Candidates for council positions run unopposed

by Jennifer Garfinkel | 8/17/06 5:00am

Elections for the president and vice president of the 2008 Class Council will finish tonight in Thayer lobby, though only six students attended Tuesday night's election speeches -- two of whom are Class Council members.

Ashley Mas '08, who has been involved with the Council since her freshman fall, is running for Class Council president, and Andrew Klein '08, who just started his work with the Council this summer, is running for vice president. Both students are running unopposed.

Members of the Class of 2008 began voting via paper ballot Wednesday night in Thayer dining hall. If either candidate receives fewer than 50 percent of votes, a run-off vote will be held between the candidate and the write-in candidate.

Current Class Council President Tess Reeder '08 said that the low turnout at Tuesday night's election speeches was probably a product of two factors: poor publicity on the part of Class Council because of the election's proximity to Fieldstock, and that both candidates are running unopposed. However, she does not see a problem with students voting without having heard the speeches.

"I feel that [Mas's] actions and her participation over the last few years is going to speak so much more about her qualifications as class president than any five minute speech she could give," Reeder said.

Reeder said that although she would have liked to see more students attend the election speeches Tuesday night, she thinks it is typical of students to be apathetic and skip events like elections.

"I think that's something that's characteristic of the overall Dartmouth student body," she said.

Both Mas and Klein acknowledged that many Dartmouth students are unclear about the role of Class Council.

"I think that right now if you asked the average person what Class Council does, they would say that they don't really know or maybe that they see our name on a few events each term, some of which are good and some of which might be lame," Mas said.

Mas explained that she understood the role of Class Council as a body that "helps [the Class of 2008] fully utilize all of the resources the school has to offer," which includes hosting events and instilling a sense of class unity.

Reeder said that she does not expect students to attend Class Council meetings regularly or help plan events, but that students should know that the Council can be used as a resource.

"I do think it's important for students to understand that Class Council does have a budget that's meant to be spent," Reeder explained.

She cited this summer's volunteer trip to Boston as an event that was suggested by a sophomore who is not a member of the Council.

Klein said that he hopes to lead members of the Class of 2008 to interact more with one another, and he thinks he can do so by planning fresh events that student will take interest in.

"[Class Council] sets up a lot of events that people don't know about and that people should have gone to, and that I have actually been neglectful of myself, which is why I wanted to get involved," Klein said.