In last week’s Student Government presidential election, Joe Gallina and Kyle Taylor both won about 30 percent of the vote, necessitating a run-off election between the two for Thursday. Though our endorsed candidate, James Gardner, did not earn enough votes to be part of the run-off, we will follow Gardner’s lead and pass on our endorsement to Taylor in the run-off.
As noted in our Feb. 24 endorsement editorial, Taylor very nearly won our endorsement outright. As we said then, we feel Taylor is enthusiastic and organized, and has done a stellar job in his previous Student Confederation roles of vice president and Eagle Nights director. Taylor has great ideas on improving basic campus services. He is capable and well-prepared to be SG president.
Though Gallina has a strong personality and a willingness to fight for students, we fear he may be too antagonistic and confrontational toward AU administration to be productive. Just as important, we feel Gallina does not have nearly as clear a plan for the office as Taylor does.
Gallina has been running posters referencing AU’s decision to cut the tennis and golf programs, with an implication that he could or will do something about it. This ad campaign seems almost exploitative of current campus sentiment against the cuts. Even if he were SG president when the decision came down, there’s precious little he could have actually done about the cuts. At Sunday’s General Assembly meeting, Gallina’s grandstanding about marching to President Benjamin Ladner’s office came across as the political rhetoric devoid of any real answers. (Ladner in office on a Sunday? Please.)
Students must remember that even if they voted in this past week’s elections, their votes for president won’t count in the run-off. Both candidates start with zero votes. Regardless of whom you supported in last week’s election, or even if you didn’t vote, Thursday’s election is a chance to use your voice on how you want to be represented. Voting runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in Mary Graydon Center 120.