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Weese Elected GSC President

By Gabriel Fouasnon

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: Because of an editing error, the April 7 article “Weese Elected GSC President” was inaccurate in reporting that no candidates were nominated to run for Secretary and Treasurer. Candidates were nominated, but they then declined, and therefore nobody was elected to those positions. Eric G. Weese and Shan Wu were elected Graduate Student Council President and Vice President respectively on Wednesday, but no candidates were nominated to run for Secretary and Treasurer, so the positions remain unfilled. An emergency meeting will be held April 19 to elect officers to the vacant positions. The new officers will take their positions on May 3.

Both Weese and Wu ran uncontested, and were elected by white ballot.

Weese’s written statement put heavy weight on the issue of NW35, a graduate dormitory planned to be built next to the graduate dormitory Sidney Pacific. In recent weeks, students and administrators had been at odds about input on the design and rent rates of the dormitory. Weese said yesterday, “We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past week. We think it’s a very good program for moving forward.” Weese said that the GSC recently sent an e-mail out to all representatives, and the vast majority of replies expressed approval of the compromise reached. Wu could not be reached for comment.

GSC President Sylvain Bruni said that “close to 35” representatives attended the elections, eight more than required for quorum (one more than half the representatives). In addition, about ten others “mostly GSC alums,” attended. Only GSC representatives who registered before March 1, committee chairs with the exception of editors of the Graduate Student News, and current officers can vote.

Swati Mohan G was nominated from the floor for the position of Secretary, and several others automatically declined. At first, according to Weese and Bruni, she accepted the nomination, but following a question and answer session with the election attendees, she decided to postpone her decision. “Basically I wasn’t expecting it,” Mohan said of the nomination, “and it would be in the best interest for me, and for the GSC, for me to consider the position for more than five minutes.”

Weese said, “There’s no rush for secretary. There’s no urgent secretary work that needs to be done in the next month. However, urgent budgetary work needs to be done,” he said. Several people were nominated for treasurer, but all of them declined.

Bruni said that before the meeting he had known “several people who were interested [in the treasurer position] who came to the meeting and didn’t put forth their nominations.” After the election Wednesday evening, Bruni sent out an e-mail to be forwarded to the general graduate student population, calling for interested students to fill the position. Bruni said that a few people have already responded to his e-mail. “So we are not worried about filling the positions,” he said.

When asked if he will continue to be involved in GSC, Bruni joked that he would have to get authorization from his advisor and hinted that the response would be no. He pointed out, though, that he might serve as a GSC representative for the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department, a position Mohan would open up if she is elected Secretary.

Bruni stated that he will “still be around at MIT for some time. I’m not going to disappear.” Bruni was elected vice president in April 2005 and also became president when Emilie F. Slaby resigned from the position at the end of February, citing academic reasons.

Weese said that during the elections Bruni was nominated for President, but he graciously declined .

Apart from Bruni’s nomination, Weese ran uncontested, but he said, “You would have expected if people thought that I was unqualified they would have gone out and found someone else to nominate, which has happened in the past.”