Endorsement: Commissioner of Student Services — No Endorsement

    Ever since the student services commissionership was created several years ago by being split from the enterprises office, it has been plagued by, frankly, incompetent administrators who have run it into the ground. That’s why this board was so excited when we first met Student Voice! candidate Kaveh Cyrus, the first strong contender this position has seen in years.

    Sadly, Cyrus’ vision is to scrap the office all together, not give to it the tender love and care it so badly needs; it is a vision this board simply cannot endorse.

    In recent years, the student services have deteriorated to the point of near-irrelevance. A.S. Safe Rides, once a vibrant service that promised students a guaranteed sober driver back home, has been progressively neutered since 2003 in an attempt to cut costs. Instead of trying to save on the backend, the A.S. Council’s solution has been to restrict access, and make using the service more difficult, diluting its very mission.

    Similarly, in the wake of this year’s porn fiasco, oversight of Student-Run Television and KSDT was stripped from this office, and handed over to the commissioner of communications.

    If elected, Cyrus would simply accelerate student services’ slow disintegration, reassigning the few remaining programs among other elected posts and dissolving the commissionership, a plan we believe moves in the wrong direction.

    Moving Safe Rides to enterprises, as Cyrus proposes, would only dilute the mandate of the already decaying service, and simply add to the burden of an enterprises commissioner facing problems of his or her own (see our enterprises endorsement for more information.) Similarly, we strongly believe allowing SRTV and KSDT to remain under the purview of the communications commissioner would be a grave mistake. Having these A.S.-defined “nonpublic forums” alongside the campus printed publications, we fear, would only further threaten the principle of content-neutrality used to fund the latter.

    Ironically, if he wanted to, we believe Cyrus would be the perfect candidate to rebuild student services to their heyday, and even introduce new ones; if he’s elected, we certainly hope he’ll reconsider his plans.

    Similarly, we cannot endorse either of Cyrus’ opponents. Tritons United! Candidate Elle Maglonzo, though we believe well-meaning, seems to have only a vague understanding of the problems that ail the office. One of her main campaign pledges — to increase funding for the Academic Success Program — is completely off base; if anything A.S.P. currently receives too much money.

    Revelle College freshman Jeffery Jair is even less qualified. During his interview, Jair could not even identify the services overseen by the commissioner, much less offer a coherent vision for what to do with them. Clearly an ambitious and enthusiastic candidate, Jair should wait a year or two before making his political debut — although the student services post may cease to exist by then, if Cyrus gets his way.

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