After interviewing all five Student Body candidates, the seven writers of The Little Green Blog have unanimously endorsed Will Hix '12 for Student Body Vice President. Our opinions on presidential candidates were weak and varied, leading us to the conclusion that none were worth explicitly endorsing. Below are our main observations on the election, which will take place tomorrow.
1. Little is at stake in this election. Snowballing after the election of Travis Green '08, Student Assembly has seen sharp declines in membership, visibility, and credibility on campus. At this point, self-motivated private students are more able to accomplish policy goals and represent campus constituencies than the President herself. Accordingly, there seems little practical difference between the various election outcome scenarios, and therefore little reason to care about the campaign at all. SA Pres. Tim Andreadis '07 ran on gender-neutral dorms and anti-sexual assault policies. Green '08 ran on releasing the tension in student government that Andreadis created. In this election (as in the last one) there is no similar big issue being considered by student government (a surprising fact given the swift and dramatic nature of changes around campus), and hence there is no policy decision for voters to make with their ballots.
2. There was a remarkable amount of positive convergence between the candidates on core SA issues. Eric Tanner '11, Uthman Olagoke '11, and Hix all explicitly agreed to give up SA's role in programming (e.g. Mr. and Mrs. Big Green) in order to concentrate on student services and representation (two focuses that all candidates agreed upon). This is a big step in the right direction because in the last couple elections, the role of advocacy and programming vs. services in SA was a major political cleavage. The election of pro-programming and pro-advocacy candidates led to the present failures in SA's credibility and legitimacy; only through leaders dedicated to services, representation, and efficient government can SA's reputation be restored.
3. Why Hix? LGB was impressed by Hix's resume showing involvement in many student government organizations and his knowledge of all their inner workings. Since the Vice President is SA's chief administrator, these experiences are crucial, and since he is only a '12, they are also impressive. His record of accomplishments as the Student Services Committee Chair in SA evidences his project-managing ability, a skill sorely lacking in SA since the graduation of Corey Chu '08 and Neil Kandler '09. We believe that Hix's policy ideas (like ending the prorating of damage charges in dorms, bringing governance committees back under SA's umbrella, and empowering the SA membership) will dovetail nicely with the platforms of all Presidential candidates and will enable Hix to be one of the most effective Vice Presidents in recent memory.