Gumbies say UA ineffectiveBy Charles R. Jankowski
"A working relationship with the faculty is the key thing," said Bryan R. Moser '87, candidate for Undergraduate Association (UA) president. Mary S. Tai '87 is Moser's teammate in the March 13 election.
Tai defined Moser's and her central aim: "If you're not relating the students' ideas to anyone, it's pointless."
In an interview with The Tech, Moser and Tai presented their views on pornography on campus, tuition, enrollment imbalances, the Julius A. Stratton '23 Student Center, and student participation in government.
"The pornography issue has been settled by the [ad hoc] Pornography [Screening] Committee," Moser said. "I see no trouble in the future" stemming from that issue.
He said, "As long as everyone is reminded of the [official ODSA pornography policy], there will be no violations. Communication is the most important thing, establishing a constructive relationship with the ODSA."
Tai said the UA must represent student concerns on the tuition increase. "If the UAP/UAVP present the students' concerns responsively and actively, then the administration will understand and stick to their commitment," Tai said. Next year's tuition, room and board will rise by 5.8 percent.
Moser agreed: "We can make sure the administration keeps its promise by keeping in touch with" Leonard V. Gallagher '54, director of student financial aid.
Tai addressed the possible enrollment restrictions on the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She said, "Students feel satisfied with freedom, and restrictions just decrease that<>
"We'll look into the career services office, for students have been<>
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complaining of a lack in non-Course VI. We'll try to get [the career placement office] to emphasize non-Course VI more," she continued.
Moser regarded the layout of the Student Center. "The design of the Student Center is definitely poor, and I know the administration knows that," Moser said. The Institute is planning changes, and "Mary and I will be in on [the changes]," he said.
Better student involvement
Tai and Moser examined the lack of student participation in government. "I think there has to be some of that apathy around, but there is an improvement in student interest this year," Tai said.
Moser said, "We can't blame the students if the UA hasn't served them in the past, so it's very important that the students know about the UA."
They plan to communicate UA matters to the students: "We're going to have a bi-weekly one page ad in The Tech informing people about what's going on with the UA, how the students can help, and ways to get feedback," Tai said.
Moser and Tai hope to increase student awareness of UA activities. They will try to reestablish the Student Committee on Educational Policy's (SCEP) Course Evaluation Guide. The committee cancelled the guide this spring due to a lack of manpower. "Without the SCEP guide, the students have no feedback to the faculty," Moser noted.
Tai said the pair plans to "make the UA worthwhile for students to get involved in."
"Most of the people I spoke to in UA said they didn't gain anything from it," Moser said. "There was no reason to want to join the UA."
Diversity a plus
Tai described her team's diversity. "We have a lot of diversity and I think that's really good," she said. "Brian is at [Theta Chi], so he is aware of fraternity problems, and I'm in a dorm, so I think we have an understanding of the majority of campus. I also understand womens' issues, and that's an added plus to our diversity."
Moser does not feel being a sophomore is a disadvantage. "The fact that we are sophomores is not at all an issue here," he declared.
Tai explained that two sophomores have been elected UAP/UAVP in the past. She said, "We've been here long enough to understand the issues."
"You can't learn the Institute overnight," Tai continued. As a freshman, David Henry '88, Moser's opponent "may not be as aware of the resources available as UAP."
Moser said, "I think it's great that a freshman is running, but I know how difficult it's been for me to learn the Institute. It takes time."
"I learned a lot about how the Institute works; how decentralized the administration is," Moser said. He is vice president of the Class of 1987. His fraternity appointed him last year to represent it in the General Assembly, the governing body of the Undergraduate Association at that time.
"I was disappointed with my involvement," Moser continued. "The focus of the UA was on its own structure; very little got done."
Tai's involvement in student government began when she joined her class's ring committee last spring. After being selected chairman, "I went to class council meetings, and got a feel for the student government. I definitely felt there was a lack of involvement.
"There is a more effective way student government can be handled," Tai continued. "We're not here to waste time."