In the wake of major changes, the president needs to be someone who will continue to make progress – both short-term and long-term. With a new constitution and a new government, the student body needs a leader who understands the recent history of student government and can usher in the new changes as smoothly as possible. With the new university president Joel Seligman entering office during the summer, the Student Association President is the first to to build a relationship with Seligman. The new SA President should not only be able to communicate well with Seligman, but be able to actively advocate the concerns of the student body.

This past year, SA president and senior Pete Nabozny pushed forth several changes to the SA government. Under the new constitution, the new president will have a seat at the senate table. He will also appoint senate committee chairs, a role that would benefit from prior senate experience.

The role of the vice president has yet to be clearly defined, and the new president and vice president pair will mold the position for future administrations. The constitution and SA Supplemental Fund changes were made to break down barriers between student government and students.

The new president and vice president should look to continue this trend and work to create a more inclusive student government.

In this election, David Ladon and Brian Clancy’s experience and realistic views of student government set them apart from the other candidates. Ladon has served multiple senate terms, stepping forward on several occasions to take a stand on charged issues. While both juniors Michael Guerra and Matt Goldblatt have experience in the public eye at UR, Ladon stands out as a strong leader.

Ladon has shown his dedication to student-initiated change as a member of the Dining Committee and a proponent of university sustainability, both economically and ecologically. As a senator, he has served on a variety of committees, giving him exposure to the problems that face student government on a continual basis. As a member of Students for Social Justice, Ladon also has experienced some of the struggles facing SA-funded groups. Ladon has proposed using the executive fund as an incentive for smaller SA groups to plan quality programming. He is interested in researching ways to cut unreasonable costs and red-tape obstacles for SA groups. Ladon has demonstrated a consistent effort to communicate the needs of students to the staff directly involved with the pressing situation.

Ladon’s running mate, sophomore Brian Clancy, brings an interesting dynamic to the ticket. Although he only has one year of senate experience, Clancy has not wasted time, taking an active role in student government by serving on multiple senate committees in his first term.

Clancy envisions the role of the vice president as a liaison to motivate senate committees to accomplish goals and better represent their constituents.

Guerra is another excellent candidate for president. Guerra has gained leadership experience as president of the 2006 Class Council and as a member of the president’s cabinet. Guerra is approachable and students would feel comfortable speaking with him about their concerns. While approachability is an important quality to have in a representative, Guerra’s lack of legislative experience puts him behind other candidates.

Guerra’s running mate, junior Jeff Keesing, embodies the same level-headedness and lack of extensive student government experience as Guerra. Keesing has reported senate news for the Campus Times, but has not had the experience of representing constituents. He has interacted with administrators and students through the Campus Activities Board and would retain a very open relationship with members of the student body.

Goldblatt returns to the ballot for the second time with a clearer picture of student government. He is eager to begin working on his goals for the presidency. These goals are primarily short-term and aimed at social events.

While presidents should work for immediate changes, they also need to be mindful of future administrations. A major aspect of Goldblatt’s platform is to enhance social life on campus, a job that that seems to belong more in the hands of the class councils and other SA groups. A focus on short-term social activities overlooks the overall long-term needs of the campus.

Goldblatt’s running mate, junior Katherine Del Balso, has extensive experience working with SA groups’ finances, serving as Students’ Association Appropriations Committee Treasurer for the past year.

Both Goldblatt and Delbalso have been involved in class councils, Greek life, Residential life and student government, so they have a good picture of the students involved in each. However, their ideas are too focused on a portion of the student body rather than encompassing the majority.

Our endorsement decision reflects who we think could best represent the student body next year. Ladon’s mature sense of the capabilities of student government, coupled with his straightforward manner of speaking, gives him a distinctive advantage in advocating for the varied needs and wants of the student body.

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