Eighteen Uppers submitted the required 500 signatures and campaign platforms on Monday to kick off the race for Student Body President. Major platform topics of this year’s candidates include campus sustainability, improvements to the Underwood Room and stronger ties between Student Council and the student body. To ensure that candidates are up to date on campus issues, Student Council President Tantum Collins ’08 will hold question-and-answer sessions throughout the campaign process. “Last year I had no idea what I was doing. [This year] we are trying to keep the candidates better informed,” he said. As advice for candidates, Collins said, “The most effective method of campaigning is to talk to people.” Five of the 18 candidates are girls and three are day students. Two, though, are choosing an interesting path in seeking office. William Thompson-Butler ’09 and Trevor Gulick-Stutz ’09, both presidential candidates, plan to run together. Thompson-Butler said, “We decided that by running together and pooling our ideas we would be able to make a better platform.” Gulick-Stutz said, “With our priorities set, we know what we need to do and we will be able to get more done in less time.” Krystle Manuel-Countee ’09, the only new Upper in the race, said, “I know that one of the things that is on people’s mind is that I’m a new Upper and that I don’t have experience.” However, Manuel-Countee hopes to prove her doubters wrong. “I have had leadership roles back home in Zimbabwe, I attended Andover’s summer session, and I have been to Student Council meetings this year,” she said. “I feel that I bring a different perspective to the table…sometimes it [can be] good to change things up,” she continued. In his campaign, day student Ishan Kapoor ’09 plans to “keep it simple.” “Everyone wants these big changes that aren’t going to happen for a while,” he said. With several recent successes under Student Council’s belt, candidates are proposing solutions for what they feel are small inconveniences on campus. “All the ideas I’ve heard have been very well-founded. It is always a fun, interesting, yet nerve-wracking process, so we’ll see how it goes,” Collins said. Larry Zhou ’09 is proposing online course selection. He said that it would “make the process [of course selection] much smoother and reduce the class time that would be lost to the process of filing through add/drop slips.” For some candidates, convenience during test-taking is one of their priorities. Presidential hopeful Tom Foley ’09 wants to get bigger desks in the gym for taking exams and Kapoor would like to install bigger clocks. Carolyn Brown ’09, another candidate, with two years of experience on Student Council, hopes “to get report cards sent to students online versus mail, which will save time and paper.” In regards to her platform, she said, “I have learned that if you focus on a few things you can get them done.” Candidate Kyle Rogers ’09 expressed his excitement for the race. He said, “I’m definitely passionate…this is something that I’ve always wanted to do.” Presidential candidate Rekha Auguste-Nelson ’09 was also excited, but with some reservations. “I’m really excited, but I’m not planning on reinventing myself for the elections,” she said.