The 2012 Debates: A Comprehensive guide to the USG Elections
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 01:04
The first round of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) election debates were held in the VC Cafeteria last Tuesday, adding crescendo to an already staunchly competitive bid for next year’s USG seats.
Some of the turmoil surrounding this race was explored in the last edition of The Ticker, however in light of the debate, some clarifications can now be made as to the progression of events that have led to the formation of the three parties, A Better Baruch, Connect with Baruch and Suit Up Baruch, and where they stand in light of the issues that face Baruch College students as a result.
Be sure to follow The Ticker on Twitter and Facebook as continuing coverage is provided on the USG elections. Also, don’t miss the second round of The Debates this Thursday at 12:45 in VC 3-150, where the three parties will square off one last time before the student elections scheduled for April 24 through April 26.
The parties are formed
In December of last year, some students had already begun planning out their team for USG the following year. Among these students were Chris Catalano and Santiago Mueckay, presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively.
According to Chris, “When we first came together, we weren’t A Better Baruch, we were just a bunch of people that wanted to come together. We were all people who had the same objective to run for USG.”
One member of that team, until Feb. 26, was Adam Camacho.
Camacho had no comment as to why he was kicked off the Better Baruch team, however he did say in an interview with The Ticker interview that he “had concerns about the team.”
“The biggest thing was that there was a [certain] decision made by few [and] that there was very little input from the team,” he said, though he chose not to divulge specifics as to what that decision was.
Later in the interview, he went on to add, “During the first meeting with the rest of [A Better Baruch, on] Thursday, Feb. 16, there was concern that the team wasn’t cohesive – it wasn’t like the team was making decisions together, people were taken aback. It wasn’t that there were divisions in the group, but more that people were uncomfortable with decisions being made without input” from everyone.
The night that Camacho was kicked off of A Better Baruch, he decided to start his own team, which was born on Feb. 27 under the moniker “Connect With Baruch,” or as they are most commonly referred to around campus these days due to their t-shirts and logo – a topic that caused some controversy at the April 2 debate – CWB.
As his executive vice president, Camacho recruited Ke Wei, and as treasurer, Christian Sanchez.
CWB began actively recruiting around the school immediately, focusing on the use of a democratic approach to the selection of positions within the party. This seemed to be working until the days preceding March 23, when a splinter group of CWB personnel created their own third party in the race, Suit Up Baruch.
According to Camacho, “Concerns of a few members on the team” were brought up when they approached him “and a few other executive board members.”
“We called an executive board meeting to go forward and solve these problems. From what I saw, it was resolved. We were discussing it, the issues were met. But there was still concern from those members, and I didn’t find out until the next day,” said Camacho.
“They already started planning this team; they recruited from within. Even though [the executive board] addressed the concerns, they were still planning to run on their own. They were able to launch very quickly because they took members and platform ideas from CWB. That was the only way they could launch [in the short timeframe],” he added.
The “they” that Camacho refers to is Slava Brodetskiy and Sara Dowd, who together head the team now known as Suit Up Baruch.
Sara Dowd, Suit Up’s vice presidential candidate said that when she joined CWB originally, it was “with a specific vision” in mind.
“The more we tried to work as a team,” she said of her time within CWB, “it wasn’t really going in that direction.” She added that she was either “going to drop out of USG elections altogether” as a result, or form her own party. When it came to just dropping out, she “didn’t want to do it.”
“I knew that I didn’t want to be president, for several reasons,” she said, introducing her companion, “Slava was the only person I felt comfortable working with.”
Slava said of the Suit Up Baruch vision that “we’re not trying to only appeal to business students, we want to appeal to casual students who aren’t usually involved in student life.”