Let the races begin: Presidential candidates sound off

    Jeremy Cogan, a John Muir College junior, is the Unity slate’s presidential candidate in this year’s A.S. elections. Cogan’s main goals are to better reflect student’s needs and to increase student unity on campus.

    Initially involved in the preliminary candidate discussions for the Students First! slate, Cogan eventually made the choice to join the Unity slate.

    “I didn’t feel comfortable giving one hundred percent to [Students First!], which wouldn’t give the same in return,” Cogan said. “I wanted to be part of a group that is reflective of the UCSD campus, not just the A.S. bureaucracy.”

    In addition to running for A.S. president this year, Cogan has held various campus positions. In his freshman year, he was involved in several Muir organizations. As a sophomore, he served in dual positions as Muir sophomore senator and as vice chair of the Muir Organizing Board. Cogan ran unopposed for A.S. Commissioner of Enterprise Operations last year, and is currently serving in that position.

    Cogan feels his experience and established relationships with the UCSD administration will help him be successful. He also says that his work on student organizations separate from the A.S. Council, such as the UCSD College Democrats, gives him a student-oriented perspective of everyday campus operations.

    “I feel that my background has been very reflective of student life at UCSD,” Cogan said. “Student organizations are left out of the loop in many areas, and they need to be brought into the loop.”

    The Unity slate will focus on four major areas, Cogan said.

    First, it will call for better student services and support, including parking advocacy and increased coordination between the A.S. Council and Student Health Services. According to Cogan, parking advocacy has often been hindered by contradictions in campus measures and by unrealistic promises from student politicians.

    “One of the things that bothers me about campaigns is when promises are so superficial and so unattainable,” Cogan said. “I’m of the belief that people in the UCSD administration are willing to listen to the student voice as long as that voice is logical.”

    The second area the campaign will focus on is reinforcing campus life by planning more student events and reducing bureaucratic procedures for planning events.

    The Unity slate’s campaign also focuses on increased campus diversity and unity. Cogan plans to achieve this by working on a campus recruitment and retention center. He hopes to increase funding for campus cultural centers and bringing the UCSD colleges together to campaign for social justice.

    Finally, Cogan said, the campaign will mainly focus on fighting for more student representation and reforms in A.S. Council procedures.

    A “Friends of Unity” network, consisting of advocates who share the slate’s positions, has begun on campus. The Unity candidates will work with these advocates during the campaign, instead of with individual campaign managers to present a more cohesive slate.

    “We feel really confident about who we are as a group,” Cogan said. “The more we work together, the more we feel our own unity.”

    Web site:

    http://www.ucsdunity.com

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