Pilchen platform partially completed
March 18, 2008
Zach Pilchen ’09 and Valerie Hopkins ’09 were elected in 2007 after advocating a sweeping election platform of more than 20 individual points. One year later and running for re-election, they say that they have been successful at accomplishing most.
p. Out of 22 points, Pilchen claims to have accomplished or made serious progress on 14 of their original platform goals.
p. The eight unfulfilled pledges include turning Student Happenings into a website, co-ed lodges and Ludwell Apartments and reduced fees for restricted-use parking decals.
p. Pilchen said that most of their unmet goals pertained to bureaucratic or political issues, but also said that some, like the Student Happenings website and increased usage of Lodge One’s Alcoholic Beverage Control license, were simply unaddressed.
p. “If there’s one area [that is difficult to change], it’s academic policy issues,” Pilchen said. “Anyone who says they’re going to get elected and change these things in a year is not telling the truth because [change] takes a while.”
p. Pilchen said that he and Hopkins were working on projects like adding pass/fail options for underclassmen and had already accomplished some of their simpler goals, such as making sample syllabi available on Banner during registration and textbook lists available on Virginia 21’s website.
p. Other projects still under consideration include Tribewide Service Day, which would grant students a day off from classes to conduct service projects in Williamsburg, and energy policy reform. Hopkins noted that both were subject to review from multiple layers of administration.
p. “It takes a long time to get a day off from school,” Hopkins said, noting that academic calendars are set well in advance.
p. Pilchen also said that some platform goals which had not come to fruition would soon do so, such as the e-Suds laundry program and a recycling competition through the fraternities.
p. He noted increased UCAB funding, New Town buses and student voting registrations as among his administration’s biggest accomplishments but also expressed regret over goals that were blocked.
p. One of those was an ESCO energy audit for the entire school, which was blocked by former President Gene Nichol’s failure to sign the President’s Climate Commitment, or PCC. Pilchen said he hoped that current President Taylor Reveley would address this.
The Rosen/Nuñez campaign, however, said that Pilchen and Hopkins did not follow through on many of their campaign goals. At the Student Assembly presidential debates Monday, Rosen said that Pilchen and Hopkins had accomplished 30 percent of their projected goals over the year.
p. For example, Rosen disagreed that Pilchen accomplished the Residence Hall rights card program because the actual cards themselves had already been printed when Pilchen took office.
p. “[The cards] were already in print,” he said. “It was another issue he could put on his belt.”