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Frosh Meet Candidates At ’03 Elections Forum

By Jennifer Eppig

Students discussed campus issues yesterday afternoon with candidates running for elective positions in their class at a Coffeehouse forum.

The candidates present expressed their enthusiasm to become involved in their class. Vice-Presidential candidate Grace R. Kessenich ’03 said she believes housing is a priority. “I know that other people have different opinions than me but I want to listen to them and make a compromise, make a plan.”

Rebecca E. Lipon ’03, a candidate for treasurer, believes the UA is “really the only forum that has a voice with the administration.” In addition to the ubiquitous concern over the housing issue, Lipon feels that students have little opportunity to bond as a class. She plans to organize more class events to promote further interaction. “I think the thing that makes life most worthwhile is the interaction with other people.”

Chirag G. ‘Cheerios’ Shah ’03, running against Lipon for treasurer, thinks that it is important to have communication about how money is spent in the class, and would like to post that information on a website. His slogan is “Just add milk and you’re off to a wonderful start.”

Ross E. Benson ’03, a student at the forum, is planning to vote because voting “is the basis of democracy.” He thinks it is important for a candidate to have previous experience with student government, but says, “I don’t want it to be a popularity contest.” Lipon feels that students should vote for a person who will fight to make a better living environment.

According to Election Commissioner Sarah L. McDougal ’00, “The main purpose [of the UA] is to be a voice for students.” Members advocate for students and plan social and community activities.

Also present at the forum as of 4:30 p.m. were Patrick D. Kane ’03, running for President, Taraneh Paravar ’01, running for Vice-President, and Kim D. Nguyen ’01, running for Social Coordinator with Derek D. Tsu ’01.

There are a total of 13 candidates in the Class of 2003 running for UA. There are no candidates for secretary. McDougal said that most likely, “The secretary will be appointed by the council once the council is elected.”

The elections will be held from Monday at noon until Thursday at noon at Athena terminals throughout campus. The UA is using a brand-new Web-based voting system this year designed to make voting simpler than it has been in years past.

Voting instructions will be posted at Athena terminals during the elections. Typing “add ua; vote” at the athena prompt will start the voting site on Netscape. Election results will be announced a week from Monday, and freshmen take office that night.

Students can run in teams for offices of Publicity Coordinator and Social Coordinator. Candidates had to submit petitions signed by ten percent of the class to run for office. Their two major campaign tools are posters and e-mail. Basic postering rules are in effect. There will be no postering allowed in Athena after Monday. Candidates can only send e-mail to lists they are on, and they cannot use blind carbon copy option.

Another forum will be held at the Coffeehouse from 4-6 p.m. today.