LUCC candidate forum introduces 2011-2012 executive board

Bridget Donnelly

The LUCC Executive Election Candidate Forum was held Wednesday, January 12 to introduce the candidates for next year’s executive board. The candidates included J.R. Vanko ’13 for president and Carl Byers ’14 for vice president.
Although Vanko and Byers are the only candidates for their respective positions, current LUCC President Andrew King ’11 explained, “Pursuant to fair democratic procedure and the LUCC Constitution, an election will be held despite both seats being uncontested.”
The candidate forum provided an opportunity for Vanko and Byers to explain to Lawrence community members the expectations they have and goals they wish to accomplish during their tenure on LUCC’s executive board.
The two candidates began with individual statements of intention, and the remainder of the forum involved relaying questions from those in attendance, including current members of the executive board.
Vanko stressed the importance of “making LUCC more accessible for students [who want to know] how to go about voicing their frustrations,” a challenge that he believes could be aided by increasing visibility in terms of publicity as well as the location in which LUCC meetings are held.
Byers shared this opinion, stating, “I see lots of people who want to be involved but don’t seem to know how.”
Both candidates offered suggestions for actively reaching out to groups on campus that might be hesitant or unaware how to approach LUCC, including a newsletter released at least once a term along with regular updates and a pamphlet about LUCC placed in student mailboxes at the beginning of the year. LUCC has a publicity committee, and Vanko noted his wish to think up “new, innovative ways of publicizing and making use of that committee.”
Vanko additionally expressed his wish to increase faculty participation, noting that when LUCC originated on campus the majority of votes belonged to faculty members. Vanko hopes that increasing the prominence of faculty on the council is “going to bring a whole new dynamic to the council.”
In terms of student participation, the candidates noted their mutual objective to carry out more polls in order to give the majority of students a say in major campus issues. Such techniques have been used frequently, but are often undertaken on a small scale, such as being performed by district.
Ultimately, Byers noted, the two candidates are aiming primarily for fairness and openness in their dealings with students and organizations on campus. “Make it exceedingly clear why you made what decision,” said Byers, so that groups can avoid making future mistakes, especially in terms of budget.
One of the main goals the current executive board plans to accomplish before the end of the term transition will be to fix up some of the current internal structure and prepare the new board.
The current executive board will, according to King, “be working closely with these two individuals to ensure that they have a successful transition into office, as well as reflecting on our tenure as LUCC executives and passing suggestions along to the next executives.”
“The current cabinet has done much in the last year to ensure that a complete record has been kept of all that we have done,” said current Vice President Ellie Crean ’11. “We would all like for the incoming cabinet to be as well prepared as possible to ensure a smooth transition.”
Other plans for this term include a second annual Staff Appreciation Day, a reporting of the results and recommendations of the Environmental Responsibility committee’s survey on green practices on campus and a continuation of the Student Welfare committee’s plans to conduct research with regards to a proposed campus-wide smoking ban.
Elections for President and Vice President will be held next week Monday and Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. just inside the entrance of the Warch Campus Center.