SGA Sound-Off: Presidential Election Campaigns Have Begun, Ready Your Votes!

SGA Presidential Election Season is upon us! From posters of candidates texting with hillz to t-shirt spray-painting parties — nothing quite like SGA Elections at Midd.

Despite the smaller number of candidates in the running than the past (a discussion for another time), this election is sure to be just as interesting! In case you haven’t heard (aka. gotten facebook invites to their campaigns or seen the SGA email) the two presidential candidates are Ryan Kim ’14 and Charlie Arnowitz ’13 (Arnowitz’s additional site here). From noon Thursday, May 3rd- noon Friday May 4th, they’ll be going head to head for the presidential title as Middkids head to the polls (go/vote). Last election we reached a record turnout of 40%… let’s see if this election can break it yet again (really hope so, come on Midd, use your votes!!)!

Based purely off their online presences & letters of intent, here’s a quick recap of the candidates (to see full platforms, visit respective pages for Kim and Arnowitz). This is by no means comprehensive, and we encourage you to also check out these two events to meet & hear more from the candidates, as we’ll be doing before casting our votes:
SGA Presidential Candidate Forum, Sunday (Today!!) 2:30pm, @McCullough
Candid Candidates, Tuesday, 7-9pm, @Gifford Amphitheater

Onto the intro summaries…

Ryan Kim ’14 clearly has the hipster swag thing going for him, along with a strong background in working with the administration and town (most notably with the Business Development fund, which recently passed). He states, “I’m running for President because I believe that I have a deep understanding of the pulse on the campus that I feel empowers my perspective to ask the right questions, and hopefully to create positive change.” His agenda mirrors this statement, asking lots of questions  ranging from town gown relations (suggesting possible business mentoring/internships, student representative to the board) to revitalizing the SGA (with open office hours, communication) and the Finance Committee. Kim also discusses matters from gym hours & equipment, printing, enhancing the the grille/juice bar, to examining work with the administration & administrative policies (such as 1% art in public spaces, EdLibery, Bookstore). He encourages people to think creatively about potential solutions, “What I hope you have found here is not a list of my solutions to a laundry list of complaints, but a thought-provoking investigation of unanswered questions.”

Charlie Arnowitz ’13 totally has the text with hillz territory solidified, and also holds a strong background in leadership with student organizations: from being Hillel President, Student Democrats Vice President, and a former SGA senator. He states, “I’m running for SGA President because I’d like to give back to Middlebury… I’ve got both the experience and the heart to lead next year’s SGA.” Arnowitz’s platform ranges from student life (making McCullough a real student center with bringing back Pub Night, more couches, etc), student activities streamlining and cooperative efforts, diversity issues (sponsoring of Jus Talks) & social house issues) to technology (printers, laundry, wireless, banner, cleaning supplies), to academics (incentivizing public professor reviews and curricular reform with Pass/Fail and distribution requirements), social responsibility (2016 neutrality – focusing on cuts, not offsets)), and SGA transparency and reform (better social media presence, website, review of constitution).

Both candidates have solid and diverse platforms, seen in the repeat addressing of many top issues (enhancing/improving student life and social spaces, student org dynamics, improving the SGA, printers, etc.), and splintering in others (town/gown relations for Kim and Academic issues for Arnowitz). It will be interesting in the forums to see what else is discussed and which issues are given most priority by the student body. So stay tuned, read their platforms, get to the forums, and Go/vote!

Any links to material that we’ve missed ? Leave a comment and we’ll be sure to update!