For the past few years, each pair of Student Union (SU) leaders has failed to achieve most of the great reforms they have promised. From grand avowals of active protests to simple commitments of unity, SU candidates have consistently campaigned on change—a promise to do what their predecessors have not and a willingness to stand up to the administration. Unfortunately, nothing has been done. As this board noted in its most recent staff editorial, titled “The Race to Nowhere,” the elections continue to yield a “confusing, ineffective, and extensively restricted [SU].”
With the trite promises of “experience,” ringing in our ears from previous campaigns, we’ve chosen a platform that doesn’t rest on the basis of continued incompetence and do-nothing government and instead put our faith behind a duo that backs promises with methodology. The Spectator Editorial Board has chosen to endorse junior Adam Lieber and sophomore Tahia Islam for SU President and Vice President.
The Spectator is not interested in preserving the lackluster status quo. We’re sick of inactivity, a dearth of ideas, and an overall feeling that most of the SU officers are more interested in college-padding their resumes than affecting change in the school. We want change, and we want change in the form of a presidency interested in expanding the size and role of the SU not just by proposing ideas, but by implementing well thought-out reforms such as a more committee-specialized SU, a one-minute grace period, and a new alumni-based college night. We choose Adam and Tahia on the basis of their preparation of these ideas and readiness during the debate. When asked how they would work with an unwilling administration to gain the student body out-to-lunch privileges, Adam said, “We would create a specific committee within the SU […] We would get student petitions advocating for going out to lunch […] We would get endorsements from the teachers.” Calvin also suggested forming a petition, but focused largely on learning the administration’s through the generally ineffective SLT meetings. In addition, the Calvin/Eddie ticket indicated that they had not fully developed their policies when they repeatedly contradicted each other during their Spectator interview.
We hope that Lieber’s active use of Facebook, Formspring, and other online Q&A clients will continue so that for the first time in student memory, there will be an effective portal of communication between the student body and its government. Along this line, we would like to see a greater push for student wants and rights. And while Calvin and Eddie also support more communication they, as with most of their policies, are largely unspecific, citing a possible monthly newsletter or mailbox for questions. Adam’s online Q&A is more constant and more effective.
Granted, Calvin and Eddie have SU experience, a fact that, to their credit, they repeated throughout the debate and interview. But their time in office serves mostly as a reference for not getting things done. As head of the special events committee, the greatest among Calvin’s achievements is likely the Fall Festival, which very few students even bothered to attend. Eddie, with current Sophomore Caucus President Thoasin Bari, organized an unpopular boxers drive, a blunder he acknowledged in his interview.
In light of their creativity, planning, and their opponent’s lack thereof, it is the strongly held opinion of The Spectator Editorial Board that Adam Lieber and Tahia Islam are the best candidates for SU President and Vice President. That being said, this statement should be considered less an affirmation of success than a challenge for the coming year; anyone can campaign for change, but it takes something else to enact it. We believe that you, Adam and Tahia, are capable of what you’ve promised. If elected, we hope that you will do whatever it takes to prove us right.