Campaigning for the 1998 College Council elections has begun officially. In the next eight days, candidates will prepare for speeches and debates, current Council members will anticipate the end of their terms and Williams students will decide their Council representatives for the 1998-1999 school year.
Self-nominations for Council positions were due Feb. 27 at 4:00 p.m.
The election for the most prominent seat in College Council, the Co-Presidency, will be a race between two tickets; Kate Ervin and Will Slocum will run against Michael Hickey and Matthew Drukker.
Because Michael Hickey and Matthew Drukker turned in their self-nominations after the ballots had already been made up, they will have to run a write-in campaign.
Amanda Cowley ‘98, current Co-President, says the elections this year will be very different from last year because of the late addition of the Hickey/Drukker ticket. “The [late] nomination came in my e-mail as a bit of a surprise. Unfortunately the ballots had already been printed so they will have to do a write-in election. This should make this year’s elections very interesting. The large interest for the Secretary and Treasurer offices will make for an exciting election.”
She says the elections this year will be better organized than last year. “The absence of clear funding and election laws caused the elections last year to get out of hand. This year the laws are much more clear. Candidates may only spend $60 on their campaigns.” According to Cowley, last year candidates put up so many signs that every bare wall at Williams was covered.
Candidates will reveal their platforms in Baxter lounge Mar. 4 where they will make speeches following the College Council meeting.
The issues of this election will be determined by the platforms of the candidates. Many students speculate the major issue this year will concern the party policy. Most are concerned with this pressing issue and will expect to hear the candidates address it.
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Margaret Tedeschi ‘99 said, “I don’t particularly follow the issues, but I will be interested to see how they deal with the party policy issue.”
Christina Chan ‘99 hopes the future Council will improve the Log. “Right now there exists no college scene except for the Log. I would like to see College Council work on having the Log open more often; maybe every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.”
Heidi Montoya ‘01 would like to see the candidates address the issue of funding of new student organizations. She said, “It has always been a problem and it always will be.” This year, the Council has recognized and provided funding for at least 12 new student organizations. Other issues will depend on the candidates.
Montoya said, “The election essentially comes down to who we think will succeed in getting us what we want.”
As new candidates compete to replace them, current Council Co-Presidents, Mac Harman ’98 and Cowley, are feeling both relief and perhaps disappointment as their terms will soon end. When asked to reflect on their tenure as Co-Presidents, both officers were very enthusiastic about their accomplishments.
Harman said, “I’ve had an incredible year working with Amanda; together we were able to accomplish all but one of our campaign goals by the start of classes in September. Throughout this academic year we’ve been able to concentrate on raising the profile of College Council and training others to keep College Council running strong in future years. I’ve been particularly excited about increasing the role of the at-large representatives and by improving communication with opinions@wso and with student-faculty committees reporting on a monthly basis to the Council.” He added, “I think that these changes, and the additions to the SAC programmingâ€”most notably the recent release moviesâ€”have been positive influences on the workings of the campus.”
Harman admits he will feel relief when he hands over his position. “I am looking forward to my e-mail load being reduced from 60-100 per day to a more manageable number; I think I am the only Williams student who gets excited when they don’t have new mail!”
Representative David La ‘01 also spoke very highly of his experience on the Council. He said, “Serving on College Council as a first-year gave me a real insight into college life and the work necessary to maintain and improve student life. I enjoyed working on projects, meeting other people and learning what other students are interested about. Representing my peers on a council of peers is a great experience and opportunity to change things for the better.”
“College Council is a lot of work,” Chan said, “I really admire the people who do it. I think they have done an awesome job this year.”