FourPresidential and Five Vice-Presidential Candidates Duke It Out for SGA Leadership

A pub on campus, cleaning up the environment, helping to foster diversity. These are just some of the ideas of the four presidential and five vice-presidential candidates for the Student Government Association’s executive elections. The presidential candidates are as follows: Tim Allen. John Mruz, Joe Thibault and Sanjeev Yadav. The vice-presidential candidates are as follows: Bryce James, Wes Tank-Day, Dave Laman, Bob Fulton and Lena Darnell. The elections, which are being held today and tomorrow, will be taking place in Bailey/Howe library. Every student is eligible to vote, as long they have their student ID with them. There seems to be more diversity this year in the candidate’s platforms and backgrounds. Yadav is not a current member of the SGA, and both Yadav and Allen are not members of the Greek system, which have been common backgrounds of recent SGA Presidents in the past. Darnell is also running alone, which is uncommon, as most candidates campaign with a running mate. “It’s about the students, stupid,” said Yadav in the presidential debates this past Wednesday, reiterating his and Fulton’s campaign slogan. “We want to improve the SGA. We want to unify the campus. No whining, no complaining.” Other plans of Yadav and Fulton include a pub on campus, large campus-wide events a couple times a semester, expanded late-night dining, and plans to show the Burlington community how integral the students are. Another concern of Yadav and Fulton is the issue of security in the dorms. “We want students to be safe,” said Fulton. “But we don’t want to lose civil liberties.” Both Yadav and Fulton are juniors, neither are current members of the SGA. Yadav was most recently a student trustee for two years. Both are members of the College Republicans. “We want to make it easy as possible for students and clubs,” said presidential candidate Allen. “We want to empower students.” With the most combined SGA experience between them, candidates Allen and James are looking to make things easier for clubs to be successful, improve relations with downtown, and work with existing communication structures to improve the communication gaps on campus. “We want to work with the communications board on campus, with those students to improve the gaps on campus,” said James. Another concern for Allen and James is the issue of diversity. “We need to support these groups, and it is vital to bring back the CDAFC fun for future years,” said Allen. Both Allen and James worked hard this past year to get out the students’ opinions downtown during the noise ordinance battle. “We have the dedication and the passion to work hard for all students,” said James. Both Allen and James are juniors and SGA Senators, and James is a member of the FIJI fraternity. Candidates Mruz and Tank-Day are focusing their campaign on the following six issues: campus safety, the honors college, the student commons, city relations, diversity issues, and the environment. “We need more blue lights, and the card swipe system to track who comes into the building and when,” said Mruz. “We need to be a lot safer.” Another concern is the issue of honors college, which seems to be ocurring in the fall. “We want to make sure that the students’ voices are heard, and that no student’s education is compromised,” said Mruz. One issue they focus on is the environment. “While we’ve made great efforts to be as environmentally friendly, we need to make things even better,” said Tank-Day. “The total energy use has increased by 6 percent and carbon emissions on campus have increased by two percent above 1990 levels. These statistics raise great concern, we need to work with the student body and the administration to work on this problem.” When it comes to issue concerning downtown, they look to be realistic, not idealistic, according to Tank-Day. “We want our goals to be met, but we are willing to compromise to get our desired outcome, if necessary.” Mruz is a junior and Tank-Day a sophomore, and both are current SGA Senators. Mruz is a Sigma Phi Epsilon brother, and Tank-Day is the Business Manager for the Cynic. Candidates Thibault and Laman are focusing on issues of campus safety, communications, the on-campus experience and off, and the issue of helping clubs on campus. “I have worked to make things better for clubs, between the new website for clubs or fighting for club space,” said Thibault, who is the current Student Activities Chair for the SGA. With campus safety, Thibault and Laman are concerned with the balance of protection and students’ privacy. “The dorms are home to many of us, and we need to feel safe in them,” said Thibault. “The card swipe is a good idea, but not security cameras.” “All of our platforms are similar,” said Laman. “What students need to focus on is the personalities of the candidates. Joe and I are open-minded and able to talk to all students, and are willing to listen to all as well.” Thibault is a junior and Laman a sophomore, and both are SGA Senators. Thibault is a FIJI brother, and Laman is the president of FIJI. Candidate Darnell is focusing on the lack of communication between many groups: student v. administration, police services v. students, different student groups, and UVM v. downtown and the state. “We’re at a crossroads right now,” said Darnell. “There are many projects in the works right now, and continued pressure and student input are vital to these projects continuation and success.” Another concern of Darnell’s is the drug problem on campus. She has an idea of creating somewhat of a “third party safe house” in which people can bring students who might be overdosed, and not worry about getting caught. “There is a huge discrepancy between what Polices Services goals are, and what students think. I believe a common ground can be reached.”Presidental CandidatesVice Presidential Candidates