The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 38.0°F | A Few Clouds

Six Added to Ballot With Late Petitions

Seale, Deora Added to Ballot for UAP/VP

By Brian Loux

NEWS EDITOR

Josiah D. Seale ’03 and Parul Deora ’04 have officially entered the race for Undergraduate Association president and vice president.

“[Seale/Deora] were officially on the ballot on Friday,” said UA Election Commissioner Helen H. Lee ’02, “but the e-mail declaring their candidacy wasn’t sent out until the weekend.”

A total of five tickets have been added to UA and class council elections. Other candidates include Daniel F. Kanamori ’05 for class president, Jesse R. Alejandro ’05 and Cecilia E. Ramos ’05 for class publicity chairs, and Yun-Ling Wong ’04 for Panhellenic Association representative.

“The candidates all picked up petitions and intended to run,” Lee said. She added that the late candidates all requested an extension for “extenuating circumstances,” and returned filled petitions over the weekend.

Yoon, Vigil enjoy competition

“I was Josiah’s initial choice months ago,” Deora said. “At the time I wasn’t sure about running and told him to continue his search. About a week ago he asked me to reconsider” and the two began to petition for candidacy, she said.

UA presidential/vice presidential candidates Jennifer S. Yoon ’03 and Miquela C. Vigil ’03 said they were glad to have opponents.

“We are very excited; it’s much better to have more than one ticket,” Vigil said. “It was very awkward not knowing who our opposition was. It is almost a relief to finally have some.”

“[The new ticket] hasn’t brought change to our campaign strategy,” Yoon said. “Up until now our point has been to get people to know who we are. Now we need to focus on getting our platform out.”

Seale, Deora desire change

Deora said that the process of getting on the ballot was “not difficult” to do.

“There was no problem gaining support for our petition,” she said. “Many people had asked us whether we were going to run and were eager to sign our petition when we applied.”

“We talked to [Lee] and understood we couldn’t campaign until we were officially on the ballot, and everything went well,” Seale said.

Seale said that being unable to campaign over the past few days did not hurt the ticket. “I think it draws more attention to us now that there is more than one ticket running,” he said. “People have been saying that the office of president and vice president shouldn’t be won by default.”

Seale and Deora said they hope to bring about serious change the UA if elected. “I have been working with the UA and have been able to see things as both a counselor and cabinet member,” Seale said. “There are a lot of good things, but a lot of bad things. They have trouble attracting hard-working people and those that do work hard don’t feel motivated enough.”

“Improving communications is key for the UA,” Deora added. “There are many inter-committee problems, with some not knowing what others are doing. They also do not tell the students about issues strongly enough. We must improve communication with the constituency so students can learn about things and have a voice from the beginning.”

The two also praised the Graduate Student Council. “They are doing a better job of representing their constituency,” Seale said.

“The GSC is a lot more unified, and there is a lot we can learn from them,” Deora said. Both agreed that they should work with the GSC on the issue of housing.

“It is a touchy subject,” Seale said. “The first priority of the Institute is housing all undergraduates, but a close second is housing the graduates.”

Yoon, Vigil view ‘big picture’

Yoon and Vigil touted their ticket as “viewing the big picture,” and they hope to work on projects that influence all of MIT, Yoon said.

“The first thing we’re looking to do is address all of the policy changes that have happened this year,” she said. “Students only know that everything is changing, not how. My primary goal is to look at the $200 tuition increase and write a proposal to [Dean for Student Life Larry G.] Benedict and see more of that money go to student events.”

“One of the strengths of the UA is its ability to form committees and make sure policies are on track,” Vigil said. “Now that there are so many, that we must go in and ascertain how good these are for the students.”

Yoon and Vigil also said they hope to work with the GSC if elected.

“I have been the ASA [Association for Student Activities] treasurer and the only undergraduate to sit on the GSC Funding Board and I see them every two weeks,” Yoon said. “This year [the UA and the GSC] have been working together, and we need to keep that up.”

Both commented on the need for cooperation in the housing strategy. “It is important for the two groups to work together, though I think some graduate dormitories will be temporarily used,” Yoon said.

Pleasant tone for current race

Both tickets expressed their approval of how the campaigns have gone so far.

“In the past, there was a lot of controversy over violations of rules, but it has been a rather smooth election so far,” Deora said. “I hope more people will turn out to vote this time. Part of that will come from trusting the UA and knowing it is doing a good job.”

“We plan on keeping a clean campaign,” Yoon said. “We should all focus on our better sides than focusing on candidates’ negatives.”

Vigil added, “The Election Commission is doing a fabulous job and is very active in this race.”

UAP/VP debate tonight

The UAP/VP candidates’ debate will be held tonight at 8 p.m. on the first floor of the Stratton Student Center. A debate for class council candidates will be held on Thursday at the same time and place.

All candidates have a week left for campaigning before electronic balloting begins on March 11.