Speech night was something else, wasn't it? While most of the candidates presented themselves to the community and bickered over the issues, only Ian Grady, a candidate for class of 2010 senator, directly addressed the most compelling issue facing the SGA today: approachability. Grady argued that while the SGA certainly has the students' best interests at heart, most students have no idea what the SGA does or how the organization can help them overcome their daily gripes.
Later that evening, presidential candidate Nick Vargas basically blamed this on iThe Beacon/i, complaining that as a senator, he had never been asked by reporters for an interview.
This is not a valid excuse. If Vargas was actually concerned with addressing the student body, he could have gone to iThe Beacon/i with information himself, perhaps written an opinion article or found other means. He pointed out that he was only asked for an interview once he decided to run for president. Let's hope that's not the reason he's running.
Vargas' opponent, incumbent Scott Fisher, has done nothing but make himself approachable over the past two years. I remember meeting Fisher my freshman year in the halls of Piano Row as he went around introducing himself to students; instantly I knew that if I needed someone to address an issue, the president was there for me.
Fisher has since kept in weekly contact with iThe Beacon/i, even contributing a few opinion articles, detailing his initiatives so the student body could be kept abreast of the issues. His Facebook groups promoting things like gender-neutral housing, medical amnesty and tuition affordability further spread awareness.
This has drawn criticism from many current SGA officers, who claim Fisher has overstepped his position on multiple occasions, especially regarding tuition affordability. Spectator and Class Council Secretary Dylan Joffe pointed out several times that Fisher's tuition campaign was deemed "unconstitutional" because it didn't go through the proper SGA channels before being presented to President Liebergott and the Board of Trustees.
And I'm writing to ask: So what? The SGA might not be approachable to the average student, but Scott Fisher is. In cases of time-sensitive issues like tuition affordability, we don't care if the proper channels are followed, we care that something gets done.
So it seems to me, based on what was addressed at speech night, a vote for Vargas is a vote for strict policy and a president either unable or unwilling to reach out to the community, while a vote for Fisher is a vote for a president proven to get things done with student support.
i- Doug Paul Case
Writing, literature and publishing major
The writer is a candidate for writing, literature and publishing senator./i