Sam Clark solid choice for RUSA presidency
From April 6 to April 8, the Rutgers University Student Assembly will hold elections for the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year. Voting is open to all undergraduate students enrolled at Rutgers New Brunswick, and we highly encourage you all to educate yourselves on the candidates and their platforms and participate in the elections. We’ve done some research of our own, and as an editorial board, we endorse Sam Clark for president of RUSA.
As students who pay a lot of money to go to this University, we definitely have a right to be heard. RUSA serves as an organized group that represents the student body, so it’s obviously extremely important that we pay attention to who is a part of RUSA and participate in elections if we truly want to be represented. One of the things we like so much about Clark is his goal of making RUSA more inclusive for different student organizations around campus.
Many of Clark’s goals are very specific. For example, he wants to have a student representative serve on the Menu Committee for RU Dining Services — the position is not a new one, but there’s currently no one filling it. It might not seem like a big deal, but when you consider his overall vision for student involvement around campus, this kind of attention to detail is critical. Also, dining services is a great example of something that directly affects student life on campus, so it makes sense to have a student representative in there. He also regards public safety as a top priority. His experience working with both the Rutgers Police Department and the New Brunswick Police Department will translate well into a comprehensive approach to safety — not just on campus, but also in the surrounding areas.
Many of the ideas Clark plans to develop as president aren’t just about expanding on practices RUSA already has. He has some refreshing and practical new ideas, and we think it will be interesting to see how they play out. One recent practice he wants to expand is hosting the Rutgers University Debate Union at RUSA meetings to give presentations of major issues on campus. The Debate Union presented arguments for and against the controversial decision of the Board of Governors to invite Condoleezza Rice as a commencement speaker this year at last week’s RUSA meeting, and they were very well received. There were so many more students at that meeting than there usually are. The RUDU presentation helped both voting members of RUSA and non-voting student attendees understand the issue at hand before it was discussed and voted on.
We think this kind of collaboration with a student organization such as RUDU is an excellent way for RUSA to facilitate a more open and accessible relationship with the rest of the student body. Clark understands that accessibility goes beyond just having open meetings — students should actually be able to understand what RUSA does and what goes on at meetings. This kind of functional and productive transparency will only help build a relationship with the student body and serve RUSA’s purpose of building bridges between its constituents and the University administration.
We wish Clark and everyone else running for a position in RUSA the best of luck in the upcoming elections. Whatever the outcome, we really hope the new president does as excellent of a job as we think current president Pavel Sokolov has been doing this year. At the Daily Targum, we have always appreciated Sokolov’s accessibility. There was a good flow of communication between him and our news team, and that is the kind of outreach we hope RUSA will expand on in the years to come.