Staff Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ on the bill, Clark and Costigan

Today marks the final day of the Student Association runoff elections. Students must choose between two candidates vying for the position of SA president, and two candidates running for executive vice president. Seeing as the candidate pool has dramatically decreased since we printed our original endorsements, The Hatchet’s editorial board reiterates its endorsements for Chris Clark and Ted Costigan.

Presidential hopeful Chris Clark is still our choice for the role of SA president. Clark’s experience and understanding of the SA and student issues make him the more qualified candidate to take on the position. We still look forward to seeing the progress he will make on many aspects of his platform, including expanding study space. He knows the limitations of the president’s office, but his willingness to pressure the administration if it is not acting in the best interest of students is very promising.

Some of Clark’s ideas are not as developed as they could be, and we are aware of the baggage he brings to the role. But we are confident that he will weed through the less-reasoned campaign ideas and focus on the issues that have the greatest impact on students once in office. We are also confident that his time in the role of SA president will not be marred by the issues students raised with his performance as the SA finance chair.

We feel John Richardson is also a formidable candidate for the SA presidency. Richardson would make a very strong lobbyist, and could effectively relay the concerns of students to administrators. But his platform was not as substantial as we had hoped for – and we do worry how students could hold him accountable when he did not give them a number of ideas to work with. Ultimately, Clark is the better choice for SA president.

In the race for SA executive vice president, we reiterate our endorsement for Ted Costigan.

Costigan’s comprehensive platform, knowledge of the SA Senate and willingness to press administrators still make him our first choice for the position. His passion for advocating on behalf of students remains impressive. He is not afraid to be controversial and fight with the University on issues that students want to see changed, though we note that this unconventional method could falter if he is elected. We are still concerned that his passion could easily turn into a gimmick, but as the runoff election ends, we hope this will not be the case.

Amanda Galonek faces Ted Costigan in the runoff election, and while she may make a good EVP, we still believe that Costigan demonstrated a better understanding of the issues.

Along with the choice of president or executive vice president, students also have the option of voting on a proposed JEC amendment to the voting process. If passed, the amendment would allow voters to rank multiple candidates running for office according to preference. If no candidate received the required 40 percent of the vote to win, computers would eliminate the candidate in last place. The last place candidate’s votes would then be distributed to their supporters’ second choices, which they marked on their ballots.

Students should vote “yes” to adopting this change to the election process. The amendment would prevent the elections from going into lengthy runoffs, unnecessarily stretching the election season. Runoff elections have historically seen a smaller turnout from voters. This would ensure that a large number of voters make their initial choices once, and the JEC will announce the winners soon after.

If you have not already cast your ballot, please do so today. Vote “yes” on the election amendment in order to avoid similar runoffs, and choose Ted Costigan and Chris Clark for Student Association executive vice president and president, respectively.

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