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October 10, 2016

First Year CC Candidates Weigh in on Divestment, SG Pay, Free Tampons

On Thursday, The Maroon sent the following questions to the candidates for Class of 2020 College Council representative.

The candidates were given until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. to respond. The candidates submitted 50-word explanations to the questions.

Ballots will be emailed to first-year students on October 12 at 10 a.m. and polls will close October 14 at 4:30 p.m. Students may vote for four different candidates.

The candidates were also asked to write a 100-word candidate statement.

Adam Berger

Anitej Ramesh

Jay Gibbs

Mike Wiley

Edward Chang

Jahne Brown

Andres Leland

Veronica Myers

Antonia Stefanescu

Zarek Drozda

JP Neenan

Sat Gupta

Obi Kosanachi (Kosi) Achife

Jersey Fonseca

Andy Hatem

Grant Morrison

Teddy Knox

Hunter Brookman


Adam Berger

Global Studies (intended)

Bainbridge, OH

UChicago already feels like home. This class feels like family. You, my new friends, are unbelievably caring and talented. You’re artists and essayists, thinkers and learners. You’re creators, people who bring value into the world.

I am a communicator. As a leader in my high school and in my job as a waiter, I’ve learned to use that trait to solve problems. Now, I want to advocate for you. I will listen to you and be your voice. You have something to say; let me shout it out for you. Let’s be a force for good.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

There is absolutely no need for the University to invest in nations with a record of human rights violations. UChicago claims to be a place of equal opportunity, fair treatment, and classically liberal values. To invest in such nations would undermine this vision.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Abstain.

The language here is unclear; my response depends on the interpretation of the word "obstruct." If to "obstruct" means to cancel speakers, I think such obstruction should be condemned. But if to "obstruct" is to protest, I view such obstruction as a valid act of free expression.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

SG should exist as the voice of the student. There is nothing that a representative of the student body should hide from their constituents.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

I support any effort to provide necessary amenities that doesn't dramatically increase the cost of attendance.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

Politicians at the state and federal level earn salaries because they cannot reasonably hold full time jobs to support themselves. The same cannot be said of members of Student Government. It is a part time position that one undertakes for the good of friends and classmates, not for money.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

Teaching Assistants are often payed pittance to take on extensive teaching workloads (sometimes with hours that approach full-time status). Often, they fulfill roles that would otherwise be occupied by full-time professors on full-time salaries. As such, they deserve some means of improving their employment conditions.

 

Anitej Ramesh

Mathematics

Cedar Park, TX

Student Government in past years has been a disgrace to this student body and campus. Instead of effecting real change for the students of this esteemed university, it has often prioritized the needs of its own governing body over the needs of its constituency. I am dedicated to increasing transparency, eliminating the scourge of resume inflation in SG, and reversing climate change, a task that my opponents have failed to champion. My other economically feasible proposals include building a new L Line through campus, placing curtains on Mansueto, and hosting Bar Night every night. I will set the record straight.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Abstain.

This is not in the purview of Student Government.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Yes, yes.

Every person should be able to express their views in an open setting without being censured.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Transparency is of the utmost importance for any government. Transparency thwarts corruption. Corruption may be rampant in SG ... but how can we know? Set the record straight.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

I support all those with vaginas.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

You actually need to do something to be paid.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

No.

This issue should be left to the Graduate Representatives.

 

Jay Gibbs

Economics and East Asian Studies

Chattanooga, TN

Class of 2020, this year's elections have been about reality. Potential Presidents and Council Representatives alike need to examine both what they ought to do and what they CAN do. Campaigns must be rooted in feasibility. As a candidate, I want to promote achievable modes of transparency, promote existing groups for menstrual products, keep the budget fair for undergraduates, and ensure that racist and predatory fraternities are held to the standards of the proper ones. I won't promise to halve tuition or make water from wine. I will fight for reality and the preservation of our class' voice.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

Not supporting countries that commit human rights violations is a relatively basic choice, but the motivation behind divestment is also important. Divestment shouldn't be purely political; the issues surrounding it affect many students. Conversations need to be inclusive and take into account opinions of ethnic groups the divestment involves.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Yes, yes.

The soul of protest resides within a desire to express one's opinion in contrast to the opinion of another. In order to grant the rights of both parties to express their views, neither should be able to suppress the other. Both can organize without impeding the opinions of peers.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

No.

I support an amendment for the same purpose, but this particular rendition of the amendment does not pay careful attention to special circumstance. Transparency is essential, but detail is just as if not more important. This by-law needs to be modified to adjust for a variety of circumstances.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

My platform includes pushing for use of Student Health Services funds to expand the reach of the Gorilla Tampon Society and allow them to do their incredible work across campus, not just in a couple of bathrooms. This allows for existing framework(s) to expand instead of making new ones.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes.

This initiative allows for two problems to be addressed. One, this allows low income students who would otherwise need to find jobs to serve as representatives full time. Two, this recognizes the tremendous effort put forth by students who often work harder than (and accomplish more) than full time administrators.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

The NLRB has ruled that working or teaching graduate students are employees and thus subject to the rights of employees. Having the right to collective bargaining and unionization is key to major sure that some graduate students aren't marginalized and discriminated again.

 

Mike Wiley

Public Policy

St. Louis, MO

At the end of breakfast last week, I stood up and told everybody, "I'm heading back home." I almost corrected myself; it was the first time I had ever referred to 'home' as anywhere other than St. Louis, MO. So why am I running? I'm running for everybody who sees this school as home, or anybody who wants to. Home isn't a perfect place. There will always be cleaning to do. But together, we might just make this place a little nicer, a little warmer, a bit more like home.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

Other universities have always looked to us as a symbol of education done right. If we started a trend of standing on the side of human rights, we stand a chance at making a real difference in the world.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Yes, yes.

Some people have terrible opinions. Sometimes those people speak on campus. Shouting them down or making threats of violence does nothing but prove them right. If you disagree with a speaker, take up a fight of ideas. Write for the Maroon. Make a speech. Prove them wrong.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes. As long as the recording is not secret (illegal by Illinois law), the Council should not have any reason to shield the public from something of public concern.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

Although I don't have personal experience with this necessity, I believe in relieving the burden for people who deal with things that I don't, however possible.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

Every cent that goes toward paying SG members is not spent on our most important programs, like the Uncommon Fund and Sexual Assault Awareness.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

I happen to agree with the National Labor Relations Board; these people are employees, not students. And if unionization is necessary for just compensation, then I support it.

 

Edward Chang

Economics

Beijing, China

Hey Class of 2020,

My name is Edward Chang, and I'm running to be your class representative.

In my decade at the International School of Beijing, I lost my circle of close friends about every three or four years because they would move on to a different country for their parents' jobs. These moments of loss have helped clarify what matters most to me, and in turn, have shaped my ambitions for our school: a home for everyone, regardless of background.

Find out more about my platform at www.facebook.com/bereadyvoteeddy

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

Any country with a clear record of human rights violation should be condemned. In this case, divesting isn't so much a political statement on the University's behalf as it is a remark on what it means to uphold the rights innately given to us at birth.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

Unless the obstruction affects the speaker's personal safety, the University shouldn't be able to condemn students. Inherently, protesting is a form of free speech, and I believe that it promotes greater debate on issues. Only through open discourse will we able to work towards common understandings.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Currently, students have the right to attend College Council meetings, and that right should be extended into the digital world so that a larger number of students can follow meetings. With that being said, I would want this bylaw to require the Council's approval before recording could begin.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

This really shouldn't be a question at this point.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Abstain.

While I don't exactly think that a position a student voluntarily runs for should necessarily have compensation attached to it, I'm also fortunate enough not to be working jobs on campus. Thus, I believe that I do not have the insight needed to truly take a position.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

I believe that unionization of graduate students gives them the fundamental right to negotiate for better wages and healthcare that they deserve. Given these rights, graduate students would be able to truly focus on their loves-- teaching and learning. In turn, this would benefit the University and greater community.

 

Jahne Brown

Political Science

Louisville, KY

Hello Class of 2020, I’m Jahne Brown. I am extremely passionate about activism and the inherent right of all students to attend a school that is both inclusive and challenging. In high school as president of the Black Student Union, I was an activist who organized around protecting marginalized groups. As a student government representative, I will build on this experience with a platform centered on transparency. Specifically, I am advocating for administration office hours, a State of the Union like address, a quarterly forum with the provost and president, and several more Climate Surveys with higher student turnout.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

Although UChicago claims to be politically neutral, where we invest is indicative of where we stand. It’s time to stop standing with injustice. With that said, as a representative I would advocate for a divestment referendum.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

This resolution is more of an attack on student activists than it is a support for freedom of speech. Protesters contribute as much to the “marketplace of ideas” as controversial speakers do. The first amendment protects a person’s right to speak, not the right to be heard.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Many candidates, including myself, centered our platforms on transparency. However, transparency isn’t just about the relationship between students and administrators. Anyone advocating for administration accountability, should also be advocating for transparency within student council.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

I obviously support free sanitation pads for people who menstruate. However this issue has been framed in trans exclusive ways to pander to women. Women are complex individuals with a wide range of concerns, and I worry that this has become the “Woman’s Issue” of the academic year.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes.

Executive slate should be open and accessible for people of all backgrounds. Members work the same amount of hours a week as a part time job. For it to be possible for low income and working students to participate in executive slate, a payment plan has to become a reality.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

I stand with the independent federal agency, the National Labor Relations Board, who ruled in August that graduate students have a right to unionize.

 

Andres Leland

Political Science

Wichita, KS

My name is Andres Leland and I'm running with #KJVA for College Council! As a Latino and Kansan, I value caring for my community. The phrase “Mi casa es tu casa” taught me the importance of connecting with others and fostering open communities. Thus, I'll focus on making our campus a gateway to the community by promoting better student-employee relations through surveys and employee-student meals and engaging with neighborhood-businesses by expanding the Maroon Dollar’s usage. I also support working with student activist groups and groups focused on creating better non-binary/transgender housing policies.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Abstain.

I would support a resolution that proposes divestment from corporations that commit human rights violations. There can be ethical companies in countries that commit human rights violations. The acts of a powerful few should not be accepted as the acts and ideas of a whole country.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

Everyone should have access to free speech including protesters. Using serious threats and violence to undermine free speech, however, should be condemned.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Students have the right to know what is said in the council especially since the discussions and decisions that occur within the council can affect thousands of students. Moreover, this ensures that council members are more accountable.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

I support free sanitary pads and tampons for all people who need them for health purposes. Better access to basic needs helps students be more comfortable and better focus on school, work, and/ or service to others

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes.

I would support a payment program as long as it does not cause executive members to feel pressured to make decisions that the university administration wants them to make. If students are paid they are more likely to be more dedicated to government work thus promoting a better community.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

If the university is going to act like a corporation then graduate students should have the right to unionize.

 

Veronica Myers

Political Science and Public Policy with a Human Rights Concentration

Camarillo, CA

My name is Veronica Myers and I am part of the #KJVA slate running for Class Council. As a bisexual female, I know firsthand what it’s like to not see yourself represented in positions of power, so it is imperative for me to make sure all voices are equally represented. I hail from Southern California, a place that directly suffers from the consequences of climate change, which pushed me to focus my platform on sustainability. The university needs to be held to higher standards of energy efficiency and responsible consumption through investment in both sustainable resources and local businesses.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

There is no monetary value or material good that could possibly justify investing in a country that violates and infringes upon the rights of its people. As a country founded upon the principles of inalienable rights and personal freedom, it is entirely hypocritical and unacceptable for us to do so.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

This university prides itself on open dialogue and freedom of expression. Because of this, condemning students for exercising their rights is regressive and goes against everything the University claims it stands for. Whether protestor or professional speaker, each have their own valid forms of expression and should be viewed equally.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

The role of the College Council is to accurately express the views and voices of its constituents, and thus so the student body has every right to know what is occurring during its meetings. Accountability, transparency, and trust are imperative characteristics of any governing body, ones that should be enforced.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

Menstruation is an inconvenience that many individuals suffer through on a monthly basis. The University should provide menstrual hygiene products in all of the campus bathrooms (mens/womens/single users) in order to normalize, not tokenize, the idea of menstruation and support those of us who must go through it.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes. The time commitment of the executive committee members is equivalent to a part-time job. Low income individuals, federal work study students, and those who work to pay off student loans shouldn't have to sacrifice something that they're passionate about in order to afford to attend the University.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes. Graduate students are unique in the fact that they are both employees and students, which means that many suffer from being overworked and in debt. Having a union for graduate students would empower them to be able to voice their grievances and concerns without fear of negative repercussions or consequences.

 

Antonia Stefanescu

Political Science and Philosophy

New York, NY

A vote for Antonia is a vote for yourself! I don’t plan on putting my policies first and I certainly don’t plan on promising you things I can’t achieve. What I do promise is to value your voice more than my own, since I’m representing you. I also promise to make small but effective improvements, like I did in changing the Bartlett breakfast time to end at 10:30 instead of 9:30. If you want this type of representation, vote Antonia. Together we can make UChicago a comfortable home for the next four years!

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

Human rights violations mean one thing to me: the government committing them is incapable of functioning while simultaneously acknowledging its citizens or citizens across the globe as human beings. Never would I be able to condone investment in a nation that harms or devalues myself or my peers.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Yes, yes.

Having been born in a ex-communist country, I consider free speech my most important right in the US. I would support this resolution because it allows the protesters to have a voice while also giving the speakers invited here the chance to speak. This promotes dialogue instead of domination!

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

As I am running my campaign on the prospect of transparency, I find it consequential to pass this amendment. As representatives, not only should we inform the student body of the policies we plan to create while campaigning, but also how well we do so after being elected.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

There really should be no explanation needed for this. Just as any person needs toilet paper to perform daily natural activities, half of us need pads and tampons to perform monthly natural activities.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes.

I see no down-side in taking funds (that have been set aside) for an activity that takes more time than most of the others. Furthermore, this specific job affects organizations and students across the campus. This program would encourage participation and diversity in representative roles!

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

As most of our math teachers are graduate students, this issue affects the undergraduate population as well. In the past, the University has had effective relationships with graduate student unions. Any workers should be able to unionize, whether their employer is a factory owner, a CEO, or a university.

 

Zarek Drozda

Public Policy/Econ

Los Altos, CA

My primary focus will always be on representing the Class of 2020 as opposed to advocating for my own ideas. Standing up for students, finding common ground, and implementing concrete solutions will always come first. My “platform” is just a list of proposals - initiatives that in an ideal world I would like to see happen, but also goals I will continue to work towards.

Quick-list of proposals: better shuttle routes, fitness facility for South/BJ, printers for Max, make the campus greener, further support for sexual assault programs, and repair admin relationship.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/zarekd20/

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

No.

While I recognize there are strong opinions on both sides of this debate, I personally believe the act of divestment makes the endowment political instead of purely financial. The university politicizing finances (which affect tuition, financial aid, scholarships) could have consequences in places where politics shouldn’t have any place.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

There should be clearer definitions on what it means for the administration to “condemn,” as well as what an “obstruction or disruption” looks like. Death threats and disinviting speakers I believe clearly violate free speech, but peaceful protesting should always be permitted. There needs to be more dialogue here.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

College Council meetings should always be public, including the ability to photograph or record – this seems a necessary first step to making SG more transparent. While students may prefer more privacy for personal or sensitive issues, those conversations could still occur and be later represented anonymously in public settings.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

For all genders, this seems like a good idea. Further discussion is necessary though, and we should be careful with its implementation. Cost evaluations, college-wide polls, and public meetings should all be conducted before SG moves forward with the initiative.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

In its current form, I believe it creates a financial reward for achieving elected office, making elections too high-stakes and ill-purposed. However, I support a modified version that would further SLRA for student government, making it easier for low-income students to devote time to holding office.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

Given that the National Labor Relations Board ruled students serving as research/teaching assistants at private universities are employees, they are allowed to form unions under federal law. Moreover, benefits from unionization (such as higher pay, better healthcare), could ease strains on graduates, and improve both grad and undergrad experiences.

 

JP Neenan

Undecided

Kenilworth, IL

Hi my name is JP Neenan and I am running for College Council. I am passionate about service and nothing would be more inspiring or fulfilling than to be allowed to serve such a diverse, intellectual and impassioned community to the best of my ability. I want to bring my passion, work ethic and leadership skills to the College Council to get you, the Class of 2020, what you want out of your university. My campaign will focus on three areas: Mental Health, Budget/Costs, and School Pride. Check out my Facebook page (JPNEENAN4UChicago).

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Abstain.

This issue is more complex than can be addressed in a 50-word statement. Whether it is right or wrong to punish companies in nations where the government violates human rights and whether it is feasible for the University to divest from every country that commits violates are important questions.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Abstain.

This is blanket statement where what constitutes an obstruction or a disruption is undefined. I believe strongly in freedom of speech and that, that right extents to students who are willing to peacefully and respectfully protest other people or entities. So is a counter-protest considered an obstruction or not?

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Transparency is very important to how government functions. In the context of servicing their school, student government members to not have a right to privacy. Increasing transparency will help more students understand better how student government functions and will motivate more engagement from everyday students.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Abstain.

If this is something that the students here want I am happy to advocate for it on their behave. Otherwise, it is not central to the platform I am running on.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

Absolutely not. As we’ve seen on the national level, money in politics is not conducive to a fair and efficient government

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

Yes, Graduate students have a right to unionize just the same as any other worker.

 

Sat Gupta

Public Policy

Short Hills, NJ

Here are my main policies: UChicago should provide free tampons and sanitation pads in all bathrooms. If houses can provide free condoms, then the University can provide free menstrual health items. Period. The University should also improve its wifi, because good Internet access is a necessity for all classes and RSOs. Finally, because of scandals, Greek Life organizations have been put on probation. Organizations aren’t affected equally by these restrictions, and there needs to be a dialogue on how organizations can be held accountable while still keeping fun alive. Also, put air conditioning in Rockefeller Chapel and Mandel. Plz.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Abstain.

Divestment from such countries is ultimately an inappropriate and distracting issue. SG should deal with issues that are of practical importance to students, not global issues that are mostly symbolic.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

Protesters can contribute to free speech as well, and this resolution would punish them too harshly for speaking their mind.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

The people that elected us should be able to see what is going on at our meetings.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

Tampons at UChicago should be like expression at UChicago: free.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

There are other RSO leadership positions that involve a similar time commitment as being on the executive committee, and it's unfair for SG leaders to be paid while leaders of other RSOs are not.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

I fully support the NLRB's decision. Our graduate students do a lot of work, and they should be able to unionize like other workers.

 

Obi Kosanachi (Kosi) Achife

Economics

Pearland, TX

My name is Kosi Achife, and I’m running with #KJVA slate! My focus is to improve services on campus in order to provide greater care for students with disabilities and mental illness, sexual assault victims, and students of low income. I will push for more funding to go towards strengthening Student Disability Services. Also, UChicago must reform its policy on leave of absence for students with mental illness. I will advocate for sexual misconduct training for perpetrators of sexual assault. Finally, for low income students, dining hall hours need to be extended on Saturdays.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Abstain.

Human rights is an issue I'm passionate about and put much effort into learning more about. That being said, every country with prominence on the global stage has committed human rights violations. I can't at this time answer a question that glosses over the complexities of foreign relations.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

I am an advocate for free speech just as I presume anyone else is, but freedom of speech does not shield you from criticism. This resolution runs the risk of endangering a student's freedom to protest and thus inhibits the very free speech it seeks to protect.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Just as Student Government deserves greater transparency from the administration, the entire student body deserves transparency from Student Government. As SG is a organization meant to work for the people, students have the right to know what their representatives are saying about the resolutions being brought forth.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

Pads and tampons are some of the essentials necessary to maintain their health and hygiene and I support the university offering them for free. However, I do not support how this issue has been trans-exclusionary and how it has painted women as single minded people only focused on periods.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes.

The Executive Committee deserves to be compensated for the work they put into bettering our university. They commit as much time into their positions as a part time job and a payment program would allow students of lower income the opportunity to play a greater role in changing our school.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

Graduate students should have the opportunity to unionize and better their conditions as employees on campus.

 

Jersey Fonseca

Computer Science and Economics

Paterson, NJ

I am beyond proud to be at The University of Chicago, and that is why I’d be honored to represent the students I feel such a strong connection to. Something I’ve learned here in such a short time is what it means to have a moral obligation. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m at home. For that, I feel obligated to do my part and contribute to the betterment of this school as so many before I have done so that I can feel the way I do now.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

No. By doing business with these countries, I would simply be contributing to their prosperity. I am inadvertently supporting what they stand for, which is against humanity itself

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

While I support free speech to the fullest extent, I do not believe condemning someone for their actions is the best way to approach this. There are other solutions that will not emotionally hurt those that are upset, and will allow free speech to reign.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

To put it simply, if we are representing the college, they deserve to know how they are being represented.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

I don't see why someone would not support this; if there is an emergency, someone should be able to have access to the tools that will resolve it. Also, money should not be a burden when it comes to such essential products.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes.

Given the time commitment and financial burden that comes with being a part of the executive committee, I believe it is at least worth considering. However, that should not prompt people to run merely for the payment program.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

It gives students the ability to study their passion more closely and provides legitimate experience, skills, and money to live off of while spending so much to get an education.

 

Andy Hatem

Public Policy

New York, NY

I will Make UChicago Great Again by making UChicago more affordable and by fighting sexual assault on campus, addressing the biggest issues facing our university.

I want to expand financial aid, limit tuition increases, raise work-study wages, and eliminate the summer work expectation. This will ensure that no student leaves college with crushing debt. Let's Make UChicago Affordable Again.

Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention has one staffer for thousands of students. I won't rest until RSVP funding is doubled. Let's Make UChicago Safe Again.

To read the rest of my platform, visit facebook.com/AndyHatem.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

No.

The University invests in businesses, not governments. Protesting a government's actions by punishing a business harms ordinary citizens but not the offending government. Harming low-level employees at Costco or Starbucks to protest NSA surveillance would be absurd, and divesting from foreign businesses is no different.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

No.

If it seems ridiculous to fight attacks on free speech by dictating what the University should or shouldn't say, that's because it is. Unless a protest significantly hinders students' learning, throwing the full weight of the University behind either side of a debate would set a dangerous precedent.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Though College Council will inevitably discuss sensitive topics during its meetings, 5,500 heads are better than 16. It's not our place to say that students should be kept in the dark for their own good. Federal and state laws carve out some exceptions; these are enough.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

These items are an everyday need for thousands of students at this university, and should be treated as such. The cost is minimal - a drop in the bucket compared to the University's overhead. The benefits for students would be considerable. I favor immediate action on this issue.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Yes.

Positions on the Executive Committee should be open to students of all backgrounds. When a student can't take on new responsibilities because the cost is prohibitive, we all lose.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

A union's purpose is to make sure graduate students are treated fairly and compensated adequately for the work they do. The University's fervent opposition to these ideas is the strongest possible evidence that we need unionization.

 

Grant Morrison

Undecided

Brighton, MI

Attention, people of Bikini Bottom! You have been cheated and lied to! The gentle laborer shall no longer suffer from the noxious greed of Mr. Krabs! We will dismantle oppression board by board! We'll saw the foundation of big business in half, even if it takes AN ETERNITY! With your support, we will send the hammer of the people's will crashing through the windows of Mr. Krabs' HOUSE OF SERVITUDE! Nobody gives a care about the fate of labor as long as they can get their instant gratification.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

No.

It's not right to bar people from the school because their country or people in their country commited human rights violation. They don't control that situation, so they shouldn't lose out on opportunities.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Abstain.

It depends completely on the situation and the degree of obstruction.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

It's really shady to not allow recording or photography in student government.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

This should've been done a long time ago.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

Abstain.

I need to know more about the student government and hours involved to make a decision on this.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Abstain.

Each individual should be able to choose whether or not they want to be in a union.

 

Teddy Knox

Economics

Davis, CA

I'm committed to feasible goals that can concretely improve the lives of all UChicago students. Most importantly, that means making college life more financially accessible by opening the dining halls on Saturday nights, and including laundry and printing credits with the Student Life Fee. Students that are already paying to attend this school shouldn't have to go out of pocket to cover necessary living expenses. I also support better Internet communications on campus, primarily by dedicating funds to fixing the uchicago_secure wireless network. Check out my detailed platform at facebook.com/opportunityknox2020, and add the campaign snapchat @tknox2020.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Yes.

Investing funds in organizations that demonstrably use those funds to commit human rights crimes is immoral. Some dismiss divestment resolutions as “outside the scope of the College Council”, but I believe that we have the responsibility to represent the students in ensuring that our University is not funding violence.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Yes, yes.

Free speech is a defining feature of Chicago’s academic culture. This resolution, which specifically concerns those that obstruct and disrupt invited speakers, is a straightforward question of free speech. As civil and intelligent citizens, we should defeat opposing ideas not by having louder voices, but by having better ideas.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

Transparency breeds accountability. The CC is a representative body; how can we know we're being represented without a complete perspective into its meetings? Some argue that recording inhibits CC's free discourse. My response: if you don’t want your constituents hearing it, you shouldn’t be saying it.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

A no-brainer. This ties in directly to financial accessibility; students should not have to pay out of pocket or step out of convenience to acquire essential health services!

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

I value stewardship highly, and any leader who truly has his or her constituents at heart will agree. I fear that if passed, this proposal will attract those who see Student Government as “just a job”, whereas true public servants should be motivated by the well-being of the people.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

Over the past 130 years, the institution of unionization has made incredible improvements in the rights and lives of working Americans. Although they are still taking classes and learning their trades, grad students are also workers exchange their services for money, and therefore have the right to form unions.

 

Hunter Brookman

Economics

Los Angeles, CA

I am Hunter Brookman, and I am running to be your College Council Class of 2020 representative.

I believe the dynamic between our Student Government and its constituents holds much more potential.

I hope to unify our student body on the notion that our academic successes are unattainable without our overall wellbeing.

Such issues as campus safety, sexual assault prevention and response, and mental health are of the utmost importance, and will be at the forefront of my work on Student Government.

Together we can create a vision for our future, making us a more cohesive, united university moving forward.

Would you support a resolution proposing divestment from countries that commit human rights violations?

Abstain.

Although I don’t think that such world issues should be in the purview of Student Government, in order to intelligently answer this question, one must be provided with the facts and context of the alleged violations to make an informed decision.

Would you support the resolution (http://bit.ly/2duagPz) that calls on the University to condemn any student who “obstructs or disrupts” free speech? If so, would you consider proposing it again?

Yes, yes.

In light of Dean Ellison’s letter, I am vehemently in favor of free speech, and think any effort made to stifle free speech is detrimental to the unique intellectual environment at this university. We came here to be exposed to the world, not to be shielded from it.

Would you support a transparency bylaw amendment (http://bit.ly/2dtGJrp), which reads, “College Council shall not prohibit photography or the use of recording devices at its meetings”?

Yes.

I think any initiative for Student Government to boost its transparency should be strongly considered and advocated for. Student Government’s purpose is to be open with the student body and as a body it must remain true to that ideal.

Would you support the University providing free sanitary pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?

Yes.

There is no reason that women should need to pay for sanitary pads or tampons. Given sanitary pads and tampons are used as a result of basic female physiology, they should be provided free in campus bathrooms.

Would you support a payment program for members of executive committee, as proposed last year? (http://bit.ly/2dMZztl)

No.

There are many student groups on campus, such as Model UN, where those in leadership positions work tirelessly and don’t get paid. Given the effort that these students put forth, it would be unfair to try to elevate the status of Student Government positions above all other hardworking leaders.

Do you support graduate student unionization?

Yes.

I absolutely support that graduate students have the right to unionize. If they were not in graduate school, but in the professional world, they would have the same right.

Editor’s Note: Andres Leland changed his answers before the deadline, and re-submitted the form. His revised answers are above. Candidate Hunter Brookman submitted his answers late at 12:00:05 a.m.

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