April 21, 2009

SG election guide: YouChicago

[img id="77612" align="alignleft"] Positioning themselves as this year’s most pragmatic slate, YouChicago promises to follow through with seemingly small platform ideas to improve student life on campus.

Led by third-year College Council (CC) representative Jarrod Wolf, YouChicago has pledged to institutionalize the end-of-the-quarter airport shuttle, bridge the one-hour no-transportation gap, cut down on the money SG spends on food, and bring more bike racks to campus.

Wolf said that these ideas are capable of being instituted by fall quarter, and that each one will directly impact students.

“We will put forth changes that may seem like minor things, but have actual impacts,” Wolf said. “We prefer to concentrate on tangible goals.”

One such seemingly small change, Wolf said, was bringing 24-hour transportation options to Hyde Park.

“It’s kind of ridiculous for one hour [5 to 6 a.m.] to have no form of transportation,” third-year and vice president for student affairs candidate Chris Williams said. Williams, who is the current campus services chair, said that shifting SafeRide’s coverage one hour later could solve this problem, since few take advantage of its services in the early evening, especially in the spring.

Wolf said that he would take advantage of SG’s access to high-level administrators, a perk not shared by many at the University.

“The Maroon and Phoenix routes came from the presidential security plan, even after [the administration] was told multiple times that they were not practical,” Wolf said. “Brian Shaw, the head of transportation, couldn’t even talk to [Vice President for Campus Life] Kim Goff-Crews, but SG has been consulted by her several times.”

While all members of YouChicago, including first-year CC representative and vice president for administration candidate May Yeung, said that a recent SG move to add RSO members to the SG Finance Committee was a step forward, they felt SG’s time could be better spent analyzing just how that money is spent.

“For example, if RSOs are spending money on the same five or six restaurants in Hyde Park, we could negotiate better rates,” Williams said. “But no one’s looked into that.”

Wolf added that based on such an investigation, he would reevaluate how much money gets put into each of the funding “silos” operated by SG, which each serve different student groups, such as community service organizations or sports teams.

“What [SG] has done hasn’t been the best way for us to approach the issue,” Wolf said. “It’s the allocation of resources, and not the makeup of the committee, that’s important.”