Daily Kent Stater USS endorsements

The endorsements below are the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.

Executive Director

The Daily Kent Stater editorial board hesitantly endorses Bill Ross, running unopposed for executive director of Undergraduate Student Senate. Ross is currently the USS senator for Academic Affairs, a member of Delta Epsilon fraternity and a member of College Republicans.

Ross has several projects he plans to work on if elected, including getting a Kent State student elected in city government, organizing a more aggressive lobbying campaign in Columbus and making the USS book exchange more efficient. Keeping university officials accountable is another one of his priorities, as well as pushing for greater campus-wide USS visibility.

The goals that Ross brings to the table are good ones. He seems to be truly interested in getting a student on Kent City Council, yet he is realistic about it and understands the obstacles that may stand in the way of such a goal. Ross also appears to possess a no-nonsense demeanor that would serve him well in the leadership role he is campaigning for.

However, with all that said, the Editorial Board can only endorse Ross with hesitation.

Ross has some good ideas about what he’d like to achieve as executive director — old good ideas, that is. Ross said nothing that hasn’t been said before by previous candidates. He didn’t seem to have any fresh or original plans.

On the positive side, many of the goals he mentioned have not yet been achieved, so perhaps Ross is the person who will finally fulfill the promises of prior senators.

That certainly would be a refreshing change.

Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs candidate Karli Chaboudy has potential, but lacks any new ideas. We hesitantly endorse Chaboudy for this seat.

The plus/minus grading system has become an educational reality. It’s admirable that Chaboudy will be available to help work out the kinks during its implementation. But we’d like to see more concrete plans: Design a plus/minus informational pamphlet about the system. Incorporate a plus/minus lesson into University Orientation.

Another senator hoping to “improve” University Orientation, Chaboudy hopes to produce LER informational packets that can be distributed to the class. Good idea, but LER information can already be found in the schedule of classes and the undergraduate catalog.

Chaboudy has her work cut out for her to add classes to the list of LERs. The process is more complex than simply pitching a class idea.

She also said she wants to make the LERs more applicable to a student’s major. That goes against the purpose of a Liberal Education Requirement. The courses are designed to broaden students’ horizons, to offer a taste of what is beyond one’s major. It makes no sense to offer major courses as LERs.

Chaboudy seems to have the desire and drive to accomplish her goals, but she needs concrete plans before she can attempt to tackle them.

Business and Finance

The Daily Kent Stater editorial board enthusiastically endorses Kevin Folk for the position of Senator for Business and Finance.

Folk is running on a platform of fairness. In recent years, only three groups have used two-thirds of the Undergraduate Student Senate allocations, and Folk wants to see more groups utilize the student funding available to them. This editorial board believes he has the intentions of leveling the funding field.

Currently, many groups use allocations to bring individuals to campus to speak on the same three or four topics. Folk, a self-proclaimed moderate, said he will use research methods to bring speakers to campus that may interest greater numbers of students.

Folk has a refreshing attitude towards assuming a senatorial position. He has met with current senators to discuss goals, and he openly admits that he will rely heavily on his allocations committee because the position’s responsibilities are “not about him only.” It’s nice to know he recognizes the help others can bring. If elected, we believe he will impressively implement the specific goals he has publicized.

Community Affairs

The Daily Kent Stater editorial board enthusiastically endorses Ross Miltner for Senator for Community Affairs. He is professional, ambitious and prepared to take on the role of Senator for Community Affairs, and he will be able to use his skills to help bridge the gap between Kent State and the surrounding community.

His platform includes attainable goals — something we don’t see too often. One of his big plans is to educate the student body on Campus Link. He feels that if students are better-educated on the subject, they will see that it may be beneficial to Kent State. He wants to hold an open forum where students can have their Campus Link questions answered.

He also plans on forming a selection committee to assist in choosing a student to run for City Council. While this may be a good way to get Kent State’s voice heard, it will be difficult to find a student who will be able to serve the two-year term. It may be wiser to select a member of the Kent community who will not only be able to serve the term, but would also represent Kent State.

All of Miltner’s goals are achievable, and he is definitely ready and willing to make sure he achieves each of them.

Governmental Affairs

The Daily Kent Stater editorial board reluctantly endorses John McConnell for Senator for Governmental Affairs. While he has some experience in government, having worked in the House of Representatives, he lacks the enthusiasm required for a full endorsement.

One of the goals in his platform includes hiring a part-time lobbyist to help fight for Kent State in Columbus. He also suggested doing student voting drives, but this has been done in the past. What we need now is a way to improve the past system. We suggest registering students to vote inside their dorms — bringing the registration to the students is key.

His opponent, Dennis McCann, while ambitious, does not have enough experience with the student senate. His campaign goals include creating a scholarship Web site that includes not only Kent State’s scholarships but also nation-wide scholarships.This type of scholarship search engine already exists (fastweb.com).

John McConnell is the best choice overall, but he will need to step up to the plate and implement fresh, new ideas in order to succeed.

Research and Development

The Daily Kent Stater editorial board whole-heartedly endorses Andrew Meeks to be the “voice of the student body” in the position of Senator for Research and Student Development. His opponent, Edward Anthony, does not have enough specific goals to adequately serve within the position.

If elected, Meeks says he will look into creating focus groups to gain a “personal understanding of what (students) want to see on this campus.” Additionally, he says he would like to host open forums to allow students to voice concerns. It’s nice to know he’s determined to listen.

Perhaps Meeks’ most impressive goal is to build an inter-university senatorial cooperate, which would bring 13 public university student senates to Kent State to pool ideas and learn from others. Such a cooperate would be an amazing resource for the senates and would certainly bring attention to this university.

While Anthony, his opponent, has experience in hosting forums, this editorial board is not convinced that forums and e-mail polls alone effectively serve the students. He did not have specific plans to combat student apathy toward taking online polls.

Meeks has a more decisive platform, and voters should let him implement it. It’s in their best interest.

Student Advancement

Preston Mitchum is the embodiment of the biggest problem USS is faced with: vague goals.

This board does not endorse Mitchum and can only provide advice to the now uncontested seat.

Though faced with the godsend of current Sen. Bryan Guffey dropping out of the race, our board is left with little to work with.

Mitchum is campaigning on a platform with four planks, none of which are sturdy:

Senators have proposed improving University Orientation classes many times before, but Mitchum’s plan includes no specific ideas other than students are getting a “raw deal.” He said the instructors need to be more strict. Well, perhaps we should go a step further: Hold instructors accountable. Put more merit in the course evaluations.

Mitchum seems to think the Student Recreation and Wellness Center offers few programs for minorities. Frankly, this board can’t think of programs missing from the rec center. And if the rec center could use another program, propose it.

This candidate seems to be focusing too much on minorities on campus and not enough on representing the entire undergraduate community. Yes, Oscar Ritchie Hall needs to be renovated — but so do Franklin and McGilvrey. A senator should promote capital improvements across campus.

Ah, yes. Dorm apathy. It isn’t an easy proposition to make students interested in residence hall life. We need specifics: Implement a new residence hall program.

Student Relations

Sunny Brick lives up to her name.

Her personality is quite “sunny;” her platfrom intellect is quite “brick.”

For these reasons and many more, we do not endorse Sunny Brick for Senator for Student Relations.

Brick has a shallow platform based largely around making Student Legal Services more accessible and easier to understand. And while her resumé reads quite well — being actively involved with Delta Gamma, Student Ambassadors, Golden Key and more — it appears that she has learned very little in terms of leadership from these organizations, and her motives for pursuing the position are questionable, leaving this editorial board feeling as if Undergraduate Student Senate might be just another notch on her belt.

Even with the lack of an opposing candidate, we cannot justify supporting her.

She has nothing practical planned for her tenure as a senator. For instance, she wants to improve freshman retention rates, but made no practical suggestion as to how she might achieve this lofty goal.

A senator must show that he or she has previous experience that will transfer to his or her desired positions, as well as a working knowledge of each positions functions. Though Brick has attended USS meetings this semester, as well as talked with current senator Amber Samuelson (senator for Governmental Affairs), she displayed none of these necessary qualities.

Kent State undergraduates are encouraged to write in a candidate for the position of senator for Student Relations.

University Affairs

None of the three students who had applied for this position really seemed qualified for the demanding role of being the senator for University Affairs.

So, in direct response to the lack of a good applicant for the position, a coin toss was used to decide which the board would endorse.

Megan Sedello was a “no” from the beginning. Sedello says she wants to work with Parking Services, but she seems to have no clue about how to go about it. Her lack of planning on how she will follow through with her lofty ambitions is troubling.

When it came down to doing the coin toss, it was between Amy Groya and Janda Wallace. The tension in the air was thick. It was almost like high noon at the OK Corral.

Amy Groya seemed like she truly wants to do a good job, and she still has that enthusiasm that tends to go with being inexperienced. Her lack of knowledge about Undergraduate Student Senate is rather damning when it comes to getting an endorsement.

Janda Wallace won the coin flip — she was heads — so she receives a hesitant endorsement from the editorial board. Wallace plans to “clean up” the Judiciary Advocacy Program and the Senator for University Affairs position. Wallace lacked new goals, which is crucial when running for an office.