We were impressed with both candidates this year—both Zachary Gorwitz and Aubrey Temple presented well thought-out ideas and platforms for change and correctly identified independent housing as their largest concern. However, for his vision and comprehensive policies, we endorse Zach Gorwitz. We were impressed with Gorwitz’s platform, in particular his idea to allow independent houses to register as student groups privy to University Center Activities and Events funding. This program would produce immediate, tangible benefits to independent students, since the increased financial flexibility and recognition as a student group would help foster a greater sense of community. Gorwitz also identified class quotas in selective living groups under the residential group assessment committee as an issue of immense concern he plans to tackle.
Nevertheless, Aubrey Temple also brings strong qualification to the table. Although less visionary, his platform showcases more concrete and achievable policies that we believe would significantly improve the independent housing experience. We appreciate Temple’s focus on internal leadership within independent houses and his strong track record of engaging in housing issues. Duke will be well-served with either candidate.
We now turn to the Social Culture Committee—a committee whose mission we find somewhat nebulous and whose jurisdiction, besides Tailgate, often seems to overlap with others. Both candidates presented similar platforms. We felt Basil Seif presented a better understanding of the issues at hand—the need for a new tailgate model, the funding and staffing shortfalls hampering the Women’s Center and more universal Prevent. Act. Challenge. Teach. training. However, his attendance record in DSG Senate meetings is cause of deep concern. For this reason and others, we endorse Tucker Albert. His criticism of the lengthy process for students registering on-campus events hits an important nail on the head, and his proposal to shorten the registration deadline will allow greater flexibility and bolster campus activity. Albert’s current position as a senator of Social Culture lends him important institutional knowledge that will serve him well as a VP. Whoever wins, we hope they will better define the committee.
Durham and Regional Affairs
Students will choose between two great candidates for VP of Durham and Regional Affairs. David Robertson presents a number of genuinely cool, new ideas for engaging directly with Durham, as well as a push for more internship opportunities in the city. His focus on rebranding Durham in the minds of Duke students comes from a genuine appreciation for the city and a belief that it has a lot to teach us as well. However, we felt that his opponent Ben Salzman presented a more comprehensive platform covering a wider swath of policy initiatives. Salzman seeks not only to improve Duke-Durham relations—in particular between students living off-campus and surrounding neighborhoods—but also to encourage students to engage in local politics, a timely issue considering the upcoming elections. Either way, the future of Durham and Regional Affairs looks bright.