The following editorial represents the majority opinion of the The Miami Hurricane editorial board.
This year’s Student Government Presidential elections may already be over. An aggressive marketing and PR campaign combined with an exciting platform and a charismatic, visible leader has made Danny Carvajal’s “One goal. One passion. The U” team the ticket to beat from the get-go. However, don’t fall into the trap of voting for the seemingly popular vote just because it’s “easy.” There is more than one very solid, qualified candidate for this election, and in order to make the most responsible vote, one should learn more about the candidates than what is listed on their palm cards and Facebook groups.
The Miami Hurricane did just that. Conducting more than six hours of interviews with the candidates and doing in-depth research into each platform, The Hurricane editorial board has made its decision, though it was a tough one, after a close vote.
After much consideration, the editorial board has decided that running mates Johweyeh Lowenthal (president) and Dan Kalvig (vice president) proved themselves as the best team to lead the UM student body in the 2007-08 school year.
The following is a comprehensive analysis of each candidate and their respective campaign.
Carvajal, a junior, is the most political-minded competitor in the race. He has the politcal gusto and charisma to lead the university, but that is not all a candidate needs to be a great president. One can tell by speaking with him the well-conceived thought he put into every word, both spoken and written. Even his campaign slogan, “One goal. One passion. The U,” speaks of a certain exuberant dynamism and a go-get-’em attitude that could help take this university to a new level. This should come as no surprise, given Carvajal’s extensive experience and leadership credentials as varied as founding the ‘Canes Emergency Response Team (CERT), serving on the Honor Council and even in Student Government as a member of the Board of Trustees Master Planning and Construction Committee.
Carvajal seems almost made to run for the presidency, a vibe he exuberates both when addressing people and in his campaign literature. His ticket, which includes Molly Jones for vice president and Justin Gaither for treasurer, is also incredibly well-connected-particularly within the Greek community, which will be a major advantage when it comes time to vote. (Carvajal was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon his sophomore year).
Carvajal’s platform is also the most impressive in this year’s field of residential candidates. His Podcasting proposal, one of the most ambitious goals of any campaign this year, hopes to bring the university’s learning environment to a new technological plane. Other tech-related goals involve continuing the past proposal to implement wireless and color printing in addition as well as the new idea of “real-time” shuttle timeboards that would advise students when the next shuttle arrives.
The other proposals, save for the Chartwell’s take-out system and food kiosk near the School of Architecture, are relatively unspectacular, albeit more practical. Free laundry supplies, if executed properly, is a great idea and would make students’ lives just a little bit easier.
However, it’s easy to get overtaken by the bells and whistles of these proposals and forget how feasible they really are. Taken as a whole, these proposals are incredibly ambitious. Ambition is good, but in this case the ideas may simply be another juiced up platform to get him elected. Wireless and color printing has been promised for roughly three years now, and yet, it is still mired in developmental issues. A more ambitious project such as the Podcasting-which happens to be the cornerstone of Carvajal’s platform-will, almost assuredly, not be implemented as extensively as he would hope in the one year Carvajal’s team has to make it happen, if it ever gets implemented.
Also, while Carvajal is certainly savvy and experienced, one can not help but wonder if he is the people’s candidates or rocketing off on charisma. In his personal interview with The Hurricane, he could not come up with a character weakness. This may have been an honest answer, or he could specifically be focusing on his strengths. In a follow-up phone conversation, he twisted two good characteristics-being too trustful and too passionate at times-into weaknesses.
What’s the only thing better than one great presidential candidate? Two.
The sum of Lowenthal and his running mate, Dan Kalvig, is greater than that of the other candidates.
Lowenthal, a junior, is running under the slogan, “Unity for a better community,” which certainly reflects his character as well as his platform. He has been involved in several social causes, which is probably why he comes across as someone who truly cares about the university and the student body. Even his slogan speaks of trying to mend what he perceives as a rift between Student Government and the actual students. Lowenthal is the more down-to-earth candidate; he was able to candidly discuss his weaknesses at length immediately after being asked, even more freely than discussing h is strengths. Thus, he came off more human. To be clich