Staff Editorial: Hopkins for president

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March 14, 2008

1:12 PM

A year ago we asked you to elect Zach Pilchen ’09 and Valerie Hopkins ’09 to lead the Student Assembly. This year, our opinion is no different; Hopkins and Pilchen, their roles reversed this time around, remain the most qualified candidates.

p. As the College sits poised to elect a student to the City Council, we recognize the administration’s role in student voter registration. Whereas only a handful of students could go to the polls a year ago, eligible student voters now number over 1,000. To be sure, the new voter registrar’s policies lie at the heart of the shift, but ultimately it was the incumbents that capitalized on students’ newfound voting opportunity.

p. What’s more, Hopkins and Pilchen promised last year to revise the three-person housing rule, and though the ordinance remains in place, the incumbents have made unprecedented headway. The mayor and others are now open to negotiating the three-person rule, a notion unheard before now. That’s progress.

p. The degree to which this change of heart can be attributed to the administration is debatable, but we admire the tenacity with which they have pursued the issue. Their opponents, Adam Rosen ’09 and Emily Nuñez ’09, on the other hand, unfortunately said that revising the three-person rule did not play a part in their campaign.

p. That blunder is indicative of the other aspects of the Rosen/Nuñez camp that concern us. By and large, their plans, while well-intentioned, revealed an incomplete understanding or assessment of campus issues. One of their four top goals, for instance, involved bringing a “short list” of BOV candidates before the College for a vote. The plan’s infeasibility aside, we foresee several problems. Administrators might find themselves responsible for electing the folks who oversee their compensation. And it’s unclear how much progress will come from asking students to pick the BOV from unfamiliar candidates.

p. Hopkins and Pilchen demonstrate an impressive grasp of campus and city politics. When former College President Gene Nichol resigned last month, they helped bring BOV members promptly to campus. We have seen in them a far greater capacity to assess and respond to student needs.

p. Still, we harbor some reservations we hope the incumbents will address. As was the case last year, their campaign seems overly ambitious, and it is unlikely all the promises will go fulfilled. We wouldn’t mind seeing a more attainable platform. We also hope that Hopkins, who is on the top of the ticket, is not overpowered by Pilchen.

p. But if students value responsiveness in their SA president and vice president, then the choice is clear: Hopkins and Pilchen have proven more than capable in the last year. They deserve one more.

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