The Scout’s editorial board – composed of the editor, managing editor news editor and head copy editor – interviewed all candidates for student body president and vice president. A majority vote was taken, and the winner of that vote was endorsed.
We did not endorse in the treasurer or secretary positions, as those campaigns are unopposed.
Traditionally, the role of student body vice president is a vague one.
Constitutionally, the person in that position is charged with internal matters, running meetings and sitting in on committee meetings.
Some years, the vice president manages those roles while also pushing an outside agenda.
It is in those years that Student Senate is most productive.
The exception to that rule would be this past year, which has simply been unproductive. Because of that, Senate is going to have a lot of catching up to do next year, and an internally and externally productive vice president is going to be key.
That vice president is going to be one of two people, either Devon Schulz or Derek Cantu.
The two have similar experience on Senate. They both have enough drive and desire to do the job remarkably well.
But between the two, Cantu better fits our definition of a student body vice president. He is endorsed.
In our minds, the construction of Senate is doing well. It underwent a huge renovation in August 2009, and it’s been working since. We’d like the internal focus to be filling all the seats more than any thing else.
He wants improvements to the Michel Student Center and reinforcing the need to continually post grades so students don’t find out they’ve fallen behind when it’s already too late to catch up. He also plans to follow up on the many resolutions that have ended up in a sort of administrative purgatory.
Those things will be key, especially with a number of Senate resolutions floating around either not responded to or unfinished.
We’re not saying here that the vice president needs to be the face of Senate. That role goes to the president. But having a vice president who people know and who the administration respects can mean a lot for the organization in any year, but especially after such a dismal year.
His opponent Schulz is calm, cool and collected as she discusses her desires for next year.
First on her agenda will be instituting a senator training program before the first meeting. She wants them to understand the rules of order, how to write legislation and how to handle themselves in meetings.
That’s an outstanding idea.
It seems that by the time younger senators are comfortable speaking up, it’s too far in the year. And then a lot of them leave after that first year, meaning there’s not always a whole lot of continuity.
Regardless the outcome of this election, that’s something we expect to happen.
As to external matters, she would defer and support the president.
We asked her a second time if she had any external goals at all.
She said no.
Technically speaking, that’s not inappropriate for the vice president. But for reasons already mentioned, we don’t think that’s the best way to fill that role.
And if this year has taught us anything, it’s that having a vice president with his or her own thoughts and opinions and goals can help ensure balance in the general assembly.
Cantu’s ability to handle the internal matters while willingly being another connection between the students and administration is going to help progress Senate.