Thoughts on Presidential Platform Ideas

With the impending Student Council elections, we the Commentary editors wish to present our views on many of the proposals that candidates have put forth. The platform ideas come primarily from the News page devoted to candidate profiles in last week’s Phillipian. Ideas we are skeptical of: Day Student Parking The idea has been discussed in every Presidential election since at least 2005. However, expanding parking is virtually impossible; there simply isn’t the room to do it. The failure of past student governments to this end reflects no lack of effort, just a lack of space. Decrease the Diploma Requirements and the Pace of Life The spirit of the school lies in the motivation of individuals; we come here to push ourselves and excel. However, we feel that despite the validity of this proposal, it will be unattainable due to the increasing demands of students in the college admissions process and the fact that the administration will be very careful and weary of any such changes. More Entertainment Resources in G.W. G. W. is a relatively boring place for students and could use improvement, especially considering the number of Day Students that wait to be picked up there. However, our primary concern with upgrading GW (TV’s, Food, etc) is that doing so would draw funds away from renovations and procurement elsewhere, especially with whatever Ryley Room replacement comes about. We praise the effort to improve student activities, but we hope that the Ryley room replacement is prioritized before GW renovations. Student Body President Day It is safe to say there probably will never be a “Student Body President Day.” Perhaps, however, a student body president could lobby for a Head of School Day every term. Blue Book Reform The Blue Book is constantly changing. Every year, we receive new copies of the book and are notified of the changes that were made. The real question is: what sort of reform? DC reform? After all, there is the reality that the Blue Book overlaps with the DC system; reform of one would require similar changes in the other. Campus-Wide Peapod Service This is a good concept, however, if it entails simply appointing a dorm head to run the service, it is not a huge deal because student council would hardly be involved. That is an individual dorm concern, not a student council one. Later Delivery Hours Here is a good idea that has failed over and over again. A pin from the Daniel Adler ’05 campaign states just as much, but nothing came of it. Perhaps this is because most restaurants close by 11 p.m. Campaign to Say “Hey” on Paths While this is a wonderfully pleasant idea, we wonder what a “campaign to say ‘hey’” really means. Is the Student Council going to put up posters? Host discussions? Perhaps we ought to just be nice to each other, because this idea seems a little odd. Change Ryley/Commons Food Unfortunately, Commons has a limited budget and a large community to feed. We feel that Aramark does a sufficient job with Commons food, but that is a matter of taste. Bandwidth Warning E-mails This idea would involve talking to the Technology Office and understanding how complicated the current network system is. Warning e-mails would be an excessive amount of work to the office since bandwidth data is not as readily accessible as many believe. Many bandwidth monitors already exist; consult the Techmasters if interested. Ideas we support: Mid-Year Club Rally Many clubs would be interested in this, since membership often drifts off as the year progresses. This is also a practical idea, since the Student Council could organize the event entirely itself. We whole-heartedly support this idea. Student Voice Network We have yet to hear much, but a student discussion network online would be easy for students to use and provide an easy point of communication between various groups at the Academy. Shorter Lines at Grasshopper Night Anyone can attest to the painful experience that is getting those tickets. It would not be too hard to automate the system making it better for students. We hope that the experience gets etched into the history books. One Card Key System/Online Sign In It is the little things that count. If the student council could alleviate the concerns of the administration, we believe that this could help students save time running to and fro far away dorms. The same goes for the One Card Key; it makes life easier and would also give parents an easy way to monitor their children’s spending. 2007-2008 Temporary Ryley Room Replacement While we wonder how involved students are in the decision, we are thrilled that students are willing to work with Mrs. Efinger and other relevant offices. The issue is important to the class of 2008; we hope the issue gets the attention it needs. Free Campus Bike Rentals Though it may be complicated to implement, this idea bears a great deal of merit. It might even help get students to class on time. While we are concerned about the possible costs as well as the risk of robbery, we believe that it could help the student body. More Philo Forums This is an excellent idea that would involve cooperating more with the Philomathean Society as the forums are not an incarnation nor under the auspices of the Student Council. The Commentary Editors aim not to attack specific candidates but merely encourage students to look at the campaign beyond the final speeches. Overall, we see the primary problem with many proposed ideas being the sheer lack of research into their feasibility. Many are great proposals and in an ideal world, would be implemented. However, there are a limited amount of resources meaning we must pick and choose. We welcome any responses from the Presidential hopefuls. The purpose of this is to start a campus wide discussion about what would really help us as students. We sincerely hope that the candidates take the time to discuss their stand.