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Frosh Begin Campaigns

FLP, FSILGs Represented in ’05 Elections

By Jennifer DeBoer

As candidates prepare for next week’s Class of 2005 elections, posters are beginning to clog bulletin boards up and down the infinite corridor.

Most candidates feel that the elections have been relatively clean so far. “It’s all been pretty friendly competition,” said Sheila M. Krishna ’05, candidate for secretary. “Everybody pretty much respects the rules.”

Undergraduate Association Election Commission rules governing the campaigns are simply in the “spirit of campaign,” as the Election Commission has no power to punish violators. Punitive action must be carried out by the UA Judicial Board.

The few problems that have arisen thus far have come from outside the UA.

“I’ve had problems with non-MIT-affiliated organizations postering over my ads,” said Paul J. Sierra ’05, vice presidential candidate. “It’s really frustrating when you’ve spent all night putting up posters and they’re gone two days later.”

Radhika Jagannathan ’05, Sierra’s campaign manager, also cited certain dormitories that have torn down campaign posters. According to Jagannathan, none of the bulletin boards in McCormick Hall still have the signs she and others posted for Sierra.

FSILGs, FLP yield candidates

More than half of this year’s candidates are affiliated with fraternities, sororities and independent living groups. Swati Saini ’05, candidate for social chair and Alpha Chi Omega pledge, said that being in a sorority has helped to build name recognition.

Pre-orientation programs have been a indicator of political success since the Freshman Leadership Program was founded in 1996.

Presidential candidate Constantinos Tsoucalas ’05 participated in FLP. “I think it [FLP] will help because I know a lot of people, but I think the election will end up a popularity contest like high school,” Tsoucalas said.

“A prominent name will probably be the key,” Krishna said.

This year’s election has brought friends from outside the UA into competition. Both Sierra and fellow vice presidential candidate Craig J. Rothman ’05 are coxswains for men’s heavyweight freshman crew, but the two are supportive of each other. Rothman even signed Sierra’s petition for candidacy.

Krishna is in the same sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, as her opponent Elizabeth T. Nguyen ’05. “We’ll be happy if either of us wins,” she said.

Many of the candidates hope to get involved with the student government, whether they win or not. “You don’t need the title to make a difference,” Saini said. “You can still be on committees to help out.”

Study breaks start Wednesday

Sierra hopes that the upcoming “Meet the Candidates” study breaks organized by the Election Commission will allow the student body to interact with candidates and learn about their future representatives.

“I’ll try to meet as many people as possible and show them what kind of person I am,” he said.

The study breaks will take place Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Student Center, and will be the only organized public forum for the candidates to express their ideas directly to the student body.

Online voting will commence Saturday at 11:59 p.m. and conclude Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. Paper balloting will take place Thursday, September 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Last year, only forty percent of the freshman class voted.