The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus endorses officer positions

Each student senate candidate brings a special set of skills, ideas and abilities to the table. This year’s election, however, disappointed the populist whims of the board because of a lack of competition in the political arena – Alex Mace is the only candidate running for student body president and Katherine Ladner is the only official candidate for secretary.

Despite running unopposed, Mace has a strong platform that focuses on communication and community. He intends to institionalize town hall meetings, require all Student Senators to attend at least one meeting per semester and reduce abuse of on-campus listservs. He also plans to reach out to the business community, allow in-and-out access to SMU football games and push for graduate access to all sporting events.

However, Mace’s platform has a few issues that could be corrected. While his platform is aggressive, it is too optimistic in its approach. Reaching out to the business community is not as simple as distributing posters to vendors. Institutional and cultural change will need to occur before SMU football fills stadium seats once again. Moreover, SMU IT is already working on an email opt out option – something that Student Senate has little to no control over.

All in all, Mace is an excellent candidate – despite aggressive aspirations in his platform – and has the support of this board.

However, the real competition is a race to who will be Mace’s right hand man. There are three candidates running for student body vice president: Cohagen Wilkinson, Zane Cavender, Travis Carlile.

Wilkinson brings experience to the race – he is the only candidate that has been a Senator. Although this board agrees that Park N’ Pony has logistical problems, the current Cox Senator – as seen through much of his platform – takes an unrealistic approach in solving the university’s parking problem.

Carlile has a long resume of high school and college achievements and has connections to the SMU football team as a former player. But, Carlile’s lack of knowledge about the internal affairs of Senate is troubling to the board. As vice president, he would have to oversee the Senate chamber and a lack of technical knowledge could be problematic.

However, with due respect for Wilkinson and Carlile, this board endorses Cavender as the best candidate for vice president.

While critics have mentioned his lack of Senate experience, this board finds that an outsider enjoys certain advantages – a unique insight into how Senate can be improved from within. The board also believes that his role as vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee gives him additional perspective on perhaps the most important issue to the student body – Senate funding. He plans to appeal to different organizations and institutions at SMU to increase the amount of money that is allocated to Senate to distribute to a growing number of student organizations.

This is an issue that is largely ignored by the other two vice president candidates. While all candidates agree that campus spirit, transparency and communication need to be improved, Cavender is the only one who addresses a recent trend: a decline in the amount of allocated funds campus organizations are given.

Cavender wants to create a yell leader position, which would have little impact among cheerleaders, Mustang 11, pomsquad, band and the Peruna handlers. It would only add another redundant position to an already apathetic student body.

Ladner, the candidate for student body secretary, brings extensive experience and knowledge about Senate to the table. She has served as a Senator and chair in her two years at SMU. The board appreciates her pro-communication platform that seeks to deliver Senate minutes and other pertinent information to the student body. Although she is the only official candidate for secretary, An Phan, a current Dedman I Senator, is running as a write-in candidate.

Because of the specifity of Ladner’s plan, especially in comparison to Phan’s platform, this board supports Ladner’s candidacy in the upcoming elections.

This year’s elections disappoint the board because of a lack of political discourse and communication. However, the candidates for the presidency and secretary bring experience and workable platforms to the political bargaining table. As for the vice presidential candidates, this board strongly supports Cavender’s bid because of his unique stance on finance – the only true differentiation between vice presidential platforms.

This board wishes each candidate the best of luck not only in the upcoming election but also in their future pursuits. 

More to Discover