February 11, 2003

C.U. Republicans Unveil Platform

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Last night, the Cornell Republicans officially unveiled their political platform, “A Contract with the Cornell Community.” The contract is a detailed outline of the organization’s objectives for this academic year.

Overall goals of the platform include securing representative power in the Student Assembly (S.A.), proposing several policy changes and restoring students’ faith in their representatives.

“The title for this platform is a play off of the 1994 National Republican Party movement that called for a dramatic transformation of how the party was operated,” said Ryan Horn, chairman of the Cornell Republicans.

According to Horn, the organization hopes to model its platform after the success of the 1994 movement, which resulted in a Republican sweep of the national elections that year.

The platform is broken down into approximately six parts.

First, the Republicans seek to establish an Ithaca/Cornell Police-Student Advisory Board. This group will work to find and implement on-campus safety improvements that include reduction of bias-related incidents against all Cornellians, coordination of events with fraternities and sororities and a guarantee of safety on Slope Day.

Second, the organization announced their support for the maintenance of the Joint Assemblies Multicultural Issues Committee, which will work closely with various groups to finance cultural programs and promote greater cultural appreciation and understanding among students.

Third, an independent election committee comprised of Cornellians from different political organizations on campus will be created. This development will advocate honest public representation by implementing non-partisan election rules. Proxy voting in meetings will be banned, and a zero-tolerance policy in regards to violations of spending limits will be established.

Fourth, a resolution encouraging all organizations to pursue community service and use incentive-based funding will be passed. The Republicans’ “Finance Flex Plan” will allow individual students to have more power in dictating where their student activities fee will be allocated and how their money will be spent.

Fifth, the Republicans will work toward urging Cornell to find economically efficient, environmentally considerate ways of funding the renewable energy endowment. This encompasses concerns regarding ResNet, bandwidth policies and other technological issues.

Finally, an independent task force will be created to oversee the financial procedures of the S.A. and to end the pattern of waste, corruption and abuse of influence, according to the Republicans.

“We have had grievances raised by previous candidates in regards to the corrupted and scandalous affairs of the S.A., but most were silenced when offered committee seats,” said Elliott M. Reed ’05, vice chairman of the Cornell Republicans.

Overall, the Republicans are working toward the goal of making the Student Assembly more accountable to students.

“We are on the verge of a complete historic event, and we must get back to the issues that affect people’s lives on a day-to-day basis,” Horn said.

“We are trying to reach out to various representative groups on campus, including sororities and fraternities, minority groups and academic organizations. The CU Republicans is not antagonistic, discriminatory and does not threaten any group on campus,” said Darren Rumack ’04, secretary of the Cornell Republicans.

The Cornell Republicans’ announcement of their new platform aims to draw more attention to the immediate student issues that are in need of reform.

“The candidates of this spring’s elections will all be facing a much more competitive environment. We hope to address issues students are dealing with right now, issues that the S.A. is currently not dealing with or hasn’t done enough about. We want to concentrate on local, campus issues that affect the daily lives of students,” Reed said.

Archived article by Jennifer Chen