February 20, 2012

Gitlin ’13 Will Run Unopposed for Student Assembly Presidency

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Student Assembly Vice President Adam Gitlin ’13 is running uncontested to be S.A. President for the next year. No other applicants for the position turned in the materials by the necessary due date for the position of Monday at noon, according to S.A. President Natalie Raps ’12.

Gitlin said that he learned he would run unopposed Monday afternoon.

“Up until this afternoon, I was planning on having an opponent and running against someone,” Gitlin said.

Gitlin is the brother of Ben Gitlin ’12, the Editor-In-Chief of The Sun.

This is the first time a candidate for president of the S.A. has run uncontested since the opportunity to vote for the position was extended to the entire student body in the spring of 2009, according to Corey Earle ’07, associate director of student programs and an unofficial University historian. All three presidents who were popularly elected –– Rammy Salem ’10, Vince Andrews ’11, and Natalie Raps ’12 –– ran competitive campaigns, Earle said in an email Monday.

Gitlin said he will still run a campaign in order to remain in touch with the student body’s opinions and needs.

“I still want to speak to students and student organizations and hear their concerns and what they want the priorities of the Student Assembly to be next year,” he said.

Gitlin said that as president of the S.A., he plans to continue many of the programs the body began this year. He named among his priorities streamlining funding for student organizations on campus, working on student health and safety projects, collaborating with administrators and student leaders on the University’s newly outlined diversity initiatives and working on S.A. outreach efforts.

Gitlin said he will wait for the new S.A. to be elected before planning its larger agenda. Campaigning for the 25 other S.A. positions will begin Wednesday, and voting will begin March 5.

Raps praised Gitlin, saying he has the experience to capably lead the organization.

“As S.A. Vice President, [Gitlin] has gone above and beyond,” Raps said. “He’s worked with his own initiatives, and stayed committed to furthering the entire assembly. I couldn’t have done a lot of [what I did] without him.”

She cited specific S.A. programs spearheaded by Gitlin as examples of his leadership qualities, including Cayuga’s Watchers –– a proposed program that would hire student sober monitors –– and the Learning Collabrative on High Risk Drinking.

“He’s had the S.A.’s support to address an issue that students as well as administrators really want to see fixed,” Raps said. “I know the S.A. is in safe hands, which is all you can really hope for in an organization.”

Roneal Desai ’13, the S.A. minority liaison at-large, said he considered running for president of the S.A. early last fall, but decided against it.

“Being on the S.A. for my third year, I began to see exactly what role I thought I played, what I enjoyed doing and where I thought I could make an impact,” Desai said. “I wanted to work legislatively — on the SAFC and byline funding — and with minority groups on campus, to make sure they get the help and support they need.”

Desai said he would not have been able to tackle the issues he wanted to if he had been elected S.A. president.

“The president is a very administrative role; it’s primarily the liaison between the S.A. and upper-level administrators,” Desai said. “It’s a critical role … but wouldn’t give me the role I wanted.”

Desai said the lack of opposition to Gitlin is a result of multiple factors, including the composition of this year’s S.A. He said, for instance, that there were fewer juniors in the organization than in previous years.

Desai also said that many people on the S.A., including himself, probably found their niches in other areas. Still, he said Gitlin is more than qualified to be president.

“[Gitlin] has the ability as a student to bring the student perspective to the administrative table,” Desai said. “Other student representatives are very skilled in technical expertise but don’t understand the full pantheon of student issues as [well as Gitlin] does. I’m extremely happy to see he’ll be leading the assembly next year.”

Original Author: Emma Court