The Student Association presidential field has been narrowed to a battle between Kris Hart and Steve Sobel in a runoff this Wednesday and Thursday. Both candidates offer leadership experience that would benefit the SA, but The Hatchet endorses Steve Sobel because of his recognizable campus charisma, knowledge of the University and position as a SA outsider.
Students, either through apathy or bad judgement, have reelected the major players in last year’s scandals. We now need a strong president to offset the influence of the politicos in the Senate. Sobel’s candidacy, void of political alliances, is the best choice for students wishing to see any kind of SA reform. Sobel’s strong will and awareness of, but not involvement in, SA politics will enable him to balance leadership with cooperation.
Student housing will be among the most debated issues next year as administrators are actively planning for three new residence halls, one possibly in Virginia. Sobel’s experience in the Residence Hall Association and Community Living and Learning Center enables him to comprehensively understand the situation and convey student opinion to the administration.
While Sobel does not have as much SA experience or Senate relationships as Hart, this is positive in this year’s election. Sobel must be strong in his efforts to reform the SA and keep his word to call out the improprieties of the more established and experienced senators. Voting for Hart, on the other hand, plays into the hands of those that wish to deceive students into making it seem like no SA reform is needed. The actions of the SA under Hart would most likely be kept within a small group of friends that would run the executive and the legislative branches.
Hart brings SA experience to the table in the runoff, but his ties to last semester’s scandals are still questionable. And as a sophomore, he still has time to advance his SA career.
Both Sobel and Hart agree that some kind of ethics committee is needed in the SA, but only Sobel seems committed to making sure this happens. Hart focuses on transparency while Sobel focuses on accountability. It is difficult to have any sort of transparency if senators are not held accountable.