April 28, 2015

The Maroon Editorial Board endorses Young and Perri

SG Elections 2015: Liaisons.

Undergraduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees

The Maroon Editorial Board endorses Andrew Young for the position of undergraduate liaison to the Board of Trustees. While Anthony Downer is a capable and highly qualified candidate, their platforms differ in one key area: pursuing voting representation for students on the Board of Trustees. Downer will work for permanent representation for students in the form of at least one voting or ex-officio position. Young believes that such representation for students is unachievable, and he does not plan to push for it. Instead, Young hopes to provide monthly opportunities for students to meet with trustees (something Downer also supports) and to connect RSOs with trustees whose professional experience is relevant to their work (something Downer does not see as feasible).

Undergraduate liaisons to the Board have been pushing for some form of increased representation for students for years, with little success. Young hopes that his plan to prioritize increased student interaction with trustees will build relationships that make voting representation easier to achieve in the long run. His plan will only succeed if trustees are willing to volunteer more of their time to interact with students. However, Young’s plan is thoughtful, well-formulated, and worth trying. Years of campaigning for student enfranchisement have yielded no results, and it is time for a different approach to the liaison position. Young’s platform reimagines a role that has long been ineffective and ill-defined.

Editor’s note: Andrew Young was an associate Viewpoints editor of The Maroon in spring quarter of 2014. Eleanor Hyun, who worked with him at the time, recused herself from the endorsement process for this position. Lear Jiang was not affiliated with The Maroon and Alan Hassler was not part of the Viewpoints section or Editorial Board at the time.

Graduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees

The Maroon Editorial Board endorses Katie Perri, a student in the Booth School, for the position of graduate liaison to the Board of Trustees. Perri brings pragmatic solutions that will once again make the graduate liaison position relevant after there were no declared candidates last year. Her new approach involves making more data—including campus climate survey results and University financial information—available to students and using it to pinpoint areas where students and administrators can collaborate.

Being a successful liaison to the Board of Trustees requires not only a firm understanding of how to best leverage the position, but also the communication skills necessary to work proactively with busy trustees. Perri brings acumen from years of experience in the business world, where many of the trustees spend most of their time. In addition, Perri brings keen awareness of the issues that concern her fellow students. More than any other candidate, she recognizes the discussions that students may want to have with the trustees and how they can be conducted in the most productive way.

Community and Government Liaison

Editor’s note: The only candidate on the ballot for this position is Nina Katemauswa. She is also an associate Viewpoints editor of The Maroon. Thus, the Editorial Board will not make an endorsement for this position.

—The Maroon Editorial Board