Friday, April 25, 2008

Decision 2009

Editor's Note
This year, a race for the presidency of the Class of 2009 is on. Grant Bermann '09 is a three-year incumbent who points to his experience and accomplishments. Alec Williams '09 is the challenger who argues that it's time for a shakeup and some new ideas. Below, both candidates explain why you should vote for them.
The 'Prince' encourages its readers to follow up with the candidates on their ideas in the comments section below. Here's your chance to pose questions and challenge the candidates.
-Michael Juel-Larsen '09

New ideas from an old hand
The Senior Class President election is a choice between the new promises of my opponent and my new ideas, informed by a record of experience, commitment and achievements.
As President for the past three years, I have led our class in an overwhelming array of projects that make the Class of 2009 the leader in class government. In total, we have hosted over 75 events — more than any other class at Princeton.
What I consider more impressive than the sheer quantity of our projects, however, is their ambition and success. We have moved beyond the simple study breaks which typically characterize class government and focused our attention larger initiatives which encourage class unity, help improve everyday student life and plan for life after Princeton
We have rented out movie theaters and restaurants, hosted class concerts, picnics, formals, barbecues, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Back to School parties, as well as an epic Battle of the Bands. We have held blood drives and recycling programs, created question and answer sessions on eating clubs and 4-year colleges, and featured customized workshops for ’09 students in search of summer jobs, funding and networking opportunities.
We have organized class trips to mini golf courses and NBA games, made campus DVD rental free for ’09, moved the bicker and sign-in process online for the first time in Princeton history, and just this week negotiated for our class one year of free membership with the Princeton Club of New York, which will provide everyone in the Class of 2009 with a free gym membership in New York City this summer, as well as reciprocal benefits in major cities around the world.
My plans for next year are even more ambitious. I will form a lecture series so that students can hear from both the great professors they missed during their first years at Princeton. I will also work with existing student service groups to promote class unity through shared civic engagement.
I will build on our previous efforts to connect juniors with alumni, begun by our free PCNY membership, by working with Career Services to create mini-courses to help the Class of 2009 network and find jobs and housing after graduation
Senior year is also a time for fun. I will organize a class trip to Atlantic City, N.J. and the Jersey shore to celebrate the submission of our theses. I will host senior stand-up comedy routines, student band concerts, as well as Pub Nights at Triumph, Winberie’s and Ivy Inn, where members of our class can enjoy free beer and wine.
If we are to realize all these goals, we need a Senior Class President who is prepared to hit the ground running. His plans must not be uninformed promises, but new ideas backed up by years of dedication, competence, and achievements.
-Grant Bermann '09

Making the most of our last year
I am running for Class President because I wholeheartedly believe that our Class Government must live up to the expectations of excellence that define every Princeton student. As your Class President, I guarantee that our last year within these legendary gates will be one that we will remember, and for which our class will be remembered for years to come.
The past three years have not been bad – but “not been bad” is not a standard that any Princetonian would consider acceptable. Senior year is fundamentally different than the previous three. Even “good” will not be good enough. Our final year needs to be great.
Class government can and should, play a central role in organizing the awesome events and class-wide undertakings that will stay with us long after we leave here. As Class President, I promise that our class government will do this.
As President of Whig-Clio and Captain of the Ski Team, I have worked with the administration and a variety of student groups. I know how to use this University’s resources to get new, far-reaching ideas off the ground. These are some of the changes I will bring:
First, Investment banks and consulting firms are great at recruiting seniors; but we do not hear enough about careers in other fields. Where are the publishing recruiters, entrepreneurship workshops, and marketing firms? As your Class President, I will bring them here.
Second, I will challenge us to engage the community outside of Princeton. Class Government can be a tremendous resource for service by harnessing the talents and dedication of our classmates to assist those less fortunate than us.
Third, we need to stop repeating the same old study breaks, and start hosting class-wide concert festivals, stand-up comedy nights, and events that you will want to plan your week around. Calling Taco Bell and ordering one thousand quesadillas is not hard. Hosting many events is easy; hosting events that many people attend is not.
There are scores of other things that my Class Government will do: Serve as a voice for our classmates on Prospect Street; Expand dining options for our classmates that choose to dine elsewhere; Lead a discourse with the Administration on setting a single Thesis due date; Initiate out-of-the-box social activities such as group blind-dates.
We can make next year incredible beyond belief. But to do so we will need an ambitious vision. Let this vision be how we remember Princeton, and how Princeton remembers us.
-Alec Williams '09