As Student Association President elections approach, UR students will be asked to choose between three candidates who each have varying government experiences, and different ideas of what the responsibilities of SA President should be.

Juniors Lonny Mallach and Adam Simmons, and sophomore Matt Strabone will be on the ballot for next week’s election.

Mallach is the most experienced of the candidates. He is a political science major from Maplewood, New Jersey and has served as Chief of Staff, a position that is second in command to the President, under the last two administrations.

He sees this experience as one of his biggest assets. “I’m not someone coming from Senate and I know what the President does,” he said. “Because of my experience in the executive branch, I know what it takes and my platform reflects that.”

Mallach’s platform is defined by concrete goals. During his terms as Chief of Staff, Mallach was chair of the Student Dining Committee that created the current dining plans, which he believes are a great improvement. He was also responsible for starting the petition to create a pub on campus.

He plans to further improve dining by expanding the Corner Store. “The Corner Store is frequently overcrowded and often runs out of popular items,” he said. “Just as I lobbied for the Pub, I will lobby for a larger Corner Store with more products and variety.”

Student parking is Mallach’s next issue. He hopes to establish a parking committee to create more parking on campus. Mallach says he realizes that parking is a large issue. “I understand that the problem of parking cannot be solved in one year, but I want to look at it for the future,” he said.

Mallach also wants to address security and disciplinary policies to ensure that students’ rights and property are protected. “Students should have rights and they should know their rights,” he said.

Mallach views communication between student groups as extremely important, but feels this could be better achieved with groups who fall under the control of the legislative branch rather than being a part of his executive cabinet. “It makes more sense to put groups under the Senate,” he said

Outgoing SA President John LaBoda believes much of his success is due to Mallach. “I feel that Lonny and I have improved campus life, and we share a vision of how to continually improve this school,” he said. “He has an intimate knowledge of how UR’s student government should be run and he knows how to work with administrators to get what students need.”

Simmons is currently serving as an At-Large Senator and has been involved in the Projects Committee and the Steering Committee.

Simmons sees his vision of mobilizing the student body as his biggest strength. “Student government is not a force to be reckoned with unless it has student backing,” he said.

Rather than addressing specific issues himself, Simmons hopes to organize students first and then advocate the issues that arise.

According to his platform, Simmons wants student government to “get back to the roots of its motivation, enthusiasm and power for change,” which he believes lies with the students themselves.

Instead of focusing on concrete promises, Simmons plans to work on improving communication between SA groups, Greek groups and athletic teams. His idea for implementation of this ideal is to establish SA councils that will bring together groups who have similar goals.

Each council would consist of representatives from various groups and would have an advisor as well as supplemental money to help fund programming.

Under Simmons’s plan, the presidents of each council would meet periodically and discuss issues that they would want Simmons to address with the administration.

Simmons believes that these councils will allow the student government to better serve the needs of all groups involved. “After we have established lines of communication with the students [through councils], the student government can open up the lines of communication with administration to make things happen,” he said.

Simmons also emphasized that he believes the creation of these councils will help hold both the administration and the student government responsible for following through on the issues raised.

The role of student government, according to Simmons, is mainly to facilitate. “It is not the duty of the SA President or government to make things happen,” he said. “It is the responsibility of government to open up communication, provide resources and then follow issues through.”

Simmons is a Health and Society major from Lowville, New York. He is also a varsity swimmer and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.

Strabone currently serves as a Senator from the Towers area. He is a member of the Senate Policy Committee.

Improving the quality of life on campus is Strabone’s major goal.

He plans to do this by supporting passage and implementation of the proposed Students’ Bill of Rights. With this done, Strabone hopes to “start a collective effort to educate all students about what rights they’re entitled to.”

Another of Strabone’s major issues is addressing concerns about security. He wants to create open communication between security and students and to make sure that the rights of each are more clearly defined.

Strabone also wants to address what he calls “immoral defamation of students and student groups” on campus. “I will not sit idly while student groups on campus are branded with awful reputations based on rumored events that said student groups might not have had anything to do with,” he said.

He hopes to solve the problem of intolerance on campus by increasing solidarity among students. “We can’t change people’s way of thinking, but we can cause more interaction between students to help alleviate stereotypes,” he said.

Strabone proposes increased campus interaction with a “Greek Week-like event” that would involve all SA groups. “Buy a trophy, give it a name, and people will want to win it,” he said. “This will get more people involved, at least as far as this event is concerned.”

Parking is an issue that Strabone also addresses in his platform. Specifically, he wants to see parking facilities expanded and a shuttle bus service that would go from campus to distant parking lots.

According to Strabone, his role as SA President is similar to what he sees as the role of Senate – to be a line of communication between administration and students. “I want students to know what administration is thinking,” he said.

Though Strabone is younger than the other candidates, he is confident. “I think I can do the best job,” he said. “I will make sure that the proper effort is put into the things I want to see happen.”

Candidates will face off in a debate that will take place on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. in the Common Ground Caf.

Students can vote by using Telnet and typing the command “vote” at the mail prompt.

Low voter turnout has traditionally been a problem at UR. Junior and Election Committee Chair Santo Marciano says that the problem could be intensified this year because most freshmen don’t know how to use Telnet.

To help this problem, the Elections Committee will set up a booth in Wilson Commons where students can come to use computers and get help with the voting process. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on each day of the election.

Elections will take place next week. For the most updated information, students can check the SA Web site at www.sa.rochester.edu or contact Marciano at sm003i@mail.rochester.edu.

Taylor can be reached at ktaylor@campustimes.org.



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