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February 22, 2006

Endorsements for this years student elections

This post may not affect many readers, as it directly involves University of Virginia students, but no one else. With the election only a couple days away (please, vote; it is a sad case that so few students do), I figured I would put in my two cents for a few of the positions.

Student Council President - Sam White
I can confidently stand behind Sam. He is a man of great character who wants things to be done here at the University of Virginia. As I stated earlier, many students are apathetic when it comes to student self-governance, and Sam wants to change this. He is looking to get students involved early, as soon as they start here at the University of Virginia, before they get locked into other organizations around grounds. By making the office a personal one, student self-governance will again stand for something. He has also been a strong proponent for eliminating the use of social security numbers as student IDs (and I can assure you that Sam is well aware of how concerned I am about this issue), and he is nothing but frank and honest. He may not get the key to the office (i.e., the UDems endorsement), but he is extremely qualified for the position.

Executive Vice-President - Ezana Tsehaye Teferra
I am not very aware of either of the candidates in this election, but Ezana appears to be a good choice who cares greatly about the Univesity community.

Vice President for Organizations - Catherine Tobin
To some, this may be a surprising choice (probably most of all Catherine herself?). She is a Democrat, and a self-proclaimed "moderate" (*shiver*), but I know her to be a hard worker who is fully prepared for the position. While I am unsure of how urgent the need is for expansion on Newcomb (one of her main points, but does UVa have money available for such a project?), she is looking to increase appropriations to allow for travel, something that is currently disregarded. I suspect she will be a favorite entering this election, as she has already received an endorsement from the Cavalier Daily and likely will from the University Democrats, but she should do a fine job in the position.

Honor Committee College Representatives -
Brian O'Neill - Supports the Consensus Clause.
Kendall Fox - Looking to increase knowledge of and involvement in the Honor system.
A-J Aronstein - Wants to show that the Honor system is more than just the Single Sanction.

Arts and Science Council President - No endorsement for now.‡

Judiciary Committee Arts & Sciences Representative - No endorsement for now.‡

(‡ - These may be updated later).

- Consensus Clause Amednment - Vote Yes. The Multiple Sanction will not raise trust around grounds. Students will see less reason to avoid cheating, and students will be no more likely to turn others in. The most effective way to cut down on cheating is to make the trial process easier, and to maintain the current tough standards. The fact that so few students can change something that has existed for more than a century and a half and has played such a large role in the University's history is a shame, and this change will be a benefit, not a burden.
- Triviality - Vote No. One might argue that "serious" and "not trivial" are very similar, but "not trivial" may be less effective than "serious", so I see little reason to make such a change.
- Change to UJC Constitution - Vote No. This is essentially a hate-speech clause, which could result on legal action being taken on the University, as it could be judged as unconstitutional. The only way motivation should play a part in a UJC (or any) trial is whether the action was intentional or accidental.
- Social Security Numbers - Vote Yes. This is a no-brainer. With identity theft a real concern, why should we have to throw around our SSNs if we forget our ID card?
- Living Wage - Vote No. While I would very much like it if all University employees could receive all the money they needed, such a move would likely only endanger the jobs of some of the positions that are considered less necessary.
- Renewable Energy - No endorsement. Five dollars is not much, but will it do the job?