Vote Sanka for EVP, yes on 40 Percent PlanWe have decided to endorse sophomore Abhi Sanka for the position of Duke Student Government executive vice president. Sanka, who is running unopposed, has the requisite skills and institutional knowledge to effectively lead the senate and oversee the legislative process. His practical experience as a senator and his strong conceptual understanding of the role of EVP give us confidence that he will be successful.
Sanka, in line with the internally facing role of EVP, proposes several internal reforms that would be beneficial. He envisions a new Facebook page to post upcoming legislative items that students can comment on. He would also like to expand access to administrators for rank-and-file senators. These two changes would both engender more civic participation and empower senators to more effectively solve campus problems.
Sanka also has expressed a desire to strengthen the house model, which we believe will be a top priority next year. As a senator for residential life, Sanka initiated a change to the housing application timeline to better accommodate the residential advisor application process. Going forward, he intends to develop a better sense of community and identity for independent houses by connecting different house presidents and sharing successful strategies.
Lastly, Sanka understands the place of EVP within the larger senate apparatus. He recognizes that his job will be to facilitate dialogue and streamline the legislative process, rather than to advocate for one specific issue. His approach to the position of EVP aligns well with our conception of the role.
On a more general note, we would like to outline what we believe to be one of the main issues of this election and of next year. What is the proper role of DSG? We believe that DSG derives its power from the people and its influence from access to administrators. As with any elected government, DSG’s power, legitimacy and authority all originate from the consent of the governed. Recently, there has been an upswell of popular discontent with the abstracted, disconnected state of DSG politics. We believe this is a healthy and important discussion to be had and encourage increased scrutiny of DSG for the sake of accountability and transparency.
Far too long has DSG been complacent with its incumbent powers and out of touch with the electorate. Students should feel invested in their government and deserve one that is attentive to their concerns. DSG must do a better job of informing students about what it is doing and should be open to reform, instead of attempting to squash student-initiated movements. DSG has considerable access to administrators and it should more effectively leverage that connection to address student needs. DSG executives cannot be merely advisors to the administration; rather, they need to be active advocates for issues that truly matter to students.
Finally, we would also like to reiterate our support for the 40 percent plan. We encourage every student to educate themselves on the issues present in this election and to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, March 4. Vote Sanka for EVP, and Yes on the 40 Percent Plan. We will endorse a candidate for DSG president in tomorrow’s editorial.