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I'm going to be quick and I'm going to be blunt: I support Lauren Oldja and Steve Kelch for President and Vice President of the Undergraduate Association. Why? They are best positioned to get the most done. End of story. You do not need to read further unless you want to know my basis for this opinion.

I currently serve as the Treasurer of the Association of Student Activities (the ASA for those acronym fans). Furthermore, I also sit on both the undergraduate and graduate funding boards and serve as Chairman of the LEF and ARCADE funding boards. What I have learned from serving in these capacities is that one is only able to effect change when one has a solid understanding of the current system. With so many committees, student governments, funding boards, student groups and events, few individuals are actually exposed to a wide enough set of nodes to actually understand how the network fits together.

Lauren came into the UA as an outsider and hit the ground running. As UA Treasurer, she had to learn the various committees of the UA. She is an ex officio member of the UA Senate, and she has also served on LEF, ARCADE, and the UA Finance Board (Finboard) with me. Furthermore, she had been appointed by Andrew Lukmann, the current UA President, to serve as the UA Representative to the ASA, a voting position on the ASA Executive Board. Unlike all the other candidates, Lauren has seen a little bit of everything and as such is best positioned to make constructive changes to "the system."

Since I have served on many boards with Lauren, I have noticed many important characteristics about her. She listens to everyone's opinions and is very good at finding a middle ground. Combine this with her persistence and you can see how she will get a lot of good things accomplished next year.

Lauren is also not a slave to the political system; she voices her opinion when things are not quite right. When the Baker Foundation, a student-run board, awarded a grant to a sorority whose sisters make up two of the Foundation's five voting members, Lauren was the first to question the possible "conflict of interests."

I have met few people who genuinely cared for their fellow students, had the experience to actually suggest positive change, and the drive to get such change done. I support Lauren Oldja and Steve Kelch because they have the necessary traits, skills, and experience to improve undergraduate student life at MIT.

James R. Peacock IV '08 is Treasurer of the Association of Student Activities