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UAP/UAVP Candidates Not Compelling

It is with serious concern that I have watched this year's election for Undergraduate Association President and Vice President unfold. I have never been involved in the UA, though I have watched it quite closely. During my undergraduate career I have seen several elections that gave me pause.

I watched Jonathan J. Lee '93 and Kristoffer H. Pfister '93 come far too close to a position of responsibility. I saw the "apathy" team of Stephen A. Rinehart '93 and Jeremy R. Brown '94 almost win The Tech's endorsement and the election. But what I see this year takes the cake.

MIT undergraduates are faced with two inept teams of candidates. First let us consider the team of Colin M. Page '95 and Michael R. Evans '95. Page has held positions in the UA - note that I do not say "he has been active in the UA." He was chairman of the UA Safety Committee in the months after the murder of Yngve K. Raustein '94. Did he take this opportunity to push safety issues with the administration? No. In fact, Page's absence was so noticeable that, after repeated phone calls and electronic mail messages, the UA Executive Committee voted unanimously to suspend him. As hard as it is to get the UA to do anything, much less actually agree on something, a unanimous vote of no confidence is quite damning.

And what of Mike Evans? He holds the title of Vice President of the Class of 1995. Grab the nearest junior and ask, "What has Evans done for you?" The silence will be deafening. Furthermore, did you know that he is facing impeachment proceedings? At the next UA Council meeting, election or not, Evans runs a large risk of being removed from his office because of gross negligence.

The team of Vijay Sankaran '95 and Carrie Muh '96 has a similar record. Muh is still a sophomore, and has not squandered the opportunities of the others. I am perfectly willing to reserve judgment on her until we have a larger chance to evaluate her performance. But ask yourself, do you want to elect someone who is so totally untested?

Sankaran, on the other hand, is proven - proven to be ineffective. He has been Floor Leader of the UA Council for this past year. The attendance at his lackluster council meetings has been so low that there have been at least three that did not even meet quorum - a mere third of the representatives. The floor leader is also responsible for picking an Election Commission and running the elections. Not only did he pick his commission four months late, but consider the publicity that this election has received. The picture of the empty Candidates' Forum was not a fluke; it was the result of weeks of poorly run advertisement.

For these reasons, I cannot vote for either team. I do not intend to deny all responsibility and simply skip the election. By the time you read this, I will probably have voted on Athena for the write-in ticket of David Letterman and Regis Philbin. I know that this is a futile gesture, that I am throwing away my vote. But given this year's election choices, it is my best choice.

Darin S. Kinion '94