The Undergraduate Student Government will be holding general elections from Monday Nov. 24 to Wednesday Nov. 26. Our student government is a resource with great potential, but USG can only have an effective presence on campus if we as students take the time to select the representatives who will earnestly engage with the needs of the community and work effectively to follow through on the tasks undertaken on behalf of the student body. This year there are three candidates for president: Ella Cheng ’16, William Gansa ’17, and Molly Stoneman ’16; and two for vice president: Aleksandra Czulak ’17 and Dallas Nan ’16. Every year, this Board endorses one candidate for the office of president and one for vice president. This year, we endorse Cheng for president and Czulak for vice president.
The office of the president calls for vision, in order to set the direction of the student government, and for effective management, in order to make sure it stays on track. Cheng has the experience and competence necessary for the position. Cheng has served in the USG Senate since freshman year and currently serves as the University Student Life Committee Chair. In this capacity, she has managed dozens of different projects, from improving residential common areas to running the summer storage initiative. Her broad administrative experience has helped her form a vision of what USG can do to better serve the student community, including encouraging informative communication between USG and students and vice versa. Cheng has centered on a plan to “put the ‘U’ back in USG” by improving communication between USG and students, both to make sure that projects are addressing real student issues and to keep USG accountable by showing students the progress on policy projects that are underway.
The vice president is in charge of maintaining the internal structure and operation of USG and has to be able to keep project members accountable, and Czulak demonstrates the energy and insight needed to carry out this task. She has spent the last year as Executive Secretary of USG, which was an opportunity to work side-by-side with the current president and vice president while playing an active role in weekly USG operations. In her current position, she has had the responsibility of preparing the agenda for weekly USG meetings and has attended biweekly Executive Committee meetings, all of which have provided the exposure necessary for familiarity with the role of the vice president. Czulak has set three main goals –feedback, visibility and accountability –and has targeted practical points such as improving internal communication between elected and appointed USG members and producing more visible and engaging midyear reports.
There are many other contested positions on this year’s ballot, and we encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the candidates and their ideas and to vote in the upcoming elections. Next year, we need a USG that has the perspective on how to improve its services for students and that will keep these efforts active and accountable. Ella Cheng and Aleksandra Czulak have the necessary skills and experience, and we urge you all to vote for them.
Note: Gansa declined to speak with the Editorial Board.
Jeffrey Leibenhaut ’16, Cydney Kim ’17, Kevin Wong ’17 and Connor Pfeiffer ’18 were recused from the presidential endorsement due to conflicts of interest.
Mitchell Johnston ’15, James Haynes ’18 and Connor Pfeiffer ’18 were recused from the vice presidential endorsement due to conflicts of interest.
TheEditorial Boardis an independent body and decides its opinionsseparately from the regular staff and editors of the ‘Prince.’ The Board answers only to its chair, the opinion editor and the editor-in-chief.