Students will vote Monday for the seven new vice presidents to lead the Duke Student Government Senate. We would like to take this opportunity to examine the candidates running unopposed for the vice presidents of three committees: academic affairs; facilities and the environment; and residential life.
Freshman Nikolai Doytchinov brings a broad knowledge of DSG to his campaign for vice president for academic affairs. His work as a senator for academic affairs along with his membership on the Young Trustee Nominating Committee and DSG rules committee have given him a solid understanding of student governance.
Doytchinov is well-versed in the most salient academic concerns of the moment. He appropriately noted that some of the largest problems with Curriculum 2000 lie with improper designation of Areas of Knowledge and Modes of Inquiry for many courses. His incisive identification of the problem and concrete policy solutions to ensure that courses are correctly coded leave us confident in his ability to tackle this persistent problem.
Doytchinov has big shoes to fill with the departure of senior Kaveh Danesh, the current vice president for academic affairs. Danesh was known for being an abundant source of academic innovation, proposing ideas ranging from Bookbag Sundays to video synopses. Doytchinov, though less ebullient than Danesh, seems entirely capable of turning these ideas into concrete action.
The Chronicle’s independent editorial board endorses Nikolai Doytchinov for vice president for academic affairs.
Junior George Carotenuto brings expertise to his bid for vice president for facilities and the environment. If he chairs this newly formed committee next year, Carotenuto will have the chance to define the role in a lasting and impactful way.
Carotenuto has a useful background as co-chair of the DSG environment and sustainability committee as well as experience as the University’s building and grounds adviser. His prior work with administrators gives him strong relationships he can use as a powerful student advocate. Furthermore, his understanding of Duke’s Climate Action Plan demonstrates that he understands the actual mechanics of achieving carbon neutrality.
Carotenuto also recognizes the role his committee will play in the new house model. He stated a desire to collaborate with house councils to enhance the dining experience on campus. It will be interesting to see whether his vision of synergistic housing and dining will go into effect next year. The Chronicle’s independent editorial board endorses George Carotenuto for vice president for facilities and the environment.
Freshman Jacob Zionce brings a fresh enthusiasm to his candidacy for DSG vice president of residential life. He has stepped beyond the typical squabbling surrounding the new house model, seeing the model’s inaugural year as a chance to usher in a new and exciting chapter of Duke’s history.
Zionce takes a practical approach to the logistical issues with the model, always considering how hypothetical tweaks—such as the continuing communities model—will affect the daily lives of typical Duke students. If Zionce leads the residential life committee next year, he will have a great influence on the Duke residential experience in the years to come. We believe he is up to the challenge.
The Chronicle’s independent editorial board endorses Jacob Zionce for vice president for residential life.
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