For this year’s SA presidential elections, the Campus Times assessed the three proposals that each ticket sent us in their profiles. We looked at three main factors for a proposal: usefulness, viability, and thoroughness. When necessary, we also referred to the blurbs put next to those platforms on SA’s election site.

This is not a direct judgement of how fit candidates are for office — each idea is considered independently of who is proposing it.

 

Jamal Holtz & Anne Marie Cortes (profile)

Presidential Advisory Council: Overly ambitious

The idea to have a council advise the president is centered around proper representation of UR’s diverse community. But the “ex-officio” designation means all 30–40 members must already be in student government, which could hinder accurate representation. These members would already be able to impact the campus from their existing SA government positions. Why not offer council involvement to passionate students only affiliated with other organizations, like cultural groups?

It could also be difficult for 30–40 people to reach any sort of consensus in a reasonable amount of time. This year’s advisory committee on the issue of arming public safety consists of 30 members has taken months to create a recommendation.

Giving MERT an Ambulance: Unrealistic

Does giving MERT an ambulance get rid of bills students incur if they need to be transported to the hospital? How will the team be able to transport multiple people on a busy night with only one ambulance?

And where would the funding come from to maintain it? What does working with administration mean, and how feasible is that? A stretcher — which costs thousands of dollars — would also need to be purchased and maintained. This idea seems too improbable and not fully fleshed out.

Encouraging cosponsoring: Arbitrary

This all hinges on an increase in funding from “partners” and “organizations.” What will clubs need to do to secure this funding? Where is the funding being taken out of — groups wanting to promote events that more directly align with their own cause rather than compromising to throw another group into the fray?

The candidates responded to our critiques with a letter to the editor.

 

Genessis Galindo & Lionel Kirenga (profile)

Lift in Wilco: Incomplete

Galindo and Kirenga propose support for a “modern lift” in Wilco, meant to increase accessibility, but say no more on the topic on their website nor their platform submitted to CT.

Increase Hillside’s/dining services’ hours during breaks: Worth exploring

We have a large international population on campus, most of whom don’t leave campus for fall and spring breaks. The windows for dining halls and Hillside are so small that they might as well not be open, which can be inconvenient for many students. The idea would also benefit student workers looking to make a few bucks over break, in the case of Hillside.

That said, it would cost UR more to keep these places open longer. Galindo and Kirenga don’t provide a source of funding in their proposal.

Safe Zone LGBTQ+ program/gender waiver education: Impractical

How does an LGBTQ+ hotline relate to safe zone education? What resources is it meant to provide potential callers with? The gender waiver that all gender-exclusive organizations fill out already requires education on inclusivity and respectfulness, and we are unconvinced more of the same will have an impact on how students view issues surrounding gender and sexuality. Sensitivity training, much like the mandatory alcohol safety training for incoming students, is ineffective and ignorable.

The candidates responded to our critiques with a letter to the editor.

 

Vlad Cazacu & Kamel Awayda (profile)

Presidential Advisory Council: Promising

As opposed to Holtz and Cortes’s similar idea, the small number of members on the council would allow for definitive decisions to be made. There would, of course, be a tradeoff in the ability to represent a variety of perspectives, but the council needs to reach some consensus to have a purpose anyway.

Unlike that of their competitors, Cazacu and Awayda’s idea considers that students passionate about government aren’t the only ones who are stakeholders on our campus. There would be some legislative roadblocks to giving sway to students outside SA government, though, which the candidates have acknowledged.

International Student Affairs Committee: Mixed bag

This proposal gives specific actions to be taken — using monthly updates to inform students of the committee’s activities and efforts — as well as specific goals. And the goals are worth thinking about. Having better resources to help with taxes, more International Services Office hours, and bringing more foreign and foreign-friendly companies to job fairs would benefit many. But the proposal says nothing about how better publicity would help these efforts, or whether SA actually has any authority to increase the operation hours of a University office. Plus, the proposal gives few details about what improvements they have for the Meliora Collective, and what the issues with it are in the first place.

SA Hackathon: Misguided

What are the specifics of this hackathon? Dandyhacks and similar events are best for creating fun proof of concepts, so who would be doing the follow-through? Startups helping students are already springing up. Would adding SA’s bureaucracy to those teams’ free-flowing philosophies really be a net positive? The biggest red flag is that there’s no mention of the 5K challenge, a similar, existing SA process which has achieved a level of infamy.

The candidates responded to our critiques with a letter to the editor.

 

Quad Fox & Albino Squirrel (write-in): A danger to our democracy

Quad Fox is not a member of SA. Quad Fox does not pay the student activities fee.  Quad Fox’s candidacy is therefore invalid. In the event that Quad Fox secures more votes than the other candidates, the candidate with the next most votes wins.

Still, on principle, the Campus Times must call Quad Fox’s moral aptitude into question, given pending charges of squirrel murder on multiple counts. And suffice it to say, Albino Squirrel is a symptom of the scourge that is token politics, and he knows it.

Do not let the other end of Quad Fox’s ticket fool you, for actions speak louder than mating calls. There is a word for a candidate attempting to ally you to their cause through expressions of prejudice against those belonging to a different group. That word is demagogue.

The candidates responded to our critiques with a letter to the editor.

Tagged: SA Elections


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