Pipe Dream SA Executive Board endorsements are never perfect, always hurried and sometimes seem ridiculous in hindsight. Our endorsement of Phil Calderon, for instance, stands out in the archives as problematic, even if his opponent was Adam Shamah. Frankly, we rarely feel excited about making endorsements, and we acknowledge that their impact is slight. This year, though, feels different. We have real confidence in the candidates we’ve chosen, and we hope readers are swayed. Despite our endorsement of the top three names on The Review’s masthead, we believe these six potential leaders have the intellect, competence and charisma — or in one candidate’s case, a lack of charisma — to be the strongest E-Board in memory.
Mark Soriano represents, to us, a departure from the presidencies of recent years.
Katie Howard has taken laudable steps toward making her office a more professional, even boring, house of government. We commend her for that. And Lindsay Frankel, her apparent protégé, seems to amount to more of the same. But Soriano, who has executive experience besides an assistant position in the E-Board office and who has never been an Assembly rep, is a step forward.
Frankel, according to her Facebook page, promises things like rides for sick students, improved snow removal, a real commencement speaker … and better parking on campus. We won’t hold our breath. Howard, who had much more humble platform pieces, like more printing stations around campus, textbooks on reserve and better career fairs, has accomplished few if any of them.
Soriano has an intricate knowledge of the SA and recognizes the limits of his office. His platform, complete with many of the items leftover from this year, has useful and doable ideas. We feel that Soriano has a strong enough personality to get what’s possible done, that he would be a proud voice for this student body and that he is less of a politician than he is a problem solver. We enthusiastically endorse his candidacy.
Vice President for Finance: LARSON
Eric Larson has been a mainstay in the VPF’s office for three semesters and is ready for the seat behind the big desk.
Originally called upon to sort out the hundreds of outstanding vouchers, Larson has seen first-hand how bad this office can be. And he’s the treasurer of several student groups, is a FinCo rep and is the right-hand man for current VPF Karl Bernhardsen.
Larson’s biggest platform point, to create a functional electronic voucher system — which he believes will drastically drop voucher rejection rate — is a giant step in the right direction. Less lag time between between voucher submission and reimbursement is music to student groups’ ears.
Stacey Troy, Larson’s lone opponent, is ambitious in her own right but she doesn’t have Larson’s experience. Bernhardsen’s office is leaps and bounds more efficient than that of his predecessor Shamah, and if Larson has been a factor in improving office efficiency this year, we feel he is the best choice for the job going forward.
Vice President for Academic Affairs: RICKS
That sound was your head whooshing as you had to double-take our decision to endorse Aaron Ricks, editor in chief of Binghamton Review, for VPAA.
The seemingly most challenging part of the VPAA position, talking to administrators and getting them to care about students’ rights and needs, is something Ricks is tailor-made to take on. His experience in dealing with administrators as a VPAA assistant this year, as well as his magazine’s fearless advocacy for students’ rights, are both good indicators of Ricks’ readiness for the position.
His platform is a balanced combination that addresses students’ rights, such as fixing the maligned Code of Student Conduct and improving the universal bereavement policy, and feeds students’ wants and needs, such as extending the New York Times program and working toward a free online subscription for every student.
One of Ricks’ opponents, David Blair, is a two-time orientation staffer, and has interesting proposals to alleviate problems that plague incoming students, such as easing the process of transferring from Harpur to one of BU’s professional colleges. Ricks’ other opponent, Sandra Harper, is an obviously intriguing candidate, but isn’t totally in tune with the desires of the student body.
Just as important as a VPAA’s platform will be their ability to execute. The administration can be a brick wall, and Ricks’ reasonable goals and commendable experience might be the concoction we’ve long waited for in the VPAA office.
Vice President for Programming: SCHRECONGOST
Carl Schrecongost will not be your standard VPP, but we whole-heartedly endorse his candidacy.
We have no doubt that his opponent, Lian Friia, would be able to able to make at least some of her platform ideas happen, but we just don’t particularly like her ideas. Friia and Schrecongost represent divergent programming philosophies, and we choose his. Friia would organize more small-scale, sometimes silly events — as SAPB novelties chair, she was responsible for that Mario Kart thing in the Lecture Hall — but we believe that the SAPB should be focused on getting back to basics.
Schrecongost promises only solid programming and bringing free food back to Spring Fling. We can get behind that.
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs: ADEYANJU
We feel that Daniel Adeyanju will help build on the foundation that Carlton Ramsay has laid for the VPMA position. Adeyanju hopes to create an online calendar for cultural group events and a magazine to highlight the successes of cultural groups once a semester. These goals are solid, but we think his engaging personality and networking abilities will mostly help cultural groups throw bigger, better events, which seems to be a priority.
As a two-time E-Board member of the African Student Organization, he has overseen Culture Shock, a talent show that brings together student groups of all different cultures. Watching the Crosbys compete against step team X’Factr is something we’d definitely like to see more often.
Teddy Gyamfi, Adeyanju’s lone opponent, also has promising platform ideas, but ultimately, Adeyanju is an engaging man who we would like to work with. And we think others will too.
Executive Vice President: GUMB
We have confidence in Derek Gumb because of the enthusiasm he has brought to his campaign and his seemingly genuine passion for student groups on this campus, but we arrived at this decision through the process of elimination.
James Kissmer is a bright guy with some solid ideas for increasing voter turnout across campus — an issue we’ve advocated for on this page as recently as this month. But we feel like he’d be more useful in another capacity within the SA, and he’s a sophomore, so he has time to make his mark. Anthony Galli, another sophomore, has some pleasant-sounding platform items that seem implausible or moot. Carlton Ramsay, who has had a solid term as VPMA, loses our endorsement because of his PAWS policy, which would make use of the notoriously dysfunctional SA website mandatory in some respects.
PAWS should be left to rot until it’s remade entirely, and we think it will take someone with Gumb’s delirious energy to come close to making that happen.