The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 32.0°F | Mostly Cloudy


Devereaux/Neizmik for UA President/VP

By Jordan Rubin, Eric J. Cholankeril, Naveen Sunkavally, and Matthew Palmer

While we agree with the opinion of the editorial board that new blood is needed in the UA government, we do not believe that Sanjay K. Rao ’02 is the best choice for President. Despite our reservations about the the ability of the ticket of Jaime E. Devereaux and Allison L. Neizmik to involve and represent all students, we believe their experience and dedication to the organization outweighs their drawbacks.

For example, Devereaux was instrumental in the relocation of TEAL from the Student Center to Building 26, preserving student space on campus and fighting for the separation between academics and social life. In advocating this relocation, the UA was able to reverse a decision passed down by the Chancellor, Provost, Dean of the School of Science, and the head of the physics department, along with a host of other administrators and faculty members -- a notable accomplishment. We think that their experience will give them a notable advantage over the other candidates in being able to work with the administration to implement new ideas.

If elected, however, this ticket must search for new initiatives to gather student opinion and garner student support for involvement in the UA; a web form is not sufficient. They need to make a concerted effort to defeat the insider culture in the UA.

Since last year’s failed election bid, Rao has taken a year off from the Undergraduate Association, despite his statement last year that he would stay involved should he lose the election. While he may appear more charismatic and well spoken, he and his running mate have no clear direction and sense of purpose. His platform calls for activity on a laundry list of issues including anonymous medical transport, mental health, online learning, the freshman program, and student representation in the UA without providing specific solutions besides the creation of several committees. We feel that the Devereaux/Neizmik ticket better understands the constraints in coming up with solutions for these problems.

In addition, the UA President must find qualified individuals to fill Cabinet posts. We have not received adequate assurance that, in a Rao administration, such positions would be filled by individuals representing various interests on campus.

The ticket of Rhett Creighton ’02 and Margaret V. Stringfellow ’03 offers a refreshing point of view and sense of enthusiasm. We feel that these two candidates were handcuffed by the insufficient amount length of the campaign period and the time that they spent in a bureaucratic web due to complaints about their candidacy. We are concerned, however, that with their lack of experience Creighton and Stringfellow might not fully understand the range of responsibilities of the UA President and Vice President.

The student body needs a pair of qualified, committed, trustworthy individuals to serve as UA President and VP. These concerns trump the desire to find an outsider candidate. In this election it is not necessary to vote for a split ticket. Therefore, we encourage you to cast your vote for Jaime Devereaux and Allison Neizmik.