The two candidates running for the office of Duke Student Government vice president for student affairs--sophomore Mimi Wachendorf and sophomore Elizabeth Dixon--have very different conceptions of what the Student Affairs Committee's role next year should be. Wachendorf views it as a body that sets policy, whereas Dixon wants it to directly get involved in programming.
In this respect, Wachendorf has a better understanding of what DSG is about and what it can accomplish and a greater sense of the limitations of the Student Affairs Committee. And when it comes to DSG, an effective vice president begins by understanding what is feasible to accomplish so that he or she does not waste his or her effort.
Wachendorf's three-fold platform--examining the policy behind the social scene, ensuring that student services such as the Career Center or Counseling and Psychological Services are actually serving students' needs and fighting the small battles that come up during the course of the year--is an excellent way to view the job of the Student Affairs Committee. Wachendorf gets what student affairs is about.
Dixon is far more oriented toward promoting programming on campus by trying to work more closely with student groups. However, DSG is not a programming organization--that is the job of the Duke University Union and other groups. Moreover, forcing student groups to work more closely with the DSG bureacracy may actually discourage them from putting on much-needed campus events. Dixon should be commended for her enthusiasm about the job, something Wachendorf should strive to emulate in order to better lead the committee next year.
The Chronicle formally endorses Mimi Wachendorf for the position of DSG vice president for student affairs.