It is time for results from the Students? Association government. Amidst great controversy this year, the student body has suffered because of a lack of leadership. Three students have stepped forward to fill this void ? Samay Gheewala, John LaBoda and Mindy Fountain.
While all three represent a positive force for change, Fountain stands apart from the crowd.
Fountain is a leader. She has experience as chief of staff for former SA President Scott Jennings. She has served as a senator and as a representative to the Students? Association Appropriations Committee. Her beltway experience qualifies her to lead the government.
She is one of two co-chairs for this fall?s Meliora Weekend celebration. She is an active member of STING. She participated in the D?Lion program. She was chair of the Outside Speakers? Committee for a year. She is a varsity sports athlete. She even spent the previous the previous semester abroad in France.
But her qualifications are not what sets Fountain apart.
Fountain has an understanding of what problems currently face UR.
?I have a lot of good ideas and I know how I will get them done,? Fountain said expressing her confidence about the job earlier this week.
Fountain believes better communication between various groups at UR could offer substantial improvement.
While Fountain may not personally have the answers to every problem facing campus today, by improving communication she guarantees that the answers will be found.
Fountain also has a vision. The centerpiece of her campaign is the implementation of a long awaited representative cabinet structure for the SA. This would make it easier for student leaders from across the campus to communicate and cooperate on programming. There have been countless occasions this year when such a cabinet would have been invaluable.
Such a cabinet would be an ideal place to discuss issues that affect the entire campus.
She understands that all programming can?t be coordinated solely at UR. That?s why she advocates our re-involvement in the Rochester Area Student Union which hopes to combine resources and ideas for programming between area colleges and universities.
She is accessible and will remain at UR this summer, which would allow her to transition into the office of SA president, and will help her keep involved with the implementation of freshman housing. This will increase her rapport with administrators and her involvement with the freshman class. A good first impression can make all the difference.
Fountain is known to produce results, and a Fountain presidency will be no different. Fountain can bring the leadership needed during this time of great change at UR. Fountain will follow through with her campaign promises.
It is important to remember that reelection is not a second chance to accomplish what you weren?t able to do in your first term. Reelection should be and is a reward for a job well done. Current SA President Meng Wang doesn?t deserve this reward.
Lack of accomplishments
Wang?s list of accomplishments is painfully short. Besides planning the Masquerade Ball and Date Auction, something he proved could be done last year with out powers of SA President, Wang claims increased school spirit from the St. John?s Fisher football game, improvements in dining plans and the introduction of declining balance at the Corner Store.
We agree that these are positive events that happened over the past year at UR but the fact of the matter is that discounting the football game Wang can?t claim responsibility for any of them.
The improvements to the dining plan are largely due to work of Dean Mary-Beth Cooper?s dining committee and his outgoing chief of staff Lonny Mallach, and announcement of declining balance in the corner store came before his presidency. Wang has a tendency to take undue credit for the achievements of his staff and others.
These changes would have occurred with or without his efforts.
Wang?s platform presents a single proposal ? the often discussed and never implemented pub. After years of work by Sam Tasker, it is audacious for Wang to take up the standard of the pub. Furthermore, Mallach has already begun the process of forming a commission to raise funds. If Mallach?s track record holds true, he won?t need Wang to bring a pub to UR.
Wang is a dreamer. He is excellent at coming up with grandiose ideas but falls through on the implementation. His solution to many major problems is to go out, find and spend ?a pile of money.? This approach is insufficient because many times (if not always) there is no pile of money to be found and sometimes money can?t solve the problem.
One recent example of the failings of Wang?s administration was his failure to adequately respond to recent problems of discrimination and bigotry on campus. Wang failed to bring GLBFA and DKE together to discuss their concerns with each other and failed to address recent occurrences of hate speech directed against blacks and other minorities. He freely admits this which is concerning because a centerpiece of his campaign last year was to combat discrimination on campus and to ?make the lives of those who are students at this university better.?
During his campaign, Wang promised to implement a representative cabinet, something he failed to do and something we feel would have been an excellent way to open discussion following the aforementioned problems with discrimination. This representative cabinet could have stimulated an open forum to discuss discrimination at UR.
Wang?s presidency has shown what the SA government needs, and Fountain is the candidate who satisfies those needs. She is a strong leader with a vision that has the capability to transform our campus. All she needs is the opportunity to do it. Vote Fountain next week at your mail prompt.