Five Teams Plan Candidacy for UA Presidential ElectionBy Jeremy Hylton
Five teams of candidates announced their intention to run for the offices of Undergraduate Association president and vice-president during the last week and a half. Despite the unusually high number of presidential team candidates, few people have filed to run for class offices, said Raajnish A. Chitaley '95, UA election commission chairman.
Each team must gather about 450 signatures in order to be placed on the March 11 ballot. The registration deadline for all offices is this Saturday, but it could be extended for some offices if no one registers for them.
The announced UAP/UAVP candidates to date are: David J. Kessler '94 and Shally Bansal '93, Emily R. Prenner '93 and Anne S. Tsao '94, Stephen A. Rinehart '93 and Jeremy H. Brown '94, Kai-Teh Tao '94 and Peter Verprauskus '94, and Douglas A. Turnbull '93 and Adam L. Taylor '94.
Turnbull and Taylor said although they were not sure whether they would run, they began collecting signatures in case they decided to have their names on the ballot. "It's a fifty-fifty thing," Turnbull said. They had registered on the "spur of the moment," and are now deciding if they really want to run.
Candidates will face several issues, both new and old, during the campaign. The biggest issue, according to several candidates, will probably be academic honesty and whether the Institute should adopt an honor code. Other issues mentioned include calendar reform and the housing policy.
Candidates could not make specific comments on these issues because of a UA campaign rule prohibiting them from campaigning before Feb. 22.
High voter turnout expected
The number of teams running for president and vice-president is at a seven-year high. Chitaley hoped that students would be more involved in the election as a result. "Our goal is 100 percent [voter turnout], but we would be more than happy with half the voters," he said. Turnout for last year's election was 33 percent.
Heavy advertising, drop posters, and two televised events are planned to encourage students to vote. "We're trying to get the candidate forum and the debate televised," said Chitaley.
The debate, scheduled for March 11, will feature all the candidates for UA president and vice-president, and candidates for president of each class. Avik S. Roy '93, editor and publisher of Counterpoint, will moderate the debate, and reporters from The Tech, The Thistle, and The Analyst will serve as questioners, according to Chitaley.
At least one person has registered for each of the major class offices, but as of yesterday, there were no candidates for publicity and social chairman in some classes. "I think it's just a matter of encouraging people and getting them to run," Chitaley said. In past years, many candidates have run unopposed.
The election commission plans to enforce its campaigning regulations more strictly this year. In a letter to prospective candidates the commission wrote: "Postering regulations must be followed. Violations will be severely penalized by the commission.