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COLUMN

Parul/Harel for UAP/VP

Vivek Rao

The Tech’s recent endorsement of Pius Uzamere and Jacob Faber for the positions of UA President and Vice President was both disappointing and destructive. The piece essentially ignored the two other tickets on the ballot, while drawing less from facts than from vague and speculative theories and perceptions. The Tech, well-meaning or not, does not always tell the whole truth. I’d like to reply to that endorsement by explaining exactly why I, a member of both The Tech and the UA Senate, endorse Parul Deora and Harel Williams:

When contemplating whom I want to hold the MIT student body’s two most important undergraduate political positions, UA President and Vice President, I look for the candidates who:

1) Have a track record of service and commitment

2) Demonstrate a passion and desire to really change MIT for the better

3) Put together a concrete yet boundless vision for this school’s future and improving undergraduate student life

Given those criteria, it is a no-brainer to me to vote for Parul and Harel.

Parul, a junior, and Harel, a sophomore, have put in as much time to the UA as can be expected of any full-time MIT student. Parul is currently UA Vice-President, and she therefore knows the responsibilities associated with heading the UA, and should be able to transition rather smoothly into the role of president. Harel, meanwhile, is now head of the Committee on Student Life, a group he has energized and transformed into a very productive tool for making students’ voice heard. In addition, his voluntary attendance at UA Senate meetings has been impeccable, exceeding that of current Senator and opposing candidate Pius Uzamere.

Together, Parul and Harel have successfully contributed to a variety of key MIT projects, among them:

1) Putting together a concrete proposal for renovating the Student Center reading room

2) Legitimizing current proposals for Daytime SafeRide

3) Arranging forums for students to give feedback on MIT Dining

4) Gathering student suggestions for utilizing the Coffeehouse space

...and much more.

Their passion for truly making MIT a better undergraduate experience is undoubtedly highest among the candidates. Their dedication in the past suggests that they take the UA, and more importantly, the UA’s responsibility to the student body, seriously. With a variety of plans for the future, from establishing better relations between living groups via a campus coalition, to adding off-campus restaurants to the MIT Card, Parul and Harel have a clear vision of what they want to change during their potential tenure.

The Tech’s suggestion that the Deora/ Williams ticket represents the “current stale, unimaginative leadership” is both biased and ignorant. Their endorsement was one based not on facts or first-hand experience but rather on baseless perceptions. Attend a single UA Senate or CSL meeting and you will instantly see why the paper’s decision to essentially ignore of Parul and Harel makes little sense. I just finished casting my vote for Parul and Harel because I feel like it would be an unfortunate waste of talent and dedication to have anyone but them serve as UA President and Vice President.

In closing, I strongly suggest that you do not swallow The Tech’s endorsement whole, just as I hope you do not completely accept mine. Instead, take a look a the candidates' track records and their plans for the future, and decide for yourself whom you see best fit to serve you. And most importantly, vote!

Vivek Rao ’05 is UA Senator representing Burton-Conner.