Editorials

Editorial: Wertheimer for UCS president

By
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Several of this year’s presidential candidates are dedicated members of the Undergraduate Council of Students who have served in leadership positions and taken the lead on important initiatives. But of the four candidates in the running, Clay Wertheimer ’10 is the best choice.

As the primary liaison between students and the administration, the president’s most important function is to respond to student concerns and deal effectively with the administration. As communications chair for UCS, Wertheimer has done an impressive job of keeping students informed and engaged.

The recent upswing in the council’s approval ratings owes in part to Wertheimer’s achievements, including a revamped Web site, a widely distributed midyear report on UCS’ progress and an open membership policy. By publicizing the council’s work, Wertheimer has helped to counter UCS’ image as a sometimes insular and opaque body.

Paris Hays ’10 offers an exciting list of ideas, but his lack of involvement with UCS over the past year may hinder his efforts. Mike MacCombie ’11 and Ryan Lester ’11 served this year as vice president and student activities chair, respectively. Both of them have considerable experience working with the council, but we question their ability to articulate a concrete vision.

Wertheimer’s platform is realistic and straightforward, if somewhat modest. The elimination of course prerequisites and increased student input in University spending decisions number among the more ambitious proposals, in addition to smaller, more immediate suggestions for improving student life. Out of all of the candidates, Wertheimer is in the best position to get his agenda passed.

Mokoro ’11 for UCS vice president

Diane Mokoro ’11, a UCS at-large representative, stood out among the vice-presidential candidates. The vice president’s job involves keeping the committees on track and on deadline. It helps to be outgoing and in touch with members’ concerns. Mokoro fits the bill. In particular, she will be able to recognize and address sources of friction in UCS, given her work on an internal review survey that gauged members’ satisfaction with the council.
Mokoro plans to better publicize UCS’ work and to expand Ratty office hours, through which UCS members go from table to table soliciting feedback about the council. These goals, along with her record of reaching out to students beyond the council, make Mokoro the most promising candidate for vice president.

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to editorials(at)browndailyherald.com.