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Course evals, new movie server top Wolf's agenda

Sophomore Elliott Wolf said he already exhibits an important characteristic of a Duke Student Government president.

He gives students what they want.

"The main thing I'm emphasizing is not what I'm promising to do, it's what I've already accomplished and can build upon through DSG resources," said the Angier B. Duke Scholar and Chronicle columnist.

By the end of the fall semester, a movie server created by Wolf-which allowed students to stream and download files freely from a library of thousands of movies, television shows, music videos and sports clips-had been accessed on the computers of 3,548 undergraduates.

Although he closed the server in response to a formal warning from the Office of Judicial Affairs, Wolf used the database as an example of what he has already done for students.

"I can't say that I object to being elected as DSG President because I gave tangible things to the student body because that's what a DSG president is supposed to do," Wolf said. "I can make promises in the context of having accomplished things without DSG resources."

Wolf said the role of a good DSG president should be translating student will into action.

He described his proactive, student-oriented approach as the overriding aspect of his platform.

"Every candidate has good ideas," he said. "I don't believe that it's the job of the DSG president to spell out what the students want. It's to spell out what the students want and act on it."

Wolf's platform includes increasing DSG's spending power by obtaining donations and grants and by working directly with members of the administration to ensure that all rules and regulations reflect the best interests of students.

"Students want what they want-whether it's tailgating, or course evaluations, or a longer reading period, or cheap housing, or any number of things," Wolf said.

He added that he would like the University to subscribe to a legal alternative to his movie server, which students could access through a monthly fee of between two and five dollars.

He listed the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Indiana and Purdue University as examples of schools that successfully implemented such systems.

Wolf said he would also like to see further development of his second Internet creation-an uncensored website where students can post course evaluations. Since the website was established in November, it has received almost 1,000 evaluations, and Wolf said he would like to make it a permanent part of the University's databases.

As a rising junior running for an office typically held by a senior, Wolf said he considers himself the right person to pursue student interests.

He described senior student leaders as "lame ducks" and said these seniors are often more focused on life after graduation than they are on the Duke experience.

"Right now DSG seems to be doing what it needs to do to get recommendations," Wolf said. "They're looking at their own futures."

Wolf added that as a junior, he would be more accountable for his actions.

"Whatever I do as DSG president, I'm going to have to live with it for my next year at Duke," he said.

If elected, Wolf said he hopes to hold administrators to this same level of "public accountability."

He added that his work as a Chronicle columnist has allowed him to establish relationships with several key University figures that would help to foster this objective.

"I have a very special, and in some sense unique, relationship with the administration," he said. "I'll often times just go talk to them about random things. I don't feel afraid to criticize them, and I think they respect that."


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