Last year controversy surrounded the Student Government Association (SGA) election. The 2010 student government presidential election ended in a two-week period of appeal, postponement, an SGA Senate vote and finally a run-off electing seniors Liz Brodsky and Mike Newberg. Last year many senators believed the unprecendented course of the election to be embarrassing, no one can guess the fate of this year’s election. It is evident, however, that the 2011 presidential tickets are no less qualified or prepared than the tickets of 2010.
The elections will be held from Thursday, March 31 at 4:00 p.m. to Sunday April 3 at 9:00 p.m. on the Colgate Portal. This year the two tickets are juniors Michael Miller for President and Andrew Schlenger for Vice President, versus juniors Alex Restrepo for President and Mike Frank for Vice President.
Although both presidential tickets have been heavily involved with SGA since the beginning of their time here at Colgate, Michael Miller’s passion for, and commitment to, the association is overwhelmingly apparent. Miller, one of the 2011 candidates for SGA President, served as a senator during his first year at Colgate. In his sophomore year, he was a member of the Student Affairs Board and this year was elected Speaker of the Senate.
“I am proud of the work of many senators and look forward to finishing the semester on a high note,” Miller said.
Miller and Schlenger have created an eager platform aimed at several major areas of improvement for the university and campus life.
One area they hope to change for the better is “professor accountability to students,” they therefore suggest requiring online syllabi for all courses, mid-semester class assessment sessions and timely return of student assignments, ideally before the subsequent assignment and unquestionably before the end of course withdrawal.
The platform also emphasizes sustainability by working with Buildings and Grounds to “replace all incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs.” They hope to begin composting in all Colgate-owned properties on Broad Street and donate leftover food from these houses to charity.
Additionally, Miller and Schlenger hope to create a brand new Cruiser GPS service allowing students to track the Cruiser by smart-phone or computer, and a Redbox DVD rental system in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop).
Both campaigns emphasize Greek Life as a major point of their platforms. Miller and Schlenger address the need for another sorority on campus to better the Greek community and intend on working to improve the relations between the administration and Greek Life.
They encourage students to visit www.votemillerandschlenger.com for further information regarding their platform.
Restrepo and Frank share an equally comprehensive platform for the 2011 election. Emphasizing their teamwork and past experience, they said, “We believe we are the most qualified candidates for this position due to our experience, dedication and strong ties with the administration.”
Both members of this ticket have had great involvement with a wide range of organization on this campus. Collectively, Restrepo and Frank represent members of Brothers, Phi Kappa Tau, Residential Life, Link Staff, Africana, Latin American, Asian American and Native American (ALANA) Center, club soccer, Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and WRCU 90.1 FM. They have earned such SGA positions as Senator, Liaison to Student Groups, Policy Coordinator of Greek Life and Policy Coordinator of Diversity.
Restrepo and Frank’s platform is founded on “getting students what they need and want.”
Specifically, they hope to change the school’s policy for the Colgate Activities Board (CAB). They recognize the 2009 losses to the CAB budget and “will fight to restore” it in order to bring back the ability “to sign big name artists to Colgate.”
Like Miller and Schlenger, Restrepo and Frank have big plans for the university’s Greek community.
“Our official policy on Greek Life is expansion.”
They believe bringing a new sorority to this campus will encourage the administration to create a larger and more open Greek system.
An innovative aspect to their platform is the creation of a Student Leaders Council. The goal of this organization would be to allow members of different student groups to come together in order to discuss and influence SGA policy. Restrepo and Frank hope that this council will allow for more input from the student body when enacting campus policies.
Although both Restrepo and Frank are studying abroad, they maintain a close relationship with the campus. They are connected to and uphold communication with members of the student body. Restrepo and Frank hope that students will visit their website www.votealexandmike.com, and welcome questions and ideas via www. facebook.com/votealexandmike or e-mail.