Letter to the Editor: Unanswered questions in CMU elections

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

This is my third student government election. This is also my third time being disappointed by candidates. Year after year, the candidates say they will add new services, improve existing ones, and usher in a new age of prosperity. Year after year, nothing changes. This election presents a new phenomenon: ignorance of basic university services and working initiatives.
For example, one candidate has suggested a peer-to-peer mental health crisis hotline. Doesn’t he know that CaPS has a 24/7 hotline? Another candidate suggested that someone from EMS should sit in UHS on weekends to help people decide if they need to go to the hospital. Doesn’t she realize that EMS operates 24/7? Doesn’t she realize that student’s wouldn’t even have to walk to UHS, as EMS comes to them? Furthermore, rather than complaining about the medical insurance money wasted on water cups, doesn’t she know that the Carnegie Mellon student health insurance fully covers all STI testing and birth control? Multiple candidates have expressed concern about the ranking of Carnegie Mellon, but don’t they realize that there is an army of faculty and administrators devoted to this?

I believe that all of these candidates have good intentions. In their own ways, they want to address what they believe are pressing issues for students. My problem is not their goals but their approaches. They are attempting to change processes in places where people are already working to improve services. Adding a few students to initiatives that are already in progress within the university will only impede progress, not accelerate it. This is the premise of Brooks’ Law, a commonly cited phenomenon in software engineering.

Most of our candidates seem to want to start unnecessary initiatives or interrupt existing ones. Students deserve a candidate who is going to lead and motivate students to create solutions, not beg the university to do what it is already doing. I encourage you all to vote with this in mind. My intention here was simply to question candidates in an open forum; I encourage candidates to respond, and invite voters to question those who would seek to lead them.

Connor Smith is a close friend of Aaron and Vaasavi and has close ties with their campaign staff. The views expressed here are solely Smith’s, and he does not work on the campaign in any meaningful way. The letter is a product of Smith’s own conclusions, beliefs, and opinions.