Academic Affairs VP Candidates Stress Student-University Relations

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Improving relationships between students and university administrators is a key goal of this year's candidates for ASUC academic affairs vice president.

Tony Falcone

Peter Gee

Kevin Deenihan

Stuart Neft

The academic affairs office is responsible for the appointment of student representatives to committees on academic matters and campus administrative committees. The office's vice president is the ASUC representative to the academic senate.

Tony Falcone, currently an ASUC senator, is this year's Student Action candidate.

Falcone said he wants to make departments and teachers accountable for how much they teach, improve advising on campus and fight to make the campus more student-centered.

"I'm running because there's so much work we need to do to make the university accountable," Falcone said.

Falcone said Catherine Ahn, the current academic affairs vice president, "is very good in representing herself," but he would focus more on outreach, supervising academic senate representatives and connecting students to the administration.

"Cal is a great place, but the university doesn't give students the things they need to succeed," Falcone said.

Cal-SERVE is running Peter Gee this year in hopes of retaining their sole executive office.

Last year, Cal-SERVE broke Student Action's control over the executive offices by gaining the academic affairs vice president seat.

Gee hopes his platform, which pledges to better connect students to ASUC through academic programs, will win him the support of students in the April 9-11 election.

He said he would also assess and enhance the academic needs of students, as well as try to empower students through academics.

"The role of academic affairs vice president is not only to advocate for the students through the ASUC Senate, but to organize and mobilize students," Gee said.

Gee said he would echo the things Ahn has done, praising her work this year. He said he would also focus on strengthening and monitoring programs with faculty and staff.

"I have the experience and ability to build solid coalitions between different groups that normally wouldn't have the same interests," Gee said.

Kevin Deenihan is running under the Squelch! Party. While the party's affiliation with the monthly humorist magazine suggests a lack of seriousness, Deenihan said he is committed to improving the Office of Academic Affairs.

Deenihan said he sees the proper role of the academic affairs vice president as bridging the gap between the university and students to provide student services.

One problem in ASUC is people often choose between a focus on reform and services, Deenihan said. He said he feels the two should complement each other and that the role of the office's vice president is to bring the two together.

Deenihan said he wants to improve continuity in ASUC in order to prevent a repetition of failures.

"I want to change the ASUC from an object of ridicule to a more positive force for once, without getting sucked into party politics," Deenihan said.

Stuart Neft, running for the Pokémon Party, said his main goal is standardizing grade point averages across the board for getting into a major. Neft said he would be more "representational" of students' wishes than his own personal agenda.

Neft said that while he has no previous experience that would make him qualified for the role, his personality sets him apart from his opponents.

"In all honesty, I have no pre-qualifications," Neft said. "I got together with four other guys and we thought it would be a good idea."


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