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Of three good parties, Your Party stands out

BY DI EDITORIAL BOARD | APRIL 13, 2009 7:30 AM

There is no party in this week’s UI Student Government election that has taken our breath away. We have three good parties to choose from but not one great party. But, after meeting with representatives from each of the three parties and picking apart their platforms, we urge you to cast your vote for Your Party.

Emily Grieves, Your Party’s presidential candidate, has made it clear that communication with students will be at the center of her agenda as president. Students on this campus have opinions, but most don’t care enough to tell anyone about them. But we have confidence that Grieves will be a proactive leader and will be active in seeking input from her constituents. Additionally, Grieves and running mate Ali Keenan have both been on campus for four years. That seniority, paired with Greives’ experience in UISG, tells us that the duo is in touch with how the university is organized and what students want.

On that note, Grieves and Keenan have also voiced their willingness to act as a liaison among students, UI administrators, and city government officials. That role would be very valuable in addressing dangerous drinking habits that have become visible with the recent string of fights downtown. Working among the community’s various interests will be an integral part in cutting down on the number of violent incidents that occur in the bar district.

But Your Party’s most attractive quality is its ability to excite and mobilize students. On such a painfully apathetic campus, it was spectacular to see so many young people act passionately. Sure, we’re tired of the chalk, the T-shirts, and the blue sunglasses, but Your Party’s presence on campus was nonetheless encouraging. While party politics disappear after the election, we hope representatives from Your Party will be able to utilize momentum gained in the election to set their plans in action.

The most important thing Your Party can do is to use that excitement to lobby UI, local, and state officials. As student president and vice president, Grieves and Keenan should put voicing student interests at the top of their priorities. Our current lobbying efforts are embarrassing. As we pointed out in an editorial last week, the last UISG trip to Des Moines included fewer than a dozen students. And similar trips only take place about once a month. If elected, Your Party members will surely rally students to flood the Capitol with students who are ready to fight for safe campuses, more funding, and sensible policy.

But Your Party isn’t a perfect party. We have been somewhat concerned with the party’s campaign priorities. Pushing technology initiatives on campus (equipping Cambuses with tracking devices, switching to Gmail, putting forms online, etc.) is on the forefront of the party’s platform. Those things would undoubtedly make students’ lives less cluttered, but they should take a back seat to other issues. Your Party leaders have all but admitted defeat on the issue of out-of-hand tuition and have been vague on ways to reduce the number of fights downtown, two of the most important issues facing students.

Regardless of who leads UISG next year, leaders must make their agenda a hybrid of their own platform, the platforms of the other parties, and input from more students. We urge the next class of leaders to crusade against annual tuition hikes and to get serious about working with community members on ways to curb violence downtown. While solutions to those problems will not be simple or easily attained, any leader who labels herself or himself a student advocate must address them.


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