Light Elected UA Floor Leader; Many Run for Council PositionsBy Trudy Liu
Russell S. Light '98 was elected the chief legislative officer of the Undergraduate Association Wednesday night and will head the UA Council as Floor Leader.
Jennifer K. Johnson '98 was elected vice chair.
Cinawaye D. Gammon '97, John Kymissis '98, and Kevin J. Lee '97 were elected to three of the four spots on the UA Executive Committee, which decides the issues that come before the UA Council.
There was a three-way tie for the fourth position, which will be filled during a run-off election at the next meeting.
"This was one of the biggest elections for council positions that we've ever had in a long time. The number of people who ran for offices was incredible - four for Floor Leader, five for Vice Chair, and 10 for the four positions on the Executive Committee," said UA President Vijay S. Sankaran '95.
"There were a lot of freshmen and sophomores, and everyone seemed really enthusiastic about getting involved and discussing issues," Sankaran said.
The first major issue that the council will discuss is the housing policy, Sankaran said. Council members will evaluate the proposals made by the housing committee in a report written at the end of last year.
Proposed changes include building a new dormitory to reduce crowding, renovating the older dormitories, and establishing a student advisory service for housing information.
"These changes will take time, and hopefully by having the UA Council approve something like this, we can make the changes happen soon," Sankaran said.
The UA Council is the legislative branch of the UA, and its members include representatives from each dormitory, the Interfraternity Council, and the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer of each class.
"When everything gets organized and things are up and running, various UA committees will be formed to deal with issues such as educational policy and social life," Light said.
The educational policy committee will discuss the changes in the grading system that the Committee on Academic Performance is proposing, and the social committee will be responsible for planning campus-wide activities. In addition, a student life committee will deal with issues such as food services, card keys, medical care, and advising.
"UA is and should be a very important organization at MIT. Hopefully we'll be able to influence the decision-making process and represent the views of the undergraduates," Light said.