While J.J. Gonzalez and Robert Valdovinos proposed a platform that would benefit the student community, their plan fell short on two fronts. In many instances their initiatives suffered from a lack of originality, at times making it unclear whether they are merely riding the coattails of the Weissmann administration, rather than bringing anything new to the table. In addition, several proposals seemed to pander to students without paying attention to practical realities.

In particular, their proposal to improve ‘Rocky’s Report” by featuring a different member of the Students’ Association each week is a slight modification, but does little to change the report’s overall structure and fails to substantially enhance the dialogue between the SA and the campus community. While Gonzalez and Valdovinos realize the failures of the Fireside Chat, it is unlikely that open forums of SA meetings and Executive Office Hours a solution that has already been proposed and implemented in past years will be more successful in drawing students in.

Their proposals for improving transportation demonstrated their awareness of students’ concerns with UR’s transportation system particularly with busing to off-campus sites that do not run during the weekends. But without a clear understanding of the funding or operation of the transportation system, merely appealing to student frustration is not a constructive approach to addressing this problem. Likewise, while Gonzalez and Valdovinos voiced concerns about the cost of printing, one wonders if they merely were picking issues that they knew students cared about, not ones they are personally passionate for. While it is important for the next SA President and Vice President to speak on behalf of the student body, they must do so in a way that acknowledges pragmatic realities empowering their administration to make informed and rational choices.

Despite these flaws, the Gonzalez/Valdovinos ticket offers its own share of expertise and experience. Gonzalez’ three years on Class Council and time as a senator have shown that he has the capacity to lead.

We also appreciate Gonzalez’s and Valdovinos’ enthusiasm for promoting school spirit, but their plan to improve the ‘Fill Fauver” program is fundamentally flawed. The ticket suggested contacting coaches in advance about setting up ‘Fill Fauver/Pack the Palestra” games. This approach, however, gives program coordinators less flexibility in scheduling.

Some matches such as qualifying games and playoff games end up meaning more to the UR teams, but it is simply impossible to predict these games in advance.

In the end, the projects that Gonzalez and Valdovinos have proposed lack the importance and occasionally the practicality that we would expect of a presidential ticket. Minor alterations to security policy, extending breakfast hours in Wilson Commons and adding pictures to ‘Rocky’s Report” can hardly be considered ground breaking initiatives. This is not to say that these proposals do not hold value for students, but, in many cases, they could be implemented with impetus from the Senate and do not necessarily require the weight of the presidency to achieve passage. Their platform is better suited to make them chairs of the Projects ‘ Services Committee than heads of the executive branch.

While both tickets possess individual strengths and weaknesses, we find Gonzalez’s and Valdovinos’ vision to be less persuasive.



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