Like many of the organizations on campus, one of the responsibilities of The Daily Aztec is to endorse candidates for office as Associated Students executives. The next year will be pivotal to the future of San Diego State, not only because of the restructuring process of A.S. representation, but also because of the transition to the new Aztec Student Union, which will occur in 2013.
Our selection of candidates is not taken lightly — we address several dimensions of each candidate’s experience and skill, written statements and debate performance to ultimately form our selection. Below is our evaluation. Make sure to vote on WebPortal between now and Thursday. Your vote matters — for next year and the future of SDSU.
A.S. President Rob O’Keefe
The selection of O’Keefe is a no brainer. O’Keefe already has a vast amount of experience acting as the current vice president of finance. As a school reeling from budget cuts across the board, we find it reassuring to vote for a candidate with an extensive history of fiscal responsibility. We don’t envy O’Keefe — there are going to be a number of tough calls to be made in the not-too-distant future, and we students are going to need a tremendous leader to face those challenges. But it only takes a few minutes of talking with O’Keefe to realize the sheer amount of leadership potential this candidate has.
We’re confident O’Keefe has the ability to continue the positive policies A.S. has fostered throughout this year, all while addressing the corporation’s shortcomings.
Vice President Channelle Mcnutt
It’s impossible to delve very far within A.S. before bringing up Channelle McNutt’s influence on the goings-on of our student government — and we believe for good reason. McNutt exudes a resounding sense of poise, professionalism and passion unmatched within our student government. She’s also a remarkable speaker, which should prove essential in next year’s battle against increased budget cuts.
And while she’s fully capable of representing the needs of the entire student body, as A.S. Diversity Commissioner she has proven herself a worthy representative of minorities, which should prove useful during A.S. restructuring. For a 33,000-student campus, it’s easy for the concerns of minority groups to be lost in the fold. We have no doubt McNutt will strive to communicate the interests of both the whole of the student body and the concerns of minority organizations.
VP of External Affairs Tom Rivera
What’s immediately striking about Tom Rivera is the sheer amount of energy he seems to have for the job. A charismatic individual, Rivera is an excellent, intelligent speaker and, we believe, a friendly guy. As someone who is an ambassador for our school, confidence is of the utmost importance. And his solid amount of experience doesn’t hurt either: As an active member of the External Affairs Board and A.S. Council, he undoubtedly has a depth of experience that is well-suited for the position.
VP of Finance
This one’s a tough call. Many of the candidates running for VP of Finance seem to have a thorough amount of experience pertaining to the job. Unfortunately, there were an enormous amount of broad claims in each candidate’s statements. Michael Kemmer, for example, ran on the platform of “changing AS from a spendthrift to a saver.” Eric Anderberg promised to “ensure your fees are spent appropriately” and William Pixler, who has experience being a part of Associated Students “for over a year on various boards,” emphasized the need for a plan to stop the increase of our tuition.
It’s unfortunate that more details of a financial plan for next year weren’t revealed to potential voters. While we believe Anderberg has the most amount of experience and know-how, we would also like to suggest he remains more open to students about where he plans to make cuts, where and how he plans to place and gain more funding and how he plans to more openly communicate with students — especially when students are the ones responsible for funding A.S.
VP of University Affairs
This is where we take a break from the slate. What we’re looking for here is diversity, both of experience and representation. Morse has participated on the A.S. President’s Cabinet, Rules Committee and the University Affairs Board, and has had membership positions as part of Peer Leadership Consultants and the Educational Opportunity Program. While we recognize the leadership capabilities of the other candidates, it is our opinion that Morse best represents the most balanced selection of students.
Leadership, after all, is about more than how loudly one shouts into a microphone during a debate, or one’s ability to create a list of goals, however idealized; it’s the character of a person, their ability to connect with others and their tenacity and passion to accomplish a realistic set of objectives. These, we believe, are all traits Morse possesses, and we look forward to seeing what he will accomplish in the future.