Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis Releases Far Reaching Campaign Platform

Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis (C/MD), the Executive slate headlined by Michael Cruz ’12 for President and Stewart Macgregor-Dennis ’13 for Vice President, has launched their campaign website, Stanford 2.0: The slick website is most notable for its far-reaching campaign platform. By my count, C/MD have listed 114 ideas under 16 different platform areas:

  1. Arts (2)
  2. Career (5)
  3. Dining (10)
  4. Disability (4)
  5. Diversity (9)
  6. Grad (6)
  7. Greek (5)
  8. Green (18)
  9. Health (8)
  10. Housing (8)
  11. Living (5)
  12. Queer (10)
  13. Serve (8)
  14. Sexual Health (2)
  15. Tech/Engineering (8)
  16. Women (6)

What do all of these ideas mean?

The 114 ideas aren’t all unique (e.g. a version of the idea of mapping gender neutral bathrooms appeared, by my count, four times in the platform, from Disability to Diversity to Housing to Queer, as does language on ROTC and other issues), but it’s clearly still an epic platform. In addition, it’s obviously worth noting that the number of ideas under each category doesn’t necessarily reflect the amount of work in those categories. Under the Dining platform alone, there’s an idea to add more non-fried Late Nite options (a definite possibility) and an idea to eliminate mandatory meal plans (a plan that is economically infeasible, in my opinion).

The different ideas also have varying degrees of specificity. There are many ideas that list exact goals and methods for achieving them (e.g. an idea to launch a health and wellness website and a timeline for its creation and finalization) and then there are vaguer ideas. One example is around C/MD’s stance on ROTC’s return. The campaign is embracing the “Campaign to Abstain” (voting abstain on the non-binding ROTC advisory question), but in its discussion of the role of the executive it says that it will “advocate the ad hoc committee on ROTC and use our speaking rights in the faculty senate to speak on behalf of the student body”. What does this mean? If the student body votes for or against ROTC’s return, will C/MD feel compelled to reflect the student body’s opinion when it speaks at the Faculty Senate? Will it elevate certain voices or points of view? There’s definite room for clarification here. There also some ideas that are so vague as to almost lack value: “BOSP more accessible: work with BOSP to offer more programs.” Is C/MD planning to flesh out those types of ideas or are they just filler?

Overall, my primary advice to voters is to take a look yourselves. It’s a very impressive platform, but by virtue of its size and expansiveness (it calls for creating new members of dorm staff (Diversity Peer Educators), eliminating mandatory meal plans, creating an all-Cardinal dollar plan, returning full-time employment to all community center staff (something to which Hennessy did not commit when he spoke to the Joint Legislative Session last quarter), etc.), it raises the question of how much attention C/MD would be able to commit to each of these ostensible priorities. My challenge to the Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis candidacy would be to express why they believe that they will be able to accomplish all of these tasks, when previous Execs have not accomplished nearly as much. Usually, a successful Exec can point to a few key accomplishments – C/MD seems to be trying to do it all. If they can do it, more power to them – I’ll be as impressed as (or perhaps even more than) the next person. But if they admit that they’re aiming high, I’d like to hear how they plan to prioritize. What’s coming first?

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