Moser and Tai seek rapportBy Charles R. Jankowski
"You can't save the world" with the Undergraduate Association, said David M. Henry '88, candidate for UA President, in an interview with The Tech. He is a member of the Gumby party.
Running mate William A. Herlan '86 also took part in the interview.
"Student government can't really do that much," Herlan explained. "But it can entertain the students, and that's a big thing, especially around here." Herlan described the Gumby philosophy as "having fun, and enjoying life."
"I think you'll see a lot more people voting this year," Herlan continued, "if only because they actually have a choice this year." David M. Libby '85 and Stephanie L. Scheidler '85 ran unopposed as UAP/UAVP candidates last year.
Herlan said, "The students are far too diverse for any one voice to speak out."
He was responding to Bryan R. Moser '87 and Mary S. Tai '87's primary campaign assurance to "create a more solid relationship with the faculty."
Moser and Tai "have to say that," Henry said. "That's what every political type who wants to get into student government has to say. The students themselves are a lot more effective than student government, if only because there are a lot more students than there are people in student government.
"One of the powers the UA has is that the UAP and UAVP are allowed to speak at faculty meetings," Henry said, "and I have prepared a list of questions for particular faculty meetings. Some of the faculty are just a little out of touch with the students."
The Gumbies would "be open to any [student] who wants to call up and chat for awhile," but would not actively circulate and meet students,<>
Henry said. "You can go overboard and be obnoxious about that kind of thing."
"Bill and I may have different positions [on issues]," Henry said, "but we're not going to be doing that much, so it doesn't matter. I don't see that there are actually too many issues."
Henry said of the recent controversy concerning pornography: "The system seems okay, but I'm not really sure." Herlan said, "I don't care; let the people who care decide."
The possible overcrowding in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science "doesn't bother me at all," Henry said. "I don't plan to major in Course VI."
But "admitting students into MIT and saying they can't do Course VI is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. It makes students feel like they can't succeed ... here unless MIT dictates what they can do," Henry said.
Herlan was "apathetic" on the Course VI issue.
"We're not going to rebuild the Student Center," Herlan added, concerning the layout of the Julius A. Stratton '23 Student Center. Herlan's only comment on the issue was that "the UA office should be indoors, or the stereo in the office might get wet."
Herlan said that the recent tuition increase "happened, but MIT could raise expenses to $20,000 dollars, and still get a class of 1000, because there are so many filthy rich students."
"MIT's a corporation; they will do what they want," Herlan added. "They can withstand a little minor crumbling."
Concerning the students' capability to influence the administration's decisions, Herlan said, "I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime. The students are apathetic; it would take a major crisis."
Henry and Herlan also responded to specific issues that Moser and Tai raised, such as the revitalization of the Student Committee on Educational Policy's (SCEP) Course Evaluation Guide. "I can't see how they're going to do it without going into the dorms and ... grabbing people" to produce the guide, Herlan said.
"The students will do whatever they want to do," Herlan continued. He commented on Moser and Tai's plan to encourage more socialization through campus activities. "It's ridiculous to try to force socialization across campus," he said. "I don't see what putting recitation classes in dorms will do."
"If it's a case of running to get something on their resumes, that's really sad," Herlan said, "but they [Moser and Tai] were absolutely silent on our offer." Henry and Herlan called on Moser and Tai at the UA election forum last Thursday not to include their prospective offices on any record or resume.
Moser and Tai did not reply to the challenge in their subsequent speech.
The Gumby Party candidates proposed a plan to prohibit potential student government candidates from seeking office for resum'e purposes. "We'll have a UA Premier for the day," Herlan said, "where a student would put down, say, five dollars, and they'd be UA Premier for the day. There would be no duties, no responsibilities and it's something people can put on their resum'e."
"You can't make the UA do much," Henry said. "Part of the problem is apathy -- if you encourage enough people to be apathetic, committees go away, and you can cut out a lot of bureaucracy."
Henry also commented on his qualifications for UAP as a freshman. "What difference does that make?" Henry asked. "One ridiculous bureaucracy is as bad as another. It's about time we got some new freshmen blood in the organization."
The UAVP position "could be a lot of fun," Herlan replied. "I've had fun so far, and if I win, I'll have some more fun."
Henry cited the "need [for] a non-greasy person who knows the real world" as his rationale for seeking student government's highest office.