The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 25th

Endorsements: Vote Edwards for SBP

Thomas Edwards has a really long platform. But that's not why you should vote for him.

Edwards has the experience and knowledge to tackle one of the most difficult jobs on campus and he has the charisma to get things done in a position that's largely advocacy.

The next student body president faces a particularly difficult year — projections about what budget cuts will mean for the quality of student life and for our education are dire.

We could well be depending on our president to represent students' thoughts to University administrators on what can and can't be cut from the budget.

So we need an advocate with extensive knowledge of the University someone who can speak on the same level with administrators.

Edwards illustrated during his campaign that he has the most detailed grasp of the ongoing policies and problems that have shaped the University to date.

Edwards doesn't have talking points. He has understanding.

He put a lot of research into his platform. In fact many (maybe even most) of his planks promise to continue bolster or better advertise things that we already have or that are already in the works. If originality is your sole criterion Edwards isn't the candidate for you.

But fresh and populist ideas are not the purview of the ideal student body president candidate especially not this year. (See Betts Alpine in Davis.) Edwards has demonstrated good judgment about what to prioritize and how to advocate for those priorities.

But the platform does not make the presidency. Eve Carson helped pick a chancellor. J.J. Raynor embarked on a months-long project with a trustee to propose solutions for improving our educational experience.

A student body president has to be ready to tackle anything the administration throws at him.

That means walking into a meeting with a relaxed and secure presence. That means preparing enough to speak with authority. That means having students' best interests at heart.

More than any other year UNC needs to elect a leader.

It is not an exaggeration to say that with your vote today you take an active role in shaping the University's future.

A vote for Edwards is a vote for the best and most authoritative voice for students in this challenging time.

Why not Jones

Jasmin Jones blew us away. The woman has presence. She makes you smile. She has the rare skill of being able to communicate empathy. She's genuinely excited about spending all her time and energy unifying student groups.

But next year's president needs to be policy-savvy.

Jones' platform was created by and for students. But most students aren't intimately familiar with many of the tasks that occupy administrators and a president's main role is bridging the gap between students and the administration.

In a president we need an expert and Jones falls short.

Why not Betts

Michael Betts brought good ideas to the table but his knowledge of and interest in the issues is unbalanced and his ability to gauge student opinion is suspect.

He made the feasibility of putting an Alpine Bagel Cafe in Davis Library central to his campaign yet all but ignored whether students even desired it.

Betts has impressive leadership experience but hasn't demonstrated an ability to carry out what we really need.

Why not Wohlford

Matt Wohlford is an articulate communicator with deep understanding of the inner workings of student government.

But Wohlford's platform lacks a sense of connection with students. Though he stresses feasibility his initiatives seem to reflect his own interests rather than the needs and desires of the student body.

He hasn't established priorities and vision enough for students to know what their new leader would be advocating.

Why not Bilbao

Ron Bilbao exudes experience and professionalism but he's really a loose canon.

Bilbao lauds his own platform for being short and feasible but when pushed to be more specific he pulls out initiatives no one wants such as paying Student Congress members a stipend.

Bilbao loves to name-drop the truly impressive number of bigwigs he consulted during his campaign.

But ultimately his platform and interests seem to come from the top not the student body.

Why not Klein

Ashley Klein has been working on her platform for almost a year. We wonder what she was doing in that time.

Klein failed to sufficiently address pressing issues especially tuition and the Enterprise Resource Planning project and she flusters easily.

Her focus on unifying students and organizations is admirable but insufficient.

It's a big pool and the choices seem overwhelming at first. But in the past few months only Edwards has proved himself a complete package.

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