30 Declare UA Candidacies, Several Positions Still OpenBy Nicole A. Sherry
About 30 students formally declared their intention to seek positions in the Undergraduate Association last week.
Elections by paper-ballot will be held on Mar. 9. Electronic voting will be available from Mar. 3 to Mar. 8.
This year there are two teams running for UA President and Vice President. Michael R. Evans '95 and Colin M. Page '95 are running against Vijay P. Sankaran '95 and Carrie R. Muh '96.
Several positions are still open: only two candidates have applied for the four available spots on the Finance Board, and no candidates have applied for Class of '94 president and vice president.
As a result, the Election Commission has extended the filing deadline for these positions to Friday. "In the past there have been problems with deadline extensions. This year once a person has submitted on time, the position is closed," said Rishi Shrivastava '97, the election commissioner.
The election committee also plans to strictly regulate the amount of money spent on each person's campaign and is asking for an itemized list of all campaign-related expenditures. "We do not want anyone buying the election," Shrivastava said.
The Election Commission will conduct a candidate forum on Mar. 2. The two UAP/VP teams will participate in a debate on Sunday, Feb. 27.
The two UAP/VP teams have distinct ideas about the shape the UA should take, and the way they can implement their proposed changes.
Page and Evans believe the UA has been spending money wastefully. "We want to make sure the UA is spending money well, and if not, decrease it so Finboard will have more money to give to student groups," Page said.
"The UA has become kind of a club," Page said. "They have written themselves into the rules and have prevented others from doing things." He added, "We want to clean that up and get people who are interested to do things. Now the group is more interested in themselves."
Sankaran and Muh believe the student body has an unfair opinion of the UA. They want to achieve better communication in terms of telling the students what the UA has done and listening to what the students want it to do.
Nobody knows that the UA is involved with the Course Evaluation Guide and Safe Ride, Sankaran said. "We want to get the message out that we're here and we're interested in what students have to say."
Both teams agree that the UA needs to have better contact with the student body.
Sankaran and Muh plan to achieve this by training the UA representatives to get students' opinions. In addition, they intend to attend dormitory and independent living group meetings.
"The UA is seen as exclusive and we don't think it should be. We stress a platform based on increased communication," Sankaran said.
Page and Evans propose making the UA meetings less formal so that they will allow greater opportunity for students to discuss issues.
"We want to get the administrative issues out of the way quickly, and bring up relevant issues -- not just wait to do this after a crisis," Evans said. "We want to give the students a voice so that people in positions of power will know what they want."