In a field of two qualified candidates, we found ourselves drawn to Chris LoPresti ’12 for his ideas and his ability to implement them.
Both Murong Yang ’12 and LoPresti have experience on the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee. By many accounts, both have been assets to the committee, and we are confident that while Yang has been on the committee for an additional year, each candidate has the experience necessary to lead.
However, when it comes to proposals, we feel LoPresti is the clear winner. For instance, while both candidates identified printing costs as major expenses for undergraduate organizations, only LoPresti seems intent at reducing these costs. While his answer — a UOFC-funded industrial printer that organizations could use to make posters and programs — is imperfect and leaves many important details to be ironed out, Yang seems content to leave the system as it is.
In addition, Yang’s major initiative, a UOFC bursar system for oft-frequented vendors such as Tyco and Yorkside, seems like it will only encourage more spending at particular stores instead of encouraging club heads to look for the most cost-effective ways to spend their money. We would be more optimistic about this arrangement if Yang thought she could secure discounts for students, but in her interview, she noted that such discounts are unfeasible. Finally, we worry a bit about the bursar system creating an incentive to spend that doesn’t exist in a system when one has to apply for reimbursement.
Finally, on the 2K and 5K event competitions, LoPresti’s proposal shows a clear understanding of both the process and the funding environment. Yang proposes to combat the problem of weak applications for events by providing more information and publicizing competitions better. This may help, but LoPresti’s idea to cut the 5K event and put the money into more 2K events or back into the general fund recognizes key elements about the competition. For instance, often the 2K event competitions have a stronger applicant pool, and the winner of the 5K event for the past two years has spent substantially less than $5,000 on its event.
The candidates each bring an understanding of the position along with a desire to make the committee more transparent and funding easier to obtain. LoPresti, however, also brings a desire to make our organizations’ money go further, which in this environment is almost more important.
Correction: April 12, 2010
An earlier version of this article misreported the amount of time candidate Chris LoPresti ’12 has served on the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee; it is one year, not two.