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GSC Officer Nominations Conclude, No VP Named

By Kathy Dobson

STAFF REPORTER

Nominations for Graduate Student Council closed at 11:59 p.m. last night and, as of that time, only three nominations had been accepted with no candidate for vice president. Nominations for president, secretary, and treasurer have been closed, while nominations for vice president will be open until elections are held on Wednesday.

The accepted nominations of Barun Singh G for president, Lucy Wong G for secretary, and Virgilio M. Villacorta G for treasurer were accepted.

Current GSC vice president Michael R. Folkert G said that there are four people who have yet to accept their nominations for officer positions: two for president, one for treasurer, and one for vice president. Folkert said that it is common for candidates to accept their nominations close to the deadline. “Pretty much everyone wants to see what everyone else is writing in their statements,” Folkert said.

The small number of nominations is consistent with past years, said R. Erich Caulfield G, the current GSC president.

“In recent years, it is not uncommon to have zero, one, two, or three people running for each position,” Caulfield said, though it is more common to have people run than for the position to remain vacant.

Elections planned for Wednesday

The elections will take place on April 7 at the monthly GSC general council meeting at 5:30 p.m. in 4-370. Although voting is limited to the GSC’s outgoing executive committee and dormitory, department, and at-large representatives, Caulfield said that he would “encourage as many graduate students to come to the meeting” to meet the candidates and give input.

The elections are a cascading process in which candidates that do not win the office for which they are running can choose to run for a position that is later voted on. The chronological order of the elections is president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.

Both Singh and Wong said that if they are not elected to the positions for which they are running, they will not run for another position.

If a position remains vacant, nominations will become open at the GSC meeting on Wednesday. Folkert said that if a position is uncontested, the candidate will usually drop out temporarily to let the other people accept nominations to run.

Singh said he plans to do this if the position of president goes uncontested. “A contested election is always better because you can get different points of view,” Singh said.

Communication common goal

The biggest goal that Singh would like to accomplish if he is elected president of the GSC is to improve the communication between the GSC and the graduate student body.

“I’d like every single student to look at the GSC and to [view it as] their representative body,” Singh said. Specifically, he said he would like to work on “keeping students informed throughout the process as we do things” and not wait until after initiatives are passed to tell students.

Singh said one initiative he would like to take is to collect information from the graduate student body about the “academic side of things” such as advisor / advisee relationships.

Singh said he envisions doing this through a survey such as the 2002 Graduate Student Life Survey, which he created, implemented, and analyzed when he was chair of the GSC Housing and Community Affairs Committee in 2002-2003. The information collected in that survey had a “profound impact on what we were able to accomplish over the next two years” including rent restructuring, stipends, and efforts with other groups within the GSC, said Singh.

Wong said that her biggest priority is to archive meeting minutes from previous years and to “clean up data for future years.” She said currently “the archives are discombobulating.”

Wong also said that she would like to improve communication between the GSC and the graduate student body through campus publications, such as the GSC’s publication, the Graduate Student News, and The Tech. Wong has been the editor-in-chief for the Graduate Student News for the past year.

Villacorta could not be reached for comment.