The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 65.0°F | Fair

UA Electon Process, Council Both Confused

This Monday I had the dubious honor of attending the UA Council meeting. I was very interested to take part in this meeting, and observe exactly how this council that purports to represent all of us works. I still don't know how they manage to actually accomplish anything.

As a candidate desperately trying to get on the ballot in the upcoming election (despite daily changes in the amount of signatures needed and when the petitions are due), I raised the issue of the difficulties involved in getting the amount of signatures needed to be included. While ten percent of the undergraduate body seems like an easy enough target, consider that 440 votes would probably win the election.

I was told that the unreasonably high amount of signatures needed was to encourage only "serious candidates" to run. Since Feb. 7, the UA has distributed many packets of petition material. As of Monday, they had received one completed petition. There are 32 offices that need to be filled this spring. And yet, they don't think that their goal of 440 signatures is unreasonable. To further address the issue of "serious" candidacy, I don't think that's an issue for the UA to decide. That's something for the students to decide when they vote.

I also wonder what a "serious" candidate would be doing running for the UA, as it seems to be anything but a serious council right now. At this last meeting, neither the President nor the Vice President were in attendance, despite urgent, immediate issues being on the agenda (i.e., the election code reforms). The items on the agenda were addressed out of order, and nearly everyone in the room seemed more anxious to leave than debate the questions on the floor.

I thought I was confused about the election code and candidate requirements, but I don't feel bad about that, because everyone else on the Council is, too. It seems to me that there's more than the election code that needs to be reformed in the UA.

Meghan Jendrysik '97