Editor’s Note: The executive alliance candidates were judged based on their interviews which were conducted by the Texan Editorial Board as well as their performances at the SG Executive Alliance debate held Monday night. Voting takes place Wednesday and Thursday at utexasvote.org.
Student government at this University is broken. Representatives are not especially in tune with their constituents’ needs and the entire operation has — at times — broken down into a petty, cliquish drama. To many students, the whole organization has delved into something of a joke. Sadly, the humor hasn’t ended with some of the candidates running for executive alliance (president and vice president, respectively).
The ticket of Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu, Texas Travesty editors both, a publication of satire and general lampoonery on campus, has made some good points (their unwavering support of domestic partnerships for the same-sex partners of University staff is a particular bright spot), but we simply cannot take them seriously unless they take themselves more seriously.
Next, the ticket of David Maly and Stephen Svatek, respectively, has left us underwhelmed. Their platform is basically nonexistent apart from trite talking points, a point that was driven home to us by Maly’s vague answers in his interview with this board.
This leaves us with the ticket of Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi, respectively. We lend our support to Jones and Dargahi not because we were blown away by them but because we have been convinced that they would do the best job once in office.
Jones and Dargahi certainly would not need on-the-job training. Between Jones’ experience as both the speaker of the SG Assembly and chief of staff to former Student Government President Horacio Villarreal and Dargahi’s experience in the other echelons of student organizations, they have an unmatched resume that shows they know how to get things done. We also believe they sincerely have a strong desire to both preserve the good in this University while correcting the bad.
However, a number of similarities between Jones and Dargahi and previous administrations concern us. Simply put, we do not see many meaningful divergences in which Jones and Dargahi could succeed where Rady and Strickland have not. Not to mention the fact that they seemed hesitant to give a firm stance on campus carry. Finally, the platform of Jones and Dargahi, “Let’s talk Texas,” relies too heavily on outside input and too little on their own policy approaches and leadership skills.
In his interview with this editorial board, Jones repeatedly noted how important it was to have a vociferous and effective voice for the student body given this period of tumultuous change for the University. Indeed, with a new University president coming on the heels of a new chancellor, new regents, a new mayor and a new governor, the team at the helm of SG will have a lot on their plates. Compared to their competitors, Jones and Dargahi are the only team truly capable of the job.