Endorsement: Vice President Finance — Bryce Adam Murray

    In all of the years the current members of this board have interviewed candidates for A.S. vice president finance, we’ve never met one as intelligent and qualified as independent Bryce Adam Murray. And with A.S. finances roiled by controversy over travel moneys and contradictory rules for student organization funding, he couldn’t have come along at a better time.

    We must admit we were initially awed by Murray’s intimate knowledge of each detail of the A.S. executive budget, his common-sense proposals to improve it and his historical perspective. Whoever becomes the next president would be lucky to have Murray as their top financial adviser.

    As a current finance senator and fraternity head, Murray combines the perfect balance of outsider perspective and policy expertise. We trust his pledge to streamline the funding process for student orgs and make the student government more transparent through vigilant review of each funding request and by posting key financial data online. His plan for a Web forum to allow students to post anonymous feedback is similarly praiseworthy.

    In an election that has needlessly politicized the A.S. budget, including the question of proper funding for the Academic Success Program, Murray has stood behind his practical, if unpopular, stances, including the belief that funding cuts should be made across the board when necessary, not targeted at the least politically popular programs. Yet, he also seems willing to look beyond the numbers and include other qualitative or “softer” considerations in his calculus, an unusual quality for a numbers guy.

    His view of Student Organizations Funding Advisory Board reform is equally principled, combining structural changes with increased communication with student orgs, and Murray’s proposal for a community-service projects line item is well thought out.

    In some ways, his Student Voice! opponent Conrad Ohashi shares many of these strengths. However, Ohashi’s failure to carry out substantive improvements during his tenure as chair of SOFAB makes us skeptical of his ability to translate his ideas into actual policy.

    Similarly, the third candidate, Tritons United! contender April Deibert is quite intelligent and well spoken, though we are troubled by her lack of experience and detailed understanding of the finance office. Deibert appears to view her greenness as an asset, but we can hardly agree. Though she might turn out to be a skilled vice president, her success seems far from certain; this board cannot simply endorse an outsider preaching change just because we are unsatisfied with the status quo.

    We agree with Deibert that the finance office is in dire need of reform; however, not just any reform will do. Murray has the strongest skill set and most comprehensive knowledge to carry out a restructuring that lays a foundation for the future, beyond his one-year term.

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