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Prebys and Sparks

Wan Yusof Wan Morshidi--The Tech
Eric H. Prebys '99 (left) and Andrew W. Sparks '99

By Dan McGuire
Editor In Chief

Presidential candidate Eric H. Prebys '99 and Vice Presidential candidate Andrew W. Sparks '99 have made improving the social lives of undergraduates their top priority.

"We looked around [and noticed that] the MIT social scene looked like hell," Sparks said. "Nobody's doing social events and that's what we'd like the UA to do," he said.

Prebys and Sparks hope to stage events such as barbeques and parties. They also hope to have a concert at the end of the year. Sparks said that the pair wanted to "try things out appeal to the more middle-of-the-road interests."

Prebys said that the UA's existing social programs were a good start. "One of the things I noticed most about the UA is the heart-to-heart" online compatibility test which matched students with other students of similar interests who filled out the test, he said.

Student input high priority

Prebys said that he did not want to set a firm agenda. "My platform is pretty flexible," he said. "I don't want to go in there and have a set agenda - that distances me from the student body," he said. "I want to keep going back to the student body" and getting their input, he said.

Prebys said that the best way to get that opinion was to go out and directly talk to students. "I think personal contact and word of mouth" are the best way to reach the student body, he said.

"I can't promise to change the world, but I do promise an unending stream of bad jokes," he added.

While Prebys said that the social atmosphere was a primary focus, he said that the UA also had a role to play in academic decision making. "In the case of big issues the UA is a great way to get [ideas] out to the community," Prebys said.

"Ideally, the UA would play a big role in making statements about what the student body feels and being a union for students," he said. However he said that "to get there and be a real voice for the student body, it needs to be in better contact with what students feel."

Prebys said that additional social programs would allow the UA and the campus to develop a unified voice. "It increases the cross-campus conversation," he said. Through those conversations one can "figure out how the campus really feels about an issue," he said.

"The UA can do things for the student body once it gets in better touch with them," he said.

"I'm doing this for the purpose of entertaining people, but I do take it seriously and I think that the UA can do serious things," he said.

"I want the vote of people who want to be represented as MIT students but I also want the vote of people who don't care because I'll give them something to do on the weekends," he said.

Prebys does not have any government experience. "I have experience throwing parties and talking to people and dealing them them," he said.

Sparks is the station manager of WMBR. The experience "hasn't prepared me completely to leap into this rolebut I think we're ready," he said.