We had a hard time deciding between the two candidates for vice president since they are, by their own admission, very similar. Neither Abigail Cheung ’11 nor Brian Levin ’11 make a strong case for this endorsement, but we have reason to believe Cheung may be somewhat more effective in the position.
In their interviews, the candidates enumerated nearly identical policy platforms. Neither impressed this board by repeatedly stressing commitment to academic minors, an issue we editorialized against earlier this year. We were glad to hear enthusiasm for gender-neutral housing, but neither candidate indicated how next year’s YCC may be more successful on the issue than this year’s council.
Levin has marginally more experience leading committees and planning events, but his conception of the vice president’s role seemed narrowly focused and ineffective. He explained that he would like to speak more often to students and meet more frequently with leaders of student organizations. He did not specify how he would like to work with other members of the YCC — the vice president’s role, as expressed in the council’s charter, is as the primary coordinator of the various council members and projects — beyond saying the vice president is “not necessarily a cheerleader,” but rather a “motivator or counselor.”
Cheung did not offer a significantly better-articulated vision for specific action as vice president, but her acknowledgement that the vice president runs meetings and “sets the tone” for the YCC’s operations was more substantive than Levin’s description of the duties he hopes to take on. And Cheung’s ideas about how specifically to engage student groups — by working with other groups on campus to fund and advertise events — showed more potential than Levin’s nebulous promise of improved communication.
From our knowledge of Levin and Cheung’s contributions to this year’s board, we have reason to believe Cheung has been a marginally more reliable presence. But in this way, too, it is hard to distinguish the candidates. Our endorsement for Cheung is therefore tepid.