Election 2015

By Raymond Fang | Produced by Forrest Sill | April 23, 2015

Moose Party
T.K. Appreciation
Very Good Slate
One
Open Minds
United Progress
Undergraduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees
Graduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees
Community and Government Liaison to the Board of Trustees

Moose Party

Luke Wetterstrom

Vice President of Administration

Owen Grimm

President

Amay Sheth

Vice President of Student Affairs



“Our slate platform is to make the University of Chicago suck less. We’ve lost 20 years in a row; we think in the 21st we’ll experience more success. More importantly, after the big vote counting scandal last year, we’re really out for blood this year.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“The trauma center is a very serious issue, we’re not a serious slate, so we’re not going to comment on that.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“Same answer [as above].”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“No comment.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“No comment.”



Interview

Emiliano Burr/Chicago Maroon

T.K. Appreciation

Pearson Goodman

Vice President of Administration

Kareem Kebaish

President

Lyle Kim

Vice President of Student Affairs



“Our platform is looking to do things that are reasonable and within our reach. We’re not asking for big things out of the school, we don’t want to make empty promises, so we want to do things like increase the amount of art classes available…dining, we could look into that, we’re not going to promise a huge project.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“I’d love a trauma center, I want to emphasize a trauma center would be great for Hyde Park, but I don’t think student government of an undergrad university can bring a trauma center.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“Indifferent.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“I think every undergraduate institution needs to look into how they’re handling sexual assault on campus, and so I think that’s something that needs to be looked into.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“I think every undergraduate institution needs to be scrutinizing their administration, there’s obviously a lot of things, nothing’s perfect, nothing’s ideal, everything needs to be looked into. More transparency, obviously.”



Interview

Emiliano Burr/Chicago Maroon

Very Good Slate

Holly Rapp

Vice President of Administration

Mike Viola

President

Katherine Shen

Vice President of Student Affairs



“We really want to focus on increasing affordability for students, increasing transparency of the executive slate, dramatically improving RSO support, and to be a very open community-building organization that responds actively to student concerns.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“Our stance is that there has not been a widespread referendum, so it’s hard to actually get a grasp on the student position. I think that yes, we de preliminarily support the trauma center, however we would like to investigate with the administration the real financial cost of that.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“We do support the idea, but a more succinct resolution, like “should we divest or not,” and we believe that would probably pass, in which case it would be our task to represent the needs of the student body.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“The University does not handle it in a way that people are happy with...we really believe that student government’s role is to make everyone else’s role easier, in terms of RSO’s, so if we do our job right, the groups who are devoted to that can do their jobs better, ultimately for a better result.

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“It’s unclear how the University can always respond…I would say that the University’s options are insufficient or poorly presented to the student body.”



Interview

Emiliano Burr/Chicago Maroon

One

Lauren McMann

Vice President of Administration

David Shapiro

President

Chirag Sachar

Vice President of Student Affairs



“We want to shift student government’s focus back to student life, and we want to do that by primarily focusing on more RSO funding transparency, really streamlining the SG website to cater to applying to be a new RSO or applying for SGFC funding, as well as continue current really important efforts dealing with student life, such as enhancing Chicago Life Meetings with added sexual assault awareness programs, and attempting to keep the student life fee as the current level, or lower.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“Yes.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“Yes.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“A big part of our platform is expanding the Chicago Life Meetings further to deal with sexual assault. It’s a big part of Orientation week, they do touch on sexual assault, but…there’s not much. Sexual assault on campus is a huge issue, and we’d love to support that in any way we can.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“We believe there’s more that needs to be done. With bias incidents on campus, often being brushed off and often being written off as microaggressions that should simply be talked through or resolved between the two parties, I think there needs to be a lot more attention paid to how victims are being treated in the aftermath of the situation.”



Interview

Amber Love/Chicago Maroon

Due to illness, Lauren McMann was unavailible.

Open Minds

Asya Akça

Vice President of Administration

Jake Mansoor

President

Anika Tripathi

Vice President of Student Affairs



“Our platform is divided into three main parts: the first being a quest for a more inclusive community, as well as campus life improvement, and the third being University transparency and SG accountability.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“We think there is a very disturbing lack of trauma care on the south side, we are in favor of a trauma care center on the south side, and we are very excited about UCMC’s recent decision to admit 16 and 17 year olds as pediatric patients.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“We believe the University needs to be socially responsible with its money and with its resources, but we also understand the unique restrictions placed upon our University by the Kalven report and the newly issued Stone report, and so we are working with Phoenix Energy Initiative and other RSO’s on a social sustainability fund…this fund would be exclusively for socially responsible investments.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“We believe the University has mishandled sexual assault victims and their cases, and we think there needs to be a conversation, and the University needs to be held accountable for the actions they have taken in the past, or the lack thereof.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“As part of the Chicago Life Meetings, I think it needs to be prioritized that we discuss the resources available when bias is encountered. I think people sometimes consider the Bias Response Team as a joke, and I think people should just understand that it’s a successful program and policy, and I think if people were more informed about the cases they’ve helped mediate, I think people would take it more seriously.”



Interview

Amber Love/Chicago Maroon

United Progress

Alex Jung

Vice President of Administration

Tyler Kissinger

President

Kenzo Esquivel

Vice President of Student Affairs



“The overarching vision for our platform is a student government that is strong, and an advocate for all students at the University of Chicago, graduate and undergraduate.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“Yes.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“Yes.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“The area where there’s a lot of improvement for growth is including survivors in the process, changing the policy moving forward, releasing more accurate aggregate data about reports of sexual assault and sexual misconduct on campus…and improving the University’s Title IX compliance, not just meeting the letter of the law but also the spirit.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“The affirmation of values, say, free speech, while important, also fails to address a lot of concerns regarding how that affects a lot of groups. What people want in those instances is not only affirmation of what values the school is looking for, or endorsing, but rather, the people that don’t get included of what the scope of those values includes.”



Interview

Emiliano Burr/Chicago Maroon

Undergraduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees

Image of Anthony Downer II.

Anthony Downer II


“I am a low-income student, first-generation student of color. I think that those students are not getting enough voice to the Board of Trustees, and cooperation with the other voices that usually get to talk to the board of trustees. I think that’s unacceptable, so I want to increase the amount of students who get to talk through me to the board of trustees. I also want to increase contact between the board of trustees and students through more luncheons and meetings, and more contact information from that limited subcommittee that the liaison sits on.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“I’m in favor. I think that personally, I’m in favor of it, and I think it’s something that our students are talking about, so the board deserves to know what some of the efforts are, and hopefully will push forward for it.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“I’m also in favor of that. I joined the [UCAN] march on Friday, and we walked backwards—which was a little hard to do in shoes that have heels on them—we walked backwards for that, so I’m in favor of that. I think that there should at least be a meeting between at least one member of the board of trustees and the student groups pushing for divestment.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“I think that, since we’re going under investigation and we have our campus climate survey out, the University has to do better, and I think they realize that. I would hopefully want to see where student resources can be consolidated with the resources they get administratively to make sure the board and the administration of the University know that this is a big problem, and it needs to be addressed further.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“As a student of color, it really pains me to see my fellow students so uncomfortable on campus. That’s something I’ve gone through personally, I have definitely gone through those incidents myself—currently, with the one about the poster that was hanging up in South Campus [dining hall] that was a caricature of an African-American woman. Those hurt. So I think that when the administration deals with those, they need to respond quickly, and in the right way. They’re getting better at it, it’s really reactive, but they need to continue to engage with those students on campus.”


Image of Andrew Young.

Andrew Young


“Increasing communication, accessibility, and transparency with the Board of Trustees to better foster relationships on campus and to be able to relay the ideas, thoughts, and concerns of the student body to the board to better inform their decisions.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“My personal opinion on the trauma center is yes, I support the trauma center coalition’s efforts, I think they’ve already won, I think the issue’s over. But I do personally support it. Again, if I’m giving the trauma center coalition a platform to speak to the board of trustees, then in that way, I am advocating on their behalf. But I’m not advocating, I’m not pushing the agenda for getting a Level 1 trauma center, I’m letting them speak to the board. I’m giving them a platform to speak, to interact with the board of trustees.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“As I said, I am personally supportive of divestment, and I would give UCAN a chance to meet with people like Michael Polski and Daniel Doctoroff, and I would give them a platform to speak.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“I met with the head of Phoenix Survivor’s Alliance. Here’s one where I can give a real answer: I think the University’s handling it very poorly because I don’t think that the question is one of advisory when it comes to the University keeping its Title IX obligations, which it’s failed to do. I’m not supportive of how the University has handled sexual assault.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“I think we are improving, I think the University has largely not been very communicative on the issues, I think I am supportive of the campus climate survey, I think that was a good first step. I don’t think the University has been very productive on that.”

Graduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees

Image of Rafadi (Fadi) Hakim.

Rafadi (Fadi) Hakim


“I would like the University to be accountable for the increasing financial burden of graduate education, and to ensure that the University continues to be viable as an option for independent, politically conscious action.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“Yes.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“Yes.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“Inadequate, as of now.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“Inadequate, as of now.”


Image of Eduardo Jr. Arenas Hernandez.

Eduardo Jr. Arenas Hernandez


“So my platform consists of three main ideas. First, is a closer and more horizontal relation between students and the board of trustees. The second one is related to sustainable investment, which is kind of my professional direction in life, so that has to do a lot with my career. The third one is about how to articulate different initiatives between the graduate students and the board of trustees.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“I don’t know if it’s my role as a graduate student to have [an opinion] on this. I don’t know how well [connected], really, is the board of trustees with the hospital.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“I think it’s a really interesting initiative. I think it’ll be hard, given the composition of the board of trustees, taking a stance on that could have an impact on their business strategies. In a way, we are established by the Rockefellers, who used oil, but it’s a hard topic. It’s definitely one I’m very interested in, and I believe that the University of Chicago can send a clear message by taking a stance in divestment, but I’m not really sure about the overall effects, so that’s why it needs to be discussed inside the board of trustees. I’m really excited that the march on Friday got the attention it did, and we will meet with the board of trustees, and I think that’s really important, and we need that kind of dialogue.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“I have no position on that. It’s something that I have been following, since I got there, but I really don’t have a clear position on that, and I expect to talk with the graduate students about this issue, which I can tell you, is not necessarily a priority among the graduate students. It’s not something we are discussing.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“I cannot talk about the University as a whole, as a student of a certain school, which kind of isolates me from whatever happens outside the Harris School, since you live in there, we are 170 students, we have our own administration. But I do think there is much to be done in how students understand bias. We have had minor incidents inside the school, and we have engaged in discussions between students and the perceptions that we have are totally different. For international students, it’s especially hard, because first it’s not speaking in your own language, and then when you come from a different culture, how do you understand race, how do you understand gender roles, and it’s completely different, so I do think that there needs to be a super-huge push from the University as a whole to better engage the situation.”


Image of Katherine (Katie) Perri.

Katherine (Katie) Perri


“My platform is focused on three key areas. The first is ‘one team,’ I really believe that students, administrators, and faculty are all on one team, the University of Chicago, and I really want to build that partnership. The second is data-driven. We really need to gain greater access to data in order to make stronger decisions around investment and prioritization. The third is diversity and inclusion, so really wanting to develop open dialogue among various stakeholders across graduate programs and undergraduate programs, as well as with faculty, administrators, and trustees in order to really facilitate that level of trust we need to have in order to make key decisions with the University.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“I look at it from two different perspectives. Personally, I would obviously love there to be greater resources available, and I think that it’s a key issue within our community. I think in order to build stronger relationships with the local community, that’s something that’s very much necessary. I think from an administrative perspective, I would say we have to be able to utilize our resources in the sense that we are not harming the services we already have. So if we are overextending ourselves in some capacity, then we would not be doing justice to the services we already have and could potentially hurt the programs we already have in place. I think that it’s really thinking about setting up a adult trauma center comes down to strategic planning, and I think the UCMC has taken a lot great initiatives of building out a strategic planning team. They are all former BCG consultants from the health care practice, and I think that’s something that they’re working towards, but it’s not going to be an overnight solution.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“I would personally love to see that happen right away, I think the University, from an administrative perspective, is highly levered—it’s one of the most highly levered private universities in the country, I really don’t think it’s that easy to make investment switches quickly. I think that there are a lot of resources, at Booth particularly, around impact investing. Booth is considered to be a leader in impact investing, and I think it would be great to see that more closely aligned with some of the strategic decisions of how the endowment is currently funded. I think that’s an area that I would like to see not only students take a greater leadership in, but also faculty particularly who have a lot of expertise to be a greater voice, and that’s where it comes back to building better relationships across faculty and students. Students alone can’t do it, but faculty have a different level of influence we need to better be able to utilize.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“I think that the University is making improvements, which are obviously necessary. I think the first step is doing the climate survey, and it’s wonderful to see that change coming out. I think this is another area where the data-driven approach is necessary to be able to take the data from the climate survey, and utilize that information to see a much clearer picture of what this University is doing, both against its own history but as well as it’s peer institutions. And then be able to utilize what are developing best practices for education…it’s not enough to just follow the bare minimum listed from the department of education, but again, it comes back to you have to have a very clear picture of what the issues are right now in the process in order to make those improvements, and you need the data to do that.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“Again, I’m really excited to see that there’s another climate survey coming out around this, and I think that would provide a lot of feedback that is needed in order to develop ways to make this a more inclusive environment, and I think that it’s not just about overt racism, I think indirect racism and microaggressions are key issues that need to be addressed as well. I think that those issues, those experiences, can greatly vary depending on what part of the University you are a part of, and I think one key strategy is to see areas of the school that have significantly stronger results from the survey, and what is it about those particular communities that makes them feel more inclusive, and how do we build that across other areas of the University. It goes back to the data-driven approach.”

Community and Government Liaison to the Board of Trustees

Image of Alvina (Nina) Katemauswa.

Alvina (Nina) Katemauswa


“Administrative accountability and transparency in matters dealing with the University’s relationship with the South Side community.”


Issues

Trauma Center

“I think the University of Chicago is a very powerful institution and has a lot of resources, and that it should extend those resources in order to benefit people on the South Side who need urgent trauma care in whatever capacity the University is capable of doing.”

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“I think that the University has a responsibility to be ethical and conscientious about the way it allocates its resources, and I think that divestment is a very sensible thing for the University to do, as well as the morally correct thing for it to do.”

University's Handling of Sexual Assault

“The University has recently been called into question for violating Title IX, and I think that in order for them to show they are compliant, they need to act on the concerns and demands of sexual assault survivors on campus.”

University's Handling of Bias Incidents and Racial Discrimination

“The University needs to follow up and be held accountable for the promises it makes, so I think it’s a step in the right direction that the University has initiated the climate survey, both for sexual assault and racial discrimination, but I think we should critically examine the results of that data, and make policies that implement whatever the findings are.”