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Six Uppers Remain in Presidential Race

Six Uppers remain in the race to become Student Council President, with the third and penultimate round of voting still to come. Malin Adams ’09, Carolyn Brown ’09, Lawrence Dai ’09, Trevor Gulick-Stutz ’09, Ishan Kapoor ’09 and William Thompson-Butler ’09 all have advanced to the next round. “I couldn’t have done it without help and support from my friends,” said Dai. Adams credited his success to “running a clean and civil campaign” and described his early campaigning as being “more reserved.” Brown said that her ability to get to know people has greatly aided her campaign. “Almost every night, I spend about two hours in Uncommons sitting down and talking with people to hear their ideas,” said Brown. Alessandra Powell ’11 said that a visit Brown paid to her dorm, Nathan Hale, was a major factor influencing her vote. Powell especially liked that Brown took the time to speak with individual voters. Kapoor took a unique direction by gaining corporate sponsorship for his campaign. After calling several companies in December, Kapoor eventually received free packages of Red Bull and arranged to give out cans in exchange for an endorsement. Responding to claims that the practice was unfair, Kapoor said, “I wasn’t trying to buy the election; I’m just trying to show I can get things done. If I can get backing from a major energy drink company, imagine what I can do for Student Council.” Stephanie Schuyler ’08 said that she voted for Kapoor mainly because of the Red Bull. “For me, policies don’t really matter any more. I’m a Senior. I’m not going to be getting any new day student parking next year,” Schuyler said. Osei Wilks ’08 said he looks for someone who has come to Student Council meetings and who has the strongest opinions. Last Sunday, presidential candidates were invited to attend the Student Council meeting. Wilks thought that Adams, Brown and Thompson-Butler had great ideas, but he was especially impressed with Gulick-Stutz. Wilks also said that he was concerned about voter turnout. He noticed that the voter turnout for the first round was significantly low due to its location in Uncommons. According to Student Council President Teddy Collins ’08, voter registration was unavoidable because of a security issue with providing PAnet credentials to an outside website. Voters who did register felt passionate about what they wanted in a president. Eric Sirakian ’10 said that a good president should reflect the diverse community. Students agreed that a candidate’s platform is also important in bolstering a candidacy. The most common aim in candidate platforms is increased communication between Student Council and the student body. Adams, Brown, Dai and the Gulick-Stutz and Thompson-Butler team have all said that increasing methods of communication is an essential aspect of their platform. When asked how they hope to achieve this, Dai suggested modeling Uncommons’ “Fishing for Feedback.” Brown hopes to publish Student Council’s meeting minutes in The Phillipian and to arrange an open meeting with Student Council in Kemper once a term. Gulick-Stutz and Thompson-Butler said that they will publish either a weekly student newsletter or email detailing what went on at the Student Council meeting. Kapoor however, said that his primary focus is ridding PA of its “inconveniences” by bringing water and breakfast into dorms, extending the wireless network and reviewing school policies that he deems unreasonable. While the six victors have long hours of campaigning left, six others are out of the race. Arun Saigal ’09 did not advance to the third round. He described the experience as “awesome,” saying he had no regrets about the race. Saigal added that he just wanted to try and run a positive campaign. “I met a bunch of new people, made a lot of new friends and learned a lot,” Saigal said. Kyle Rogers ’09 also failed to advance to the next round. As part of his campaign, Rogers passed out pencils and SweetTarts. However, he said that he wished he had been more creative with his campaign. Rogers said, “It seemed the kids with the most clever posters did well.” However, Rogers said that he thinks some of the platforms of the remaining candidates are somewhat insufficient. “Some of the ideas are either already being done, some can’t be done, and some are not that useful,” said Rogers. Although unable to publicly endorse a candidate, Collins and Student Council Vice President Jonathan Adler ’08 have been following the election closely. “There are many good ideas out there which Teddy and I have talked about,” said Adler. He advised the candidates to prove that they can actually achieve what they state in their platform. Adler said that he thinks arranging this year’s mid-term club rally even before elections played an important role in his success. Collins said that his best advice is “don’t panic.” He recalled constantly “freaking out” last year about tiny details such as the number of posters he hung up. Collins said that the most important thing is to “do whatever you comfortable doing to get your name and ideas out, so that people know who and what they are voting for.”