Here are our picks for this year’s Student Association Executive Board elections.
President: Ravi Prakriya
We have serious reservations. Prakriya’s qualified. About that much, we’re sure. To be frank, we thought he was a senior just by the way he carried himself in the vice president for finance (VPF) office. Not only was he inaccessible, but it’s almost as if he sees himself as above student groups and not an advocate for them. Multiple student groups complained about having issues working with Prakriya. He was nearly censured by Student Congress. And student leaders claimed Prakriya was inaccessible and often off-putting. But at the end of the day, we know he’ll get the job done. With this position change, though, we’re also looking for an attitude change.
Executive Vice President: Chris Zamlout
Though we aren’t sure how to pronounce your name, we think you’re great, and even if you weren’t running uncontested, we would probably vote for you. Zamlout is an all-around charmer. He and Samson made the decision to double the workload of the EVP for the next two months, rather than split the preexisting work in half. We’re not surprised, given how hard the duo worked to increase communication with students this year. We’ve got high hopes for Zamlout. His dedication to student groups is surpassed only by his charm.
Vice President for Finance: Tom Sheehan
This is probably the most straightforward endorsement we can make (aside from Zamlout, of course). VPF is the most technical of all the Student Association E-Board positions. Sheehan’s got what it takes. Not only that, but he’s demonstrated his competence through tireless devotion to the VPF office under the elusive Prakriya. By Sheehan’s own estimation, he’s completed over 700 vouchers. What we fear most is a VPF who has to spend the first three months of the year learning the ropes. Sheehan’s shown that he gets how the systems works, and has good ideas for how to improve it. We’re especially hopeful about his interest in moving the treasurer’s exam to the end of the previous semester, so student groups can access their budgets at the semester’s start.
Vice President for Programming: Stephanie Zagreda
Barely. The thing is, we wanted to endorse Allison Drexler. We really did. We like that she has outside experience, coming in from Binghamton Underground Music Presents (BUMP) and WHRW 90.5 FM instead of from a more standardly transferable programming position. But Drexler is running on the platform of dropping our agent and booking shows herself, which we think is overly ambitious and unrealistic. She also wasn’t down with the festival-style Spring Fling, which we think is a great return to the classic Fling format. This lineup is the best we’ve had in years. Zagreda is the safe choice, and we think she would do her job: getting big names for the fall headliner and Spring Fling. Godspeed, Stephanie.
Vice President for Academic Affairs: Mark Ochweri
A year ago, when Ochweri ran for VPP, we saw a naive, unprepared — if ambitious — sophomore in an oversized suit. Now, we see our future VPAA. Ochweri’s platform is based on longevity in the VPAA office and working with community academic vice presidents so ideas don’t graduate with the position. He was clearly the most well-researched, bringing up prior VPAAs’ ideas (really good ideas) that disappeared years ago. We liked Don Greenberg, too, but he didn’t seem to have a great handle on what the position actually entails, or what’s realistic to get done. Ochweri has focused his goals on what’s been missing from the position for years, and we hope his ideas create some staying power within the VPAA office.
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs: Isis McIntosh Green
McIntosh Green is the incumbent, and she had a strong run this year as VPMA. Our only qualm was the double-booking of Spring Fling and International Fest, which we understand was out of her hands. Jesus: You had some great ideas, especially those about supporting first-generation students, and we see a lot of potential. As a freshman, you have plenty of time to see those come to fruition. We hope to see you on the ballot again next year.
Note: Because of a close relationship with one of the candidates running, Editor-in-Chief Christina Pullano did not participate in the endorsement decision for the position of president.