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U.C. Candidates Debate Visions For Leadership

Consensus Backs 'Student Advocacy'

By Peggy S. Chen

Most of the 12 candidates for Undergraduate Council president agreed at a debate last night that "student advocacy" should be the primary goal of the council.

But candidates disagreed on the best way to address the issue.

Twelve candidates are running for president and five for vice president. Only one candidate, Adam D. Green '99, was absent from the debate, held last night in Boylston Auditorium.

Candidate Justin E. Porter '99 advocated a better working relationship with the administration.

"We want to work with the administration. For too long, the Undergraduate. Council has been antagonistic towards the administration," Porter said.

Candidate Joseph G. Cleemann '98, advocated a more militant strategy to deal with the administration.

"I don't propose to kill anyone. I don't propose to threaten to kill anyone, but people act when they're afraid," Cleemann said.

But Albert S. Lee '98 said that it is more important for the council to work towards attainable goals. He wanted upper-class access to Annenberg Hall, universal key-card access and fewer representatives on the council.

"Push for the smaller victories, not the big issues," he said.

Candidate David S. Goodman '97-'98 said the council needs to work on getting immediate results, and he used a walking toy dinosaur to emphasize his point.

"This shows how quickly [the council] moves on student responsiveness," he said, as the dinosaur plodded across the podium.

"If we're trying to get over there, with me, look at how simple it is," he concluded, picking up the dinosaur and striding across the room.

Eric M. Nelson '99, a Crimson editor who is chair of the council's Student Affairs Committee, emphasized his vision of uniting the council to work towards important goals.

"Our platform is very clear and very practical," Nelson said, listing Core reform, grading reform and concentration advising as his major issues.

Benjamin R. Kaplan '99, criticized some of his rivals for endorsing vice presidential candidates, attempting to force certain ideas onto the council and otherwise politicizing the race.

"By electing a running mate, the tendency is to want to push an agenda, maybe one that other council members don't want to work on," Kaplan said. "The president should be more of an arbitrator and a unifier."

Eli W. Bolotin '98 agreed, and said the atmosphere on the council needs to be changed.

"The way we don't want to go is where the bickering comes in. Ethan and I share the idea that we've got to lighten up," he said of himself and his running mate, Ethan Russell '98.

Philip R. Kaufman '98 said he wanted more social events and ser- ,vices. However, these changes can only come with a $5 increase in the council's term-bill fee, he said.

"I Know, I'm the first candidate ever to run on a tax increase," Kaufman joked.

Current Vice President Lamelle D. Rawlins '99, who is now running for president, said all the other candidates were simply co-opting her own positions.

"I'm pleased to see that many candidates seem to be picking up on many issues that I've been working on over the last year," Rawlins said. "Everyone who has followed the U.C. knows of my record in fighting for students."

Others emphasized their own unique qualifications for the job.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth A. Haynes '98 talked about her experience as a leader both inside and outside of the council.

"If you haven't been both panes of the glass, you don't know what it's like on either side," Haynes said.

Candidate William P. Pyonteck '00 said his main advantage was his total inexperience.

"I am a complete outsider. I am the only one who is truly open-minded," he said.

Like their presidential running mates, the vice presidential candidates also said they supported relevant student issues.

"The U.C. is kind of like a boxer. It's contending on all the student issues," said Selamawi H. Asgedom '99.

"I want to get bring students into the ring. Then we can start pounding, pounding out the issues," he continued, jabbing at the air with his fist for emphasis.

Russell agreed. Factionalism on the council makes it inefficient, he said.

"They get in the ring and start knocking each other out. They don't get anything done," he said, continuing the boxing metaphor Asgedom had used.

Michael A. O'Mary '99 spent most of his allotted time praising running mate Rawlins.

"I am running with Lamelle for vice president because she is clearly the best candidate for the job," said O'Mary, when asked why he wanted to be vice president.

Joseph A. Sena '99, a Crimson editor and Campus Life Committee cochair who is running with Nelson, said he also wanted to bring the council together.

"From day one, I have experienced the divisiveness on the council," Sena said.

The words of Haynes' running mate Mark A. Price '98 seemed to summarize the positions of many of the candidates:

"We want to build a student council that students give a damn about," Price said. "They all should have someone on the council to talk to and someone who cares.

"I Know, I'm the first candidate ever to run on a tax increase," Kaufman joked.

Current Vice President Lamelle D. Rawlins '99, who is now running for president, said all the other candidates were simply co-opting her own positions.

"I'm pleased to see that many candidates seem to be picking up on many issues that I've been working on over the last year," Rawlins said. "Everyone who has followed the U.C. knows of my record in fighting for students."

Others emphasized their own unique qualifications for the job.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth A. Haynes '98 talked about her experience as a leader both inside and outside of the council.

"If you haven't been both panes of the glass, you don't know what it's like on either side," Haynes said.

Candidate William P. Pyonteck '00 said his main advantage was his total inexperience.

"I am a complete outsider. I am the only one who is truly open-minded," he said.

Like their presidential running mates, the vice presidential candidates also said they supported relevant student issues.

"The U.C. is kind of like a boxer. It's contending on all the student issues," said Selamawi H. Asgedom '99.

"I want to get bring students into the ring. Then we can start pounding, pounding out the issues," he continued, jabbing at the air with his fist for emphasis.

Russell agreed. Factionalism on the council makes it inefficient, he said.

"They get in the ring and start knocking each other out. They don't get anything done," he said, continuing the boxing metaphor Asgedom had used.

Michael A. O'Mary '99 spent most of his allotted time praising running mate Rawlins.

"I am running with Lamelle for vice president because she is clearly the best candidate for the job," said O'Mary, when asked why he wanted to be vice president.

Joseph A. Sena '99, a Crimson editor and Campus Life Committee cochair who is running with Nelson, said he also wanted to bring the council together.

"From day one, I have experienced the divisiveness on the council," Sena said.

The words of Haynes' running mate Mark A. Price '98 seemed to summarize the positions of many of the candidates:

"We want to build a student council that students give a damn about," Price said. "They all should have someone on the council to talk to and someone who cares.

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