North Carolina Newspapers

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BOARD EDITORIALS
CALABRIA FOR SBP
Matt Calabria possesses the experience and knowledge necessary
to communicate effectively with University, town and state officials.
Following an unprecedented, massive tuition
increase, another incident in what has become
an annual summer reading controversy and a
legislature that is increasingly skeptical of University
administrators, the next student body president at
UNC-Chapel Hill must focus his
or her attentions on the realm of
external relations.
Whether interacting with the
legislature, navigating murky
town-gown relationships, pres
suring the UNC-system Board of
Governors or serving as an effec
tive member of the UNC-CH
Board of Trustees, effectively
managing relationships with the
surrounding political institutions is a must for the
next student body president.
Student body president candidate Matt Calabria
has the experience and knowledge that are funda
mental prerequisites to filling that role adequately.
Calabria has demonstrated an unrivaled passion
for and understanding of the politics in which
University affairs are mired. He has a concrete plan
for government relations that covers all bases, from
the UNC-system Board of Governors to the legisla
ture.
His UNC Lobby Corps will address the needs of
students at all levels of governance, and his plan to
issue a Statement of Students’ City Planning
Priorities will set forth a clear strategy for dealing
with students’ priorities in Chapel Hill and Carrboro
so that future student body presidents have a path
to follow
While Calabria’s strength is his ability to represent
the University and the student body, the consistency
and depth of his platform show that he would not lose
track of in-house chores while watching over the
yard. He would not lose sight of priorities on campus.
His platform reads like a laundry list of items,
large and small, that will improve the livelihood of
WHY NOT WEST?
Lily West is a powerful speaker and has student interests in mind,
but she has demonstrated a poor understanding of external relations.
As a student body president candidate, Lily
West has some notable advantages over Matt
Calabria. She has more of a presence as a
speaker, and the endorsements she has received dur
ing this campaign attest to her particularly extensive
efforts on behalf of minority affairs on campus.
But alarms sound after examining her platform.
By promising to “lobby for permanent student seats
on boards and commissions for Chapel Hill-
Carrboro and Orange County,” West is ignoring some
of the legal and logical issues involved.
Beyond the fact that a guaranteed voting council
seat might not be legal, students haven’t earned a
right to any reserved positions in local government,
especially given that only 329 people ages 18 to 22
voted in the 2003 Chapel Hill municipal elections.
West wasn’t one of those 329 people, despite the fact
she’s registered in Orange County.
Another question arises with West’s plan to trans
form student government so that it acts as a “hub” for
other organizations. Student government shouldn’t
be the umbrella for student organizations on campus
that’s more the territory of the Campus Y.
But her major weakness doesn’t show up on paper.
If she truly had intended to prove to The Daily Tar
Heel Editorial Board that she was the best person for
the job, she should have been able to demonstrate a
greater awareness of both Chapel Hill’s and the
state’s governing bodies than she did.
During her interview with the board, West dis
turbingly failed to name a state legislator whom she
hoped to work with— either supportive of or antag
onistic toward the University. She also failed to name
a Chapel Hill Town Council member with whom she
would like to work, even though she has cited coun
EDITOR'S NOTE: The above editorials are the opinions of solely The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board, and were reached after open debate. The
board consists of seven board members, the editorial page associate editor, the editorial page editor and the DTH editor. The 2003-04 DTH
editor decided not to vote on the board and not to write board editorials.
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students at UNC slowly but surely. From Calabria’s
pursuit of legal file-sharing to his plan to create a
“cheat sheet” for student organizations seeking fund
ing, he has developed a comprehensive plan to
improve life for the entire student body.
His determination and work ethic cannot be
understated if Calabria promises to finish the job,
the editorial board is sure that he will get it done.
But a Calabria student body presidency would be
lacking if he failed to implement the myriad ideas his
competitors brought to the table.
For instance, the creation of a Center for Creative
Student Leadership is a staple from the platform of
Calabria’s runoff competitor, Lily West. It is in the
best interest of the University to devote a significant
investment of time and resources into developing
the leadership potential among its student body.
Likewise, Matt Compton’s Students’ Speaker
Bureau is essential to restoring the University’s image
across North Carolina while taking a student’s per
spective to communities from Murphey to Manteo.
Compton’s idea for the Carolina Parents Network
would be an invaluable aid in applying pressure to
unsympathetic legislators, and his unique commit
ment to public service, exemplified by the N.C.
Service Corps, deserves to live on regardless of who
wins the student body presidency.
If Calabria wins Tuesday, he must work tirelessly
to ensure that the ideas and hard work of others are
not left behind once the race draws to a close.
Students have the ability to tap a forceful trustee,
an informed voice that will represent their interests
to town and state governments more than ade
quately when they log into Student Central to vote
Tuesday.
But students must vote at http://studentcen
tral.unc.edu to make certain that voice is presented
loudly and clearly next year.
To that end, The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board
emphatically endorses Matt Calabria for the office of
student body president.
Matt Calabria
cil member Bill Strom on her platform.
Her plans for the student body and for UNC are
ambitious, but when it came time for her and Calabria
to show whether or not they really had their facts
straight, she proved herself to be woefully lacking.
She admitted she had ample opportunity to edu
cate herself about the candidates in last year’s munic
ipal elections, but she didn’t. She told the editorial
board that she felt uninspired to become informed.
West ended up not voting in the contest, the
results of which were destined to have major impli
cations for the University.
How will students, as Chapel Hill and Carrboro
residents, be driven to vote if their leader has shown
a lack of will to do so?
Both in platform and in person, West has proven
herself to be a highly intelligent individual. If she
should want to gain a commanding knowledge of
local government and the N.C. General Assembly, she
would be able to do so. However, the question
remains as to whether she even wants to learn.
If external relations weren’t going to be so impor
tant to the University next year, West would have
greater viability as a student body president.
But all signs point to external relations again being
integral, and whoever wins will have the.opportunity
to play a significant part in the University’s commu
nication with both town and state government offi
cials. Calabria has West beat in terms of preparation
for and approach to this potential dialogue.
Lily West, as one of the last two hopefuls standing
in the runoff election, has the natural qualities
required to be a decent student body president. But
she has a long way to go before she reaches her full
potential.
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Opinion
READERS* FORUM
West knowledge wrongfully
called into question
TO THE EDITOR:
I was interested to see The Daily
Tar Heel Editorial Board criticize
Lily West’s knowledge about town
and state government issues. As
the head of Students for a
Progressive Chapel Hill, the only
UNC student organization dedi
cated to dealing with local govern
ment issues, I am proud to offer my
complete endorsement of Lily to be
our next student body president.
Lily has the best platform for
giving students a voice in local
decision making. If she is elected,
she is going to create an Advisory
Committee to Local Government
to communicate regularly with
members of the Chapel Hill and
Carrboro town councils.
This shows Lily’s greater vision
on two points. First of all, she is
going to take a proactive approach
to pushing student interests. That
way, when issues come before the
council that affect students, stu
dent advocacy will come from a
position of much greater legitima
cy, because they will have already
built strong relationships with
elected officials. Making relations
with Carrboro a priority also shows
West’s greater vision.
Thousands of UNC students live
in Carrboro, yet it often has been
been ignored by the executive
branch. If Lily is elected, she will
change that.
ON THE DAY S NEWS
“The margin is narrow, hut the responsibility is clear
JOHN F. KENNEDY, u s president
EDITORIAL CARTOON
COMMENTARY
SBP also-rans should keep
on contributing to UNC
I was at The Daily Tar Heel’s
student body president forum
a few weeks ago, listening to
each of the eight candidates on
the ballot deliver their shtick.
I went with the idea of decid
ing who to vote for, but that
became less important as the
forum progressed. I realized that
every candidate had at least one
great idea that would make UNC
better.
In front of me were some of
UNC’s most talented and moti
vated students. Only one of them
would be elected, and that sad
dened me.
Not because I’m some sap who
hates to see anyone lose. Not
because I think we should have
eight co-presidents. I was sad
because I knew that when the
elections came to an end, many of
the candidates’ great ideas the
ones that would benefit the
University probably would be
lost when they lost.
That’s what tends to happen,
after all. Sometimes the winner
adopts a few planks from com
petitors’ platforms. For the most
part, however, the ideas are lost
with the election.
Unfortunately, the candidates’
leadership often is lost too. I’m
not sure why, but student body
president “losers” tend to disap
pear after the election.
Some take positions in the win
ner’s Cabinet serving with varying
degrees of success. Some take on
positions with student organiza
tions. A few graduate early. Some
drop off the student activity radar
completely.
That’s what bugs me the most.
Every year a pool of dynamic
leaders and great ideas disap
pears in a flurry of ballots.
I know that pouring one’s ener
gy and soul into a campaign and
Lily also has a good plan for
working with the legislature. She is
going to revive the Carolina
Lobbying Corps. This will allow
members of the student body to be
trained to become effective lobby
ists on issues of concern to stu
dents in the General Assembly.
If Lily is elected student body
president, I am confident that stu
dent government will have the best
relations with influential elected
officials at both the local and state
levels that it has ever had. Please
join me tomorrow in voting Lily
West to be our next student body
president.
Tom Jensen
Sophomore
Political Science
Calabria is in tune with
graduate student interests
TO THE EDITOR:
Asa graduate student, it is easy
to overlook the student body pres
ident elections. Can I even vote?
Even if I can, why should I? What
impact does the election have on
my life?
Well, I am here to tell you not
only that you can vote, but also that
one candidate above all others has
the platform to make life easier for
graduate students on campus.
Matt Calabria’s platform shows
that he understands the issues
important to graduate students.
He has a plan to enrich our expe-
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2004
ESI
STEPHANIE HORVATH
NOT THE BELL OR THE WELL
losing is tough. I also know that
sometimes people are tempted to
step back, focus on something
smaller and regroup.
Nevertheless, I hate to see all that
talent and potential to improve
the University just evaporate.
The “losers” still have the same
great leadership skills, large
groups of supporters, inspired
ideas and strong drives. They also
have one thing the winner doesn’t
have: focus.
The student body president’s
term is not a straight line of
marking platform goals off a
checklist. He or she often deals
with unexpected issues think
this summer’s reading selection
controversy that can distract
from the platform.
But the “losers” can put all
their energy and devotion into the
issue that matters the most to
them whether that’s creating a
lobby corps to send to the N.C.
General Assembly, researching a
sexuality studies major or finding
parking solutions without
those major distractions. They
still can leave a great and impor
tant mark on the University.
If you need a jump-start, I have
a few suggestions for the “losers.”
I’d like to see Matt Compton
create the Carolina Parents
Network to help fight tuition
increases or start the Students’
Distinguished Speaker Series to
enhance intellectual life on cam
pus.
rience at Carolina by making it
easier for graduate student spous
es to get basketball tickets. His
focus on increeising teaching
Eissistant stipends demonstrates
his emphasis on protecting our
wallets.
And his work to free up parking
around campus libraries demon
strates his commitment to making
Carolina the best academic envi
ronment it can be for each and
every student. This attention to the
issues important to graduate stu
dents indicates why Matt received
the most votes at the recent
Graduate and Professional Student
Federation candidates forum.
Yes, you can vote this Hiesday
and if you are a graduate student,
the choice is clear: Matt Calabria
for student body president.
Christopher Brook
Professional Student
School of Law
TO SUBMIT A LETTER: The Daily Tar
Heel welcomes reader comments.
Letters to the editor should be no longer
than 300 words and must be typed,
double-spaced, dated and signed by no
more than two people. Students should
include their year, major and phone
number. Faculty and staff should include
their title, department and phone num
ber. The DTH reserves the right to edit
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Publication is not guaranteed. Bring let
ters to the DTH office at Suite 104,
Carolina Union, mail them to P.O. Box
3257, Chapel Hill, NC 27515 or e-mail
them to editdesk@unc.edu.
By Britt Peck, bmpeck@email.unc.edu
It would be great if Faudlin
Pierre would work with
University transportation officials
to improve U-bus service.
If Laura Thomas lobbied for
more transparency and accounta
bility in University spending, it
would affect the entire campus.
Matt Liles’ idea of a leadership
workshop for student organiza
tions can be done with or without
the presidential title and could be
a godsend for struggling student
organizations.
John Walker’s Office for Out
of-State Student Help Center
would go a long way in helping
students navigate issues particu
lar to nonresidents.
I’d like to see Ashley Castevens
determine the feasibility of free
testing for sexually transmitted
diseases or push for the creation
of a lobbying seminar.
Finally, I want all the former
candidates rallying students
against unreasonable tuition
increases and making student
voices heard at meetings of the
UNC Board of Trustees.
No matter who emerges victo
rious Tuesday, I hope the runner
up will not stop serving the
University just because he or she
didn’t win the prize.
All of the candidates were
quick to tell voters during the
election that they love UNC, have
tons of experience and want to
make UNC a better place.
Well, none of that should have
changed. They certainly weren’t
in the race for prestige, resume
building or killer basketball tick
ets, right?
The winner isn’t the only one
who can affect change. I want to
see the “losers” step up.
Contact Stephanie Horvath
at shorvath@email.unc.edu.
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