The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 56.0°F | Overcast

Muh, Balsley Seek a More Effective UA

By David D. Hsu
Associate News Editor

Over the past year, Undergraduate Association Council meetings have become bogged down by questions of parliamentary procedure, administrative details, and committee jurisdiction, said Carrie R. Muh '96.

To combat that perceived weakness, Muh and Erik S. Balsley '96, candidates for UA president and vice-president, seek to make the UA "more effective and more efficient," Muh said.

Muh and Balsley want to make the UA smaller and let the Executive Committee, a committee of UA members, decide on administrative details. The UA could vote on the committee's suggestions in one large motion, allowing the UA to "spend its time actually working to improve undergraduate life rather than wasting its time running the UA," Muh said.

The candidates also would like the Association of Student Activities to work with Finance Board in deciding allocations for student groups, Muh said. "We think it's very important because the ASA represents the student groups. We definitely want to increase ASA membership on the Finance Board," she said.

The candidates intend to work with the administration to hire more women and minority professors and administrators, Muh said. "Very often when people come here, they don't see any professors or administrators they can relate to."

"Part of [the UA's action] would entail creating or strengthening a support system for women. Many women I've spoken to have said there isn't enough of a support structure for women," Balsley said.

Muh and Balsley also hope that increased contact with student groups will make the UA more relevant to student life, they said.

A more approachable UA

The UA will "facilitate better communication between students and groups on campus," Balsley said. This includes monthly meetings with student groups like the Interfraternity Council, Dormitory Council, and ASA, Balsley said. With this increased visibility, the UA will be more approachable to the undergraduate population, Muh said.

As UAP and UAVP, Muh and Balsley will establish a UA World-Wide Web page with the UA constitution and information on UA meetings, Muh said. Student groups will also be able to post information on upcoming student events, she said. "The Web page is just one step" to make the UA more publicly available, Balsley said.

Muh hopes the increased publicity will result in more students getting involved.

The UA will continue to distribute The Social Scene, a weekly bulletin of athletic, cultural, and social events taking place every weekend on campus, Muh said. The Social Scene was initiated by Muh and allows "students to know about anything that happens on campus" Muh said.

The UA should serve as a "gateway for students to the administration," Balsley said. The UAP and UAVP will work closely with the deans, especially with the new dean for undergraduate education and student affairs, Muh said.

If elected, Muh and Balsley would also publish a "Who's Who Guide to the Administration," Balsley said. With this guide, students would know the appropriate administrator to contact for different situations, Balsley said. In addition, the UA would be able to direct students with problems to specific administrators, Muh said.

Mix of experience and new ideas

"We both have a lot of good ideas we want to implement," Muh said. One of the ticket's strengths in implementing their plans is "the combination of experience and new ideas," she said.

Muh has served as UAVP this school year and has been on class council.

Because of her experience as UAVP, "I know how to best go about making changes," Muh said. She also has a "good working relationship with the administration," she said.

Balsley has served on the Senior House East Campus Action Committee, which was formed in response to the Strategic Housing Planning Committee's suggestion to move all undergraduates to west campus.

Despite no past UA involvement, "I have experience dealing with bureaucracy," said Balsley, a member of the crew team who has also served on the Lecture Series Committee. "I am prepared to make a commitment to the UA."