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Plethora of Students Run for UA Positions

By Jennifer Lane
Contributing Editor

As of yesterday night, only six of the 22 positions in this year's Undergraduate Association elections had no declared candidates. The deadline for signed petitions from candidates was Wednesday.

The petition deadline was extended until today for the Class of 1999 treasurer and publicity coordinators as well as the Class of 1998 vice president, secretary, treasurer, and publicity coordinators, said UAElection Commissioner Edgar H. Martinez '00. These offices currently have no candidates.

There are, however, "several people prepared to run for those positions," Martinez said. Furthermore, some people who missed the Wednesday deadline for other positions are planning write-in campaigns, he said.

As of yesterday, 24 candidates or candidate pairs had declared their candidacy, Martinez said.

There are significantly more positions with candidates this year than in years past, said UA Treasurer Russell S. Light '98, who is a member of the elections commission.

Last year, six of 26 offices up for election had candidates five days after the deadline.

All Class of 2000 offices have candidates. "I'm really pleased the freshmen are so excited," Light said.

A possible reason for the high turnout of candidates is the UA's recent visibility, Martinez said. Over the past semester, the UA has done a lot of things that have been appreciated by the student body, he said.

The UA Logan Airport shuttle is one example of such an activity, Martinez said. After all, one of the best motivators for potential candidates is to have "an example of people doing things well," Martinez said.

The qualifications for candidacy include filling out an application and obtaining 440 signatures for the positions of UA president and vice president and 110 signatures for class officers.

Voting will begin next week

Electronic voting on Athena will begin on March 7 and run through March 11. Ballot box voting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on March 12 and end at 6 p.m. the same day.

"We are reviewing the voting procedures from last year" to formulate this year's procedures and hopefully thwart any potential voting problems, Martinez said.

There will be two UA study breaks combined with debates by the presidential candidates in order to allow students to get to know the candidates and the issues, Martinez said.

The first study break and debate will be held March 4 in the Burton-Conner House dining hall. The second will be March 6 in the East Campus Talbot Lounge.

Two teams run for UAP and VP

Dedric A. Carter '98 and Sandra C. Sandoval '00 are running for UA president and vice president. Carter and Sandoval will be running against presidential candidate Sunil K. Rao '99 and his running mate, Kari A. Bingen '99.

Carter spent this year as UA vice president, and Sandoval served as freshman class president. Carter hopes to build on his UAexperiences next year.

Their campaign will stress the idea of a "patchwork quilt," Carter said. There are "so many diverse clubs and organizations on campus that need to be joined together"somehow, he said.

Rao and Bingen hope to draw on their two years of active participation in student activities ranging from sorority and fraternity life to intramural sports for their campaign.

"We're not a product of the UA as it stands," Rao said. The campaign will focus specifically on promoting school spirit, he said. Their platform is very goal-oriented. "Less talk, more action" would make a good slogan, Rao said.

Ira F. Gerhardt '99, William S. Davidson '00, and Eduardo J. Salomone '98 are running for 2 places on the UA Finance Board.

Many run for Class of 2000 offices

In the freshman class, Nicholas A. Nash '00, Elsie Huang '00, Oreoluwa A. Adeyemi '00, and Zhelinrentice L. Scott '00 are running for class president, making that office the most contested of any UA position.

Andrew A. Ryan '00, Riffat Manasia '00, and Michele S. Micheletti '00 are running for vice president. Shobha D. Williamson '00 is running for treasurer, and Shan S. Hounag '00 for secretary. Aron K. Qasba '00 is running for social chair, as is the team of Monique E. De Jesus '00 and Stephanie Y. Soohoo '00. Stephanie E. Chen '00 is running for publicity coordinator.

One possible reason for the seeming zeal of candidates in the freshman class is the Leadershape program, Martinez said. The program "really encouraged people to run for office."

In the sophomore class, Jesse C. Cochrane '99 and Kareem Howard '99 are running for class president. Pooja Shukla '99 is running for vice president, while Nina S. Ma '99 is running for secretary. The team of Katherine M. Spayde '99 and Andy Bankert '99 is running for the social chair position. The treasurer and publicity coordinator positions currently have no candidates.

In the junior class, Salman A. Khan '98 is running for president, and the team of Allison J. Christenson '98 and Muneera R. Kapadia '98 is running for the social chair position. The of vice president, secretary, treasurer, and publicity coordinator positions currently have no candidates.