What a difference a year makes. When Pete Maki ran for Student Government last year, his “things that go bump in the night” ticket seemed too lighthearted and disorganized to be taken seriously. He has certainly made the turnaround to become a respectable candidate this election-and he has earned our endorsement for Student Government president.
In the past year, Maki has gained valuable SG Senate experience and has blossomed into a charismatic leader. While his experience may not compare to some other student leaders, he is approachable and practical, two very important characteristics in an SG president.
Maki’s platform is based on a foundation of practicality. Sometimes candidates unreasonably think that they can make changes like installing Jumbotrons in the UC or lowering tuition. Maki’s platform is made up of small, simple changes, and while even he admitted that he wasn’t “changing Social Security,” his plan is appealing and well rounded.
Maki has also done his research, an area in which his opponent, Pamela Schiess, is somewhat lacking. In his proposal to extend the shuttle service to the Key Biscayne beach, Maki knows how much it would cost per hour; in his proposal to extend study hours, he knows that keeping the library open would be unrealistic because they’d have to pay a certified librarian for those hours. This research extends beyond merely citing the people to contact for each project; Maki refers to other schools’ programs and issues that affect them. Taking this initiative shows a serious commitment to thinking beyond the obvious by looking both inside and outside of UM to accomplish his goals.
Maki’s idea to create a shuttle service to the beach reflects the wishes of the student body and, if feasible, should prove to be a community-building program. It is also in line with President Shalala’s goal of uniting the campus community.
Maki may be just the person to reach out to the uninvolved students and make them feel connected to the University. He wants to go around campus the first few weeks of school introducing himself to students. When we asked him why we should vote for him he may have joked about being a likable guy, but that’s incredibly important in a president. Students are going to vote for someone that they feel most represents them and their interests, someone who they can come to with ideas and concerns throughout the year.
On the other hand, Schiess speaks in very abstract and vague terms, often referring to her “vision of excellence” to move the University forward. While this sounds good, it’s more important to hear about her interests in what the students want, not what the University wants-because they can be two very different things.
Schiess considers her track record her main strength, which we find to be a problem. Anyone can boast about a lengthy r