student Affairs candidate Joel McMurray, is participating in their fourteenth consecutive bid for the executive slate. Using SG elections as a platform to promote their annual election day party is only mildy objectionable, and there are certainly many projects undertaken by SG that are deserving of satire. But the Moose Party’s belligerent and sexist treatment of the SG debate crossed the line from farce to folly. With frequently asinine and distasteful comments that not just disrupted the proceedings but failed to even solicit genuine laughs, the Moose Party might now be a tradition worthy of discontinuing.

The Maroon Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Viewpoints Editors, and an additional Editorial Board member. The Managing Editor recused himself from this decision due to his involvement in the Executive Slate campaign.