“The main reason [I’m running] is [that] the same type of person wins every year,” Tom Karwacki (MSB ‘09) said, adding that he sees most past GUSA presidents as buttoned-down government majors with their sights set on the White House.
“We want to give students an alternative,” Karwacki said.
Karwacki, who is running with William Farrar (COL ‘09), is one of nine students who announced their candidacy for the Student Association presidency on Tuesday.
Official campaigning began at midnight today and the election will be held two weeks from now on February 21st.
There are more than twice as many presidential and vice-presidential candidates this year as last year, when only four tickets campaigned.
“It’s good to see people really taking an interest,” current GUSA president Ben Shaw (COL ‘08) said. “Having nine people running shows that people are really taking GUSA seriously.”
Most of the candidates emphasized the need for a president who will represent students in talks with the administration and promote student involvement in the creation of University policy.
Tyler Stone (COL ‘09), who is running as David Dietz’s (COL ‘10) vice-presidential candidate, wants more student representation on the Board of Governors. Presidential candidate Tim Brown (COL ‘09) wants to extend the referendum process used to counter the keg ban to other issues.
Of the nine presidential candidates, none have been members of the GUSA Senate, though some have participated in working groups or executive committees on campus. Many thought the GUSA Senate needed to work to increase their visibility and relevancy.
“I’ve never talked to or met my GUSA representative,” presidential candidate Schuyler Hawkins (MSB ‘10) said. “GUSA’s lack of ties to what students are doing is disturbing.”
Apart from concern over student disenfranchisement, the most widely discussed issues were changing the alcohol policy, improving dining options, expanding GUTS service on weekends, making the campus more environmentally friendly and extending the wireless network.
Calen Angert (MSB ‘11) is the first freshman to run for GUSA president. Previously, freshmen were not allowed to run, but when the GUSA Senate rewrote its bylaws in October 2006, they did not include that clause. Election Commissioner Maura Cassidy (COL ‘08) said she was awaiting clarification from GUSA representatives.
“We’re definitely in it,” Angert’s running mate Jason Kluger (MSB ‘11) said. “We’re making sure people realize how serious we are about this and how much we care about this.”
—David Dietz and Tyler Stone are Voice staff writers