MCGB’s purpose eludes students this election season

Marvin Center Governing Board Chair Mike Petron is seeking another term in office, but his name will not appear on the ballot in next week’s election.

Petron said he considers himself a write-in candidate. He said he did not run officially because a recent illness made it impossible for him to obtain the necessary signatures.

“Three hundred and fifty signatures are a hell of a lot of signatures. I just couldn’t get it done,” he said.

“I am disappointed personally that I am not on the ballot,” Petron said. “I don’t have to comply with the (Joint Election Committee) rules now because I am not a registered candidate.”

Petron said MCGB has four slots available and no graduate students are running, which he said poses a problem.

“There are five open at-large slots. However, one must be obtained by a graduate student,” Petron said.

Undergraduates Andy Malowitz and Mark Richman are on the ballot. Neither Malowitz nor Richman were present to speak at the JEC candidates’ forum Tuesday night and Richman was unavailable for comment after the forum.

“Very simply, the (Marvin Center) is the place where the theater department does its business,” said Malowitz, who is active in the theater department. “We practice there. If you have someone who knows the intricacies of theater, there should be a place for the theater department on the MCGB.”

But one freshman decided to throw his hat in the ring after he learned about the group.

“Before the Student Association elections this season I had no idea that the students had any control of the goings-on in the Marvin Center,” freshman Eric Haskell said.

Later, Haskell said he wanted to get involved and would stage a write-in campaign for the board.

“I think it’s too bad that there’s not as much interest in the MCGB as in other things because obviously this is an important organization that has control over what we do every day,” Haskell said.

“No one would run a write-in candidacy if they didn’t care,” said Malowitz, in reference to Haskell and Steve Cady, who also said he will stage a write-in campaign for the governing board.

Students said the MCGB race is surrounded by mystery.

“I had no idea that we had a Marvin Center Governing Board,” freshman Jordan Paul said. “What do they do?”

Petron agreed that students are not educated about the MCGB.

“People don’t know what the MCGB is to begin with,” Petron said. “You want to get proactive people in there and it’s tough. If students are not working to get on to the board, they might not work on the board.”

Candidates in uncontested races spoke Tuesday night. But the MCGB race was the only contest for which no one spoke.

Stephen Press was one of the few non-candidates present at the forum Tuesday and said he was disappointed neither registered candidate was present.

“They should’ve at least stopped by, introduced themselves and told us about their ideas, because right now no one who has an idea about the MCGB elections were able to come tonight,” Press said.

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