Executive Privilege

Next Monday and Tuesday we will elect the Student Body President (SBP), Student Body Vice-President (SBVP), Vice-President for Finance (VPF), and Student Senators. The students who fill these roles routinely dedicate long hours to their jobs, but most of the student population is unaware of their work. In electing students to represent us, we give them the lead role in advocating on our behalf. But only exceptional candidates will make good use of this opportunity, so even if it?s the only time this year, pay some attention to student government.
To help the student body learn more about the candidates for SBP and SBVP, The Tartan is providing extended coverage of the candidates? campaigns in both the News and Forum sections of this issue. Additionally, WRCT, cmuTV, and The Tartan are co-sponsoring a debate this Thursday at 5 pm in McConomy Auditorium. Audio from the debate will be broadcast live on 88.3 FM, and video will be available on cmuTV (channel 17 in on-campus University Housing) and online at The Tartan?s website.
One of the sets of candidates for SBP and SPVP is Franklin Williams and Jackie Brook, respectively. Franklin is currently the Managing Editor of The Tartan, and Brook is the Forum Editor. In a community of students as driven and hard-working as ours, it is inevitable that some students will find themselves wanting to contribute to the community in various roles. In this case, however, editors of the newspaper are running for an elected office; because of this conflict of interest, we are taking this matter very seriously.
Franklin and Jackie have recused themselves from editorial board meetings that discuss matters related to the election; the news coverage of the candidates was assigned to one of our most consistent and professional writers; and our editors are double-checking all content to weed out any bias or favoritism. Finally, we have teamed with two other major campus media organizations to produce the debate historically sponsored by The Tartan alone. All question writing is done privately, and no candidate will have advance knowledge of the questions. Finally, while The Tartan has traditionally provided the moderator for the debate, cmuTV president Greg Battaglia will moderate this year.
Turning to other matters, you may notice that Crime and Incident has been replaced by national news briefs this week. The Tartan regrets being unable to provide the community with its usual weekly security review.
Early last semester, Campus Police amended its policy on communicating with campus media organizations. The Tartan once received complete police reports, with sensitive information blacked out. Under the new policy, Campus Police provides a summary report: the nature, date, time, and general location of each crime, and the disposition of the complaint, if known ? the details federally mandated to be released in 34 CFR Ch. VI ?668.48. Campus Police typically sends this report to several campus media organizations, but did not do so last week. Since the new policy came into effect, The Tartan has repeatedly faced difficulties in coordinating with Campus Police. We will continue to work on ensuring that we can provide the campus with a weekly review of security-related matters.
Finally, Science and Technology returns in this issue after a one-week absence. The position of Science and Technology Editor is presently vacant. Unfortunately, until the position is filled, the section will be run on a bi-weekly basis. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply for the position by submitting a cover letter, resum?, and writing sample to or to mailbox 119 at the UC Information Desk.