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The GW Hatchet

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SA gets record number of pres. candidates

Students will be able to choose the next Student Association president from the largest presidential candidate pool in at least a decade, with 10 students set to compete.

Juniors Clifton Coffey, Glenn Dym, Dan LeClair, Justin Luther, Ruarri Miller, David Rochestie, SA Sen. Lee Roupas (U-At Large), Joe Venti, former SA Senator Omar Woodard and Isaiah Pickens, SA vice president for undergraduate student policy, are competing. Eight candidates ran last year and nine ran in 1992.

The Joint Election Committee, which oversees Student Association, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board elections, released candidate names after certifying petition signatures Monday. Elections will be held Feb. 25 and 26 for the three groups.

“(There’s) been a general increase since I was a freshman … I think it’s happening for a variety of reasons,” said Eric Daleo, SA executive vice president, noting he ran unopposed his freshman year. “The SA is more prominent, (there’s) better communication, more accessible voting, more interest in running.”

“Any idiot can put … signatures on a ballot, but (it) takes extra effort to go the whole way to the top,”Daleo added.

Campaigning began Monday, with students handing out flyers, buttons and food, among other items. Campaign staffers approached students as they were passing by the Marvin Center, looking to gain support.

“The SA isn’t about politics, it’s about people,” said Roupas, whose campaign staff handed out palm cards and Big Red gum in front of the Marvin Center. “We need to include all the students in the SA process, because without student input we are not as effective.”

Some candidates, including Pickens, have Web sites; Pickens’ site is http://www.

Sen. Anyah Dembling (U-ESIA), Sen. Asher Corson (U-CCAS), sophomore Anthony Moniello and junior Edward Buckley are running for EVP. Dembling, an international affairs major, is the only woman running for a top SA position.

“We haven’t had a female EVP in four years,” she said. “People are very responsive when I say that I’m the only female on ballot; they are very excited about it, that it’s not just a game for the boys.”

There are currently two publicized slates running for SA. “The Clean Slate,” comprised of Coffey, Corson and 12 senatorial candidates, is focusing on reforming University-Greek-letter relations and making sure money is allocated proportionately between graduate and undergraduate students. Dym and Moniello have also formed a partnership looking at financial reform.

“We are running together as outsiders who have a lot of similar ideas about what the students want,” Moniello said.

Several candidates said they want to reform the SA and make sure it addresses issues students care about, including student organization funding, 4-RIDE, professors’ salaries and class scheduling.

“My whole campaign is focused around making the SA a stronger student advocate,” Miller said.

“The biggest thing I want to see happen is a revitalization of student life, and make the SA a real student organization that enhances student life for all GW students,” Pickens said.

Eric Wiegand is running unopposed for PB chair, and Tyler Coffey is running alone for vice chair of PB. Sen. Chrissy Trotta (U-CCAS), Aimee Shulman, Christine Caggiano, Adam Murphy, Chris Percopo and Judah Ferst are vying for Marvin Center Governing Board chair.

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