After looking at all three candidates, the CW Editorial Board believes Kara Whelply is best suited for the role of vice president of Academic Affairs.
Kara gets it. She has struggled in class. She’s succeeded. She knows how the system works. She is unafraid of admitting her own shortcomings when it comes to academics. As the former director of Academic Integrity and current assistant vice president of Academic Affairs, she has worked closely with Academic Affairs, and working as the vice president of Academic Affairs is a natural progression for her. Kara’s passion for helping students in and out of the classroom is evident in her platform and in her continued desire to see students take full advantage of the resources at the University.
Whelply served on a registration task force and has seen how the current system of priority registration is unfair, allowing Honors College freshmen to register before seniors a semester away from graduating. Whelply, like every candidate, emphasized priority registration for veterans and dependents, a necessary step in easing their burden.
Emily Cerrina demonstrated a lack of forethought and realism. Like all candidates for this office, her platform advocated for priority registration for veterans. In addition, she supports bringing the Academic Honor Council under the reach of the SGA, and she has proposed building a website that would show when open seats in libraries on campus were available and would be detailed by specific location. Throughout her interview, Cerrina demonstrated that she did not understand the inner workings of the Academic Honor Council, nor could she correctly answer who was currently handling academic misconduct, despite being a member of the Academic Honor Council. Although the desire to increase ease of access in libraries is commendable, Cerrina has not spoken to any library staff member about adding responsibilities to their professional duties. Further, she has not spoken to any group or individual about the specifics of building such a website. Members of this Board with computer programming experience doubt that this undertaking is anywhere near as inexpensive and easy as Cerrina suggests based on her comparing seat tracking to the ability to display open computers in libraries. Computers can be programmed to send signals to other displays automatically, while chairs cannot.
Alex Smith wants to put students first, but her platform lacks specifics. Her textbook swap idea is a commendable suggestion, but, like many of her proposals, lacked specifics regarding implementation. Many of her ideas lack the kind of substance and detailed explanation provided by Whelply. The CW Editorial Board does not feel she is the best fit for VPAA, but we encourage the next vice president of Academic Affairs, if Smith does not win, to include Smith in her cabinet. This board would encourage Smith to consider a run for office during the next election season.
Whelply’s platform is not without its faults. Her platform does not address external factors that affect the academic success of non-traditional students. We question the necessity of a tutoring program that appears similar to what the Center for Academic Success already offers. Despite these concerns, we feel Whelply is eminently qualified to hold this office, and believe she will work tirelessly for the academic welfare of this student body. The CW Editorial Board enthusiastically endorses her for vice president of Academic Affairs.
Our View represents the consensus of The Crimson White Editorial Board. Opinions Editor Leigh Terry recused herself from this editorial due to a long-standing personal relationship with one of the candidates.