Pipe Dream and the SA Executive Board ultimately have a similar mission — to give a voice to the students on this campus. Endorsements give us the opportunity to riff on the various candidates’ platforms and advocate for what we think are realistic goals. We sincerely hope that no matter which candidates win this year’s elections, they won’t be nearly as incompetent as the Elections Committee has been. As of press time, the committee has still failed to properly advertise the elections and the candidates running in the manner dictated by the bylaws. We also hope that online elections will successfully increase voter turnout from a dismal 10 percent of the undergraduate student body.
President: Eric Larson
Eric is the only candidate we feel is capable of taking over as president next year. He’s done a fantastic job as VPF this year, and we believe he has the right reasons for wanting to move up to president. He has a lot of big plans and ideas — he has been behind the movement to incorporate the SA over the past few years — and we think he can accomplish them. His opponent, Rahul, is a nice guy, and he’d probably be a good president if Eric weren’t in the running, but we feel he might be better suited for the role of EVP or VPF. Eric is far and away the most qualified and the most capable of effecting positive change — possibly of anybody running, for any position.
Executive Vice President: Samson Widerman
First, Samson is adorable. More importantly, he is motivated, charismatic and realistic in his plans for the EVP position. He would be great at interacting with students, and it’s obvious he really cares about student organizations on campus. One great idea was designating a graphic designer for SA groups to hire to help with any design stuff they might need. It’s a simple idea, but it’s innovative, and it’s something that could feasibly be accomplished during his time in office. In fact, that’s something we believe is unique about Samson’s campaign; he has an ambitious agenda, but nearly everything in his platform seems feasible. His opponent, Jacob Dorfman, seemed focused more on small stuff. He wants to reform the R25 room reservation system — which is controlled by the University and used by faculty too — something we’re not sure would be within his power to accomplish.
Vice President for Finance: Ravi Prakriya
We have had our personal reservations about Ravi, based on his interactions with Pipe Dream, but he is undeniably capable of taking over the VPF position. He has experience working in the office alongside Eric Larson, and he knows what he’s doing. He is running unopposed, so he will win regardless. We’re endorsing him because he’s competent, and he’s been in the office long enough that he’d carry on the great work Eric’s been doing.
Vice President for Academic Affairs: No Endorsement
(Well maybe Aaron Ricks, if he weren’t graduating.)
Two people are running for VPAA, but we don’t feel comfortable endorsing either candidate. Aaron Ricks has been a great VPAA this year, working tirelessly to raise money for the New York Times Readership Program and working closely with the Office for Student Conduct and ResLife to advocate on behalf of students. We feel that neither candidate seems to understand what the position entails or is actually committed enough to get things done. Stephan Fathalla doesn’t even seem to understand the role of advising offices on this campus. And Derrick Conyers’ platform seems to consist of plastering student advocate advertisements all over the blue buses. The lack of preparedness both candidates demonstrated may have something to do with a misunderstanding about the position. No one seems to know what “academic affairs” entails, and it’s hard to run for something that’s so ill-defined. Nonetheless, both platforms had major flaws and we don’t think either candidate is ready.
Vice President for Programing: Mariana Moriello
M&M, as she referred to herself, undeniably has the most experience of any of the VPP candidates and has a true understanding of how to do the job. She’s the only one who has worked on the SAPB, which seems like an important thing to do. Granted, we don’t agree that the position should be limited to SAPB members, which is going to be the case if the new constitution passes. But we really like that she has achievable plans for next year — she said she would make an effort, when creating programming surveys, to avoid unrealistic expectations, and try to provide a variety of genres for different tastes. She added that she would still strive to get the best artists to come to campus, planning for multiple potential Spring Fling dates and checking artists’ tour dates to make sure the performers students want are available. We would like to remind the winner of this race that the most important part of their job is to book the best possible concerts and they should avoid straying too far from that role.
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs: Isis Mcintosh
At this point, there are only two candidates still running for VPMA: Isis and Ben Sheridan. Ben had some really interesting ideas, but we think some of his goals weren’t in the best interest of the position or the groups he would be representing. Isis was very careful to include the new constituency of the position — LGBT students, students with disabilities and international students — which we think indicates an understanding of what the position is supposed to entail. She has been a secretary in the VPMA office for the past year, working very closely with Daniel Adeyanju, who is well-liked by the groups he represents. If she is able to follow in his footsteps, we think she will be very successful in the role.