The Eagle’s SG endorsements for the 2017-18 academic year
The Eagle endorses Dumpson, Self, Machovec and Schneider
As we enter a transitional period under a new University president, it is vital that students have a strong leader who will represent their interests. It is clear to The Eagle that Taylor Dumpson is the right choice for student government president.
Our staff was impressed by her poise and compassion. She has a dedicated track record of serving students - whether through serving as a Freshman Service Experience leader during last semester’s Welcome Week or elevating the voices of students through her role as president of the Intercultural Greek Collective.
Dumpson has concrete ideas and a sense of confidence that will ensure that she can effectively advocate for students. Should she be elected, we hope that she will have a friendly and transparent relationship with student media organizations. When working with President Burwell, Dumpson must be held accountable to students and work beyond buzzwords to create tangible, lasting change.
Although sophomore Haley Lickstein stated that her platform points were not promises and we appreciated her history within SG, we were concerned about her ability to follow through on her 16 page platform. We were also distressed by her inability to explain her plans in detail to our Editorial Board.
Sophomore Andy Schwarz brought a fresh take to the election by calling out SG’s large budget. We agreed that it is over inflated, especially with elaborate budgeting toward events like Founder’s Day Ball. However, his initiative to slash student government official stipends is misguided, as the office of the president has no power to do so.
The Editorial Board was impressed by junior Terry Altherr. Running on a platform emphasizing free speech, Altherr offered a one-of-a-kind perspective, setting him apart from many standard SG candidates. He brought forth creative ideas and, in the future, we hope to see him in a prominent role within SG.
All four vice presidential candidates bring valuable ideas and have substantial experience. Junior Ryan Shepard has a variety of experience in both off-and-on-campus organizations and has demonstrated talent in event planning. Sophomore Audra Gale is a fresh face, with unique ideas that would expand the reach of the arts on campus. Additionally, we were impressed by sophomore Ryan Fedasiuk’s passion for creating accessible events, largely inspired by his work with the Kennedy Political Union (KPU).
The Editorial Board was most impressed though with Solomon Self, who pitched tangible and achievable ideas. Self has had significant experience working with small, diverse groups on campus in order to collaborate and elevate their voices.
An authentic presence, he has organized events with underrepresented groups on campus, such as Nourish AU, the Latino Student Organization (LASO) and the Muslim Students Association. As a campus, with Self, we move two steps forward instead of one step back. He is a leader who will not only push his vision, but empower others. Nonetheless, we hope that should he become vice president, Self will consider Fedasiuk for the Director of KPU due to Fedasiuk’s talent and dedication to the organization.
Junior Christine Machovec was The Eagle’s clear choice for comptroller. While sophomore Elizabeth Pancotti has experience within SG, Machovec’s budgeting experience in the Residence Hall Association (RHA) makes her the most experienced and capable candidate for this role.
Even though it is not a budget year, the comptroller will have a stake in the University’s new ten year plan. During the next year, Machovec will work with the University to ensure that issues like financial aid and sexual assault prevention and awareness are given proper attention. She has shown up for students in the past and, if elected, will assuredly do so in the boardroom.
Sophomore Kris Schneider is running unopposed for the position of secretary, and The Eagle fully endorses him for a second term. Schneider entered his role during October 2016 and has demonstrated a superb work ethic and ability to communicate well with student organizations.
The complete redesign of the SG website was a huge project that was accomplished under his leadership in the past year and we hope to see him build upon his progress. The Editorial Board was also impressed by his platform to increase accountability between other executives of SG through mandatory monthly reports. Additionally, we hope to see his idea of a community calendar for student organizations and clubs hosted on the SG website come into fruition.
Disclaimer: Kris Schneider was a columnist for The Eagle from summer 2016 to September 2016. Ryan Shepard is currently a columnist for The Eagle. Neither Schneider or Shepard contributed to endorsement deliberation or the subsequent editorial.
Correction appended: The story originally stated that Elizabeth Pancotti was a junior. It has been corrected to state that she is a sophomore.