Want to Participate in a Functional Democracy? Here’s Your Chance

Student government elections are coming, leaving many students wondering “Who are we voting for and what influence will the new president have?” On March 8th and 9th students will convene at the library to elect next years Student Government Association President and Vice President; followed by a second election a week later for student senators.

Students may be asking themselves why these elections are important. In addition to selecting a cabinet to serve as secretary, treasure etc., the newly elected president will also gain a seat on the board of trustees, allowing him or her as much decision-making clout as President Fogel himself. This seat makes the SGA President the student body’s most effective instrument in directing the progress of the university and shaping the future of our school. Meet the presidential candidates: Sarah Porier is a third year student from Portland, Maine. Appointed as a senator second semester of her freshman year, Sarah has been involved with student government longest out of the three candidates.

She believes SGA is a very organized institute that has a lot of pull with administrative decisions. As president, Sarah promises to use the office to make changes that will benefit all students. For example, every student has fallen victim to the UVM Bookstores outrageous prices, feeble textbook buy-back program, and overwhelming lines.

This is partially because the bookstore, which is not actually owned by the University, has yet to openly publish its book’s serial numbers in order to eliminate competition. If these numbers were made public the student body could pursue alternative, possibly cheaper book distributors.

In addition, Sara suggests making it mandatory for professors to purchase books they require for class and put all readings on reserve at the library, which would not only encourage the use of web-ct but may also give professors an idea of the ridiculous amounts students spend every semester on their educations.

“I’ve worked very hard for this since freshman year, and the truth is, I love it. For me, its not just about the position, It’s about being involved with making positive changes to this University. The fact is that my opponents are simply not as qualified for the job.” Bent Cardan is a third year student from Mammoth Lakes, California. Through his position as treasurer of our high-ranked debate team, Bent has become familiar with the finance aspect of student-run clubs and works closely with treasurer Robert Day. “I have a clear view of what needs to happen” Bent said in an interview on Sunday.

The mainstays and objectives of his candidacy fall under three categories: “Improving the student experience, improving the educational value, and improving the community by making UVM a ‘model employer’.”

Bent discussed with me the importance of utilizing the Presidents seat on the board of trustees and promises to make aggressive moves to steer the school in the right direction if elected.

“In a time when companies have to abide by a growing number of environmental restrictions, coming from a leading environmental school caries a lot of weight” Bent says. “I hope the cynic doesn’t spin it, still a wizard at whatever my endeavors may be, I stay free of the fiction at a fraction of what it costs to be fake. I take my life like a prescription.” Ben Wildstein is a third year business major and is an active member of the SGA Senate and has worked on the Finance Committee, the Board of Trustees Selection Committee, and the Student Fee Review Board since he was first inspired to become a more active member of the UVM community his freshman year.

“I’ve always been opinionated, and it’s become clearer over the past few years that many people share my opinions.” Says Wildstein “I believe I’m the superior candidate because I have a good mix of experience, knowledge, a diverse background and the initiative to make the changes that need to happen at our school”.