The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 36.0°F | Partly Cloudy

Only One UAP/VP Ticket Meets Petition Deadline

Election Committee to Continue Accepting Petitions

By Vicky Hsu

When Undergraduate Association election campaigns began last night, only one ticket had submitted a petition for UA president and vice president.

The 2005 Class Council elections attracted the most candidates, with at least two candidates for each position. In contrast, for the Class of 2004 there is only one person or no one at all running for each position besides president and vice president. The Class of 2003 also appears to be able to white ballot three positions, including president.

Current UA officials, however, are not worried. “As long as there are qualified candidates, the number of candidates doesn’t matter,” said Helen Lee ’02, UA Election Commissioner.

Victoria K. Anderson ’02, speaker of the UA Council, agreed. “It is not necessarily a bad thing,” she said. “People want to put their energies into specific areas where they can be more effective. They may run for committee chairs within the UA or other committees in MIT such as faculty committees. ”

Jaime E. Devereaux ’02, the current UA president, suggested that more petitions for the position may emerge in the next couple of days. “The Elections Commission has accepted late petitions for UA president and vice president before. It is up to the discretion of the Elections Commission as to how late the petitions would be accepted. We may expect to get a better picture of the election competitions in the next couple of days,” she said.

Seale expected to run for UAP

As it stands, the only candidates for UAP and VP are Jennifer S. Yoon ’03 and Miquela C. Vigil ’03. “This news is a total surprise to me,” Yoon said. “I was under the impression that there are four other people running. I would have liked some friendly competition, but I guess I should thank them.”

Vigil said that “competition would have raised the bar, help us do a better campaign. I am excited but also disappointed.”

Lee said she expects at least one other candidate, Josiah D. Seale ’03, to submit his petition for UA president in the near future.

Seale confirmed his plans to run, and said that his “petition is not quite ready because of numerous reasons, one of them being that the person I was originally running with dropped out on me. I am really picky about who I run with because I want someone who cares enough to get things done and is in the race for the right reasons.”

With only about a week’s grace period, Seale is on a race against time, but remains hopeful. He said he already has another running mate in mind, who is actually the first person he approached about campaigning together as a ticket.

Michael R. Hall ’03 is running for Class of 2003 VP instead of UA vice president with Seale, but he said he is still confident in Seale’s abilities. “Before the campaign, I had considered both serving my class as a class officer and serving under Josiah as UA Vice President,” Hall said. “After considering changing circumstances, I decided I would be more effective serving directly as a class officer.”

“I wish Josiah the best of luck in this election. If elected, he would serve the UA well as its president,” Hall said.

Officers hope for competition

Teresa S. Kim ’04, the current co-social chair of the 2004 Class Council, is disappointed by the lack of candidates for her position. “I think it’s really sad. The elections are also rather odd, because last year hardly anyone ran for president and vice president, but this year there are five people campaigning for president.” When asked about the possible explanations for the turnout, Kim said that it could be because “the class council is a lot more functional nowadays. We had more money, we did more stuff, so now more people realize that things could get done by the council.”

Kim also stressed the importance of the social chair position. “Like it or not, the class councils are social organizations, so the social chairs do most of the work with little recognition.” Nadjia Yousif ’04, also a current co-social chair for 2004, warned that “the class will have no right to complain” next year when the vacant positions are appointed.

In contrast to the low numbers running for other positions in the class council, there are at least five candidates for 2004 president so far. Yousif considers this a good thing. “It encourages people to come up with innovative ideas, and separates the people who wants to run for the sake of running apart from those who are running because they care.”

Maria E. Hidalgo ’04, one of the candidates for president, agrees that “junior year is a pivotal year. Things have been going well for us this past year, but the word on the street is that it is time for a change. We’ve had the same people on class council for two years now.”

Hidalgo’s main hope is that the elections go smoothly. Insoo Kim ’05, a presidential candidate for 2005 class council, agrees that “it [the election] is not about power, but getting things done. It is fun to get ideas rolling and fixing the lack of class unity.”

Many of candidates are motivated by the lack of class unity within their classes, as well as the entertainment factor that the position entails. Alexis DeSieno ’05 and Jonathan Choi ’05 summarized these common feelings.

“It is fulfilling, I don’t really know how to describe it,” said DeSieno, a candidate for 2005 VP.

Choi, another one of the four candidates for 2005 VP, said that “our class is not cohesive as a whole. I also want to bring closer interaction between different ethnic groups on campus.”

Activity outside MIT seen as key

Another common idea that the candidates support involves MIT people branching out and being active in community. “We need to get away from MIT,” DeSieno said.

A big concern driving the 2003 candidates is the task their class faces of finding good jobs upon graduation. Both Hall, a candidate for 2003 VP, and Sina Kevin Nazemi ’03, the sole candidate for 2003 president, hope to get started early on the career fair.

“I am glad that there is at least one person running for each position on the class council,” said Nazemi, “I hope to make good use of the extra student activities fee that will become available as part of the tuition hike.”