SBP Election: Analyzing Christy Lambden’s Platform.

By: David Ortiz

1. Academic Affairs

Lambden’s main campaign slogan is “Carolina First”. To that end, his campaign intends to boost UNC’s academic reputation – called into question by recent scandals – and maintain affordability. His campaign intends to “maintain the quality of a degree from Carolina” while simultaneously helping students “enjoy their degree”. We’re not quite sure how Lambden intends to help students “enjoy their degree”, but we imagine it could be quite difficult in the case of either STEM or women’s studies majors. Lambden intends to implement policies including the pushing of any further tuition increases towards faculty retention; a review of general education requirements; and increased cohesion between graduate and undergraduate students. Timeline seems vague, but rest assured, it’ll all get done.

2. Advocacy

Again utilizing his slogan “Carolina First”, Lambden intends to stick it to the Board of Trustees where past SBPs have backed down. His policies include the “adaptation of the Carolina advocacy committee to engage different sectors of the community”; increased office hours of student government officials (because that’ll get things done); increased voicing of student concerns to UNC administrators; and the launching of a website that will function as a forum for students to voice their concerns.

3. Affordability

In this section, Lambden cites the need of keeping “Carolina First” in affordability; of keeping the cost of “going to university” down. His policies are examined in greater detail in later sections (see “Tuition”, and “Fees”).

3a. Tuition

Lambden charges straight out of the gates by affirming the need to “lead the debate [on tuition] from day one”, rather than simply “react to changes from above”. To that end, he plans to “initiate discussions about tuition” as well as to “create a viable tuition proposal that builds on key aspects of the discussion”. His guiding principle in this debate is, once again, to keep “Carolina First” in affordability.

3b. Fees

Lambden’s campaign attacks the confusion and complication of the current student fee system, arguing that most students do not know the destination of most if not all student fees. Rather than “adopting a ‘cut everything’ mantra”, Lambden pledges to increase transparency via the creation of a student fee website tracking all fees as well as greater (and more widely disseminated) scrutiny of student fees by the Student Fee Audit Committee (SFAC).

3c. Housing

Lambden’s campaign cites the extraordinarily high cost of on-campus life (valued at over $700/month) as well as the inadequacy of cheaper, off-campus housing. To fix the problem, he intends to work with the RHA to “create a proposal for the reduction of housing prices” and simultaneously work with the Town Council to discuss student housing in Chapel Hill. Quite vague. In other words, he intends to fix the problem by fixing the problem.

4. Arts

Lambden’s campaign will also champion the challenges of the arts community here at UNC, which is often ignored and unknown by the larger student population. Once more, he intends to create an “online resource” in which a “comprehensive collection of all events”. Furthermore, his campaign will fight for the creation of a Dance Minor beneath the aegis of the Communications Department. Implementing such a minor might be a dance in and of itself.

5. Athletics

Citing the rich tradition of athletics at Carolina, Lambden quickly moves to lament the “decrease of intensity” at certain sporting events. In order to boost student attendance at and appreciation of “sporting events”, Lambden plans to increase events like the White-Out game against Tech this year, have a nighttime football game during Fall 2013, and have an annual basketball game in Carmichael Arena by 2015 primarily for students.

6. Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

In order to aid student organizations dedicated to diversity, Lambden’s campaign will implement – you guessed it – yet another website available to all students and faculty detailing such organizations’ events and keynote speakers. Lambden also intends to work with events management to increase available venues for such events as well as work with professors and administrators in order to get them more involved. Lambden intends to “identify and articulate” Carolina’s commitment to diversity in an official statement.

7. Environmental Affairs

Lambden praises the university-wide focus on water, but argues that water is not the only element of environmental affairs. If elected, his administration would work to aid Carolina’s goal of being coal-free by 2020 and carbon-neutral by 2050; clearly long-term propositions. His policies would include the following: the improvement of “bike infrastructure”; “increasing compostable options”; “encouraging the Greek community to be more environmentally responsible” (perhaps starting by getting them to stop throwing hundreds of beer cans all over the place every weekend); and finally create a committee in order to “evaluate if Carolina invests 10% of their endowment” in environmental sustainability. Carolina’s endowment is roughly 2.2 billion USD.

8. Graduate and Professional Student Affairs

Lambden argues that action to aid the financial situations of graduate students must be swift, because if the current trend continues many graduate students could be eligible for food stamps. To achieve this, Lambden’s administration would work to discuss the lessening of fees for less frequently used programs for graduate students. Furthermore, Lambden would work to increase stipends for graduate students.

9. Greek Affairs

Lambden’s administration would seek to increase the participation of Greeks in campus issues and discussions; his platform affirms this increase in participation immediately following asserting that Greeks (15% of the student body) are highly active members of the student body. In order to amplify Greek involvement, Lambden plans to install CCI printers off-campus so Greeks don’t have to walk to campus to print stuff; increase “round-table discussions” with four major Greek organizations; create yet another website publishing reports affecting the Greek community; create a one-time medical amnesty program for Greeks; and further the efforts of OneACT, Safezone, and HAVEN among the Greek community.

10. LGBTQ Affairs

As part of “Carolina First”, the Lambden administration would work to create and uphold a campus culture in which “no group feels marginalized”. To this end, he will endeavor to increase gender-neutral bathrooms; implement gender-neutral housing on campus; work with the LGBTQ Center on North Campus to provide greater resources; and increase Safezone training.

11. Parking and Transit

Lambden proposes an alternative five-year plan to the one being discussed by administrators, the alternative not requiring students to pay an additional $17 fee. Furthermore, the campaign would work to maintain free parking on-campus after 5PM and increase parking spots for students (currently only 6% of spots are available to students).

12. Public Safety

The Lambden administration would focus its efforts and energies upon two issues concerning public safety: reform of the sexual assault policy and Alert Carolina. He will create a sub-committee in order to Carolina’s policy towards Title IX and its reform of sexual assault policy. Lambden will also create – wait for it – another website detailing public safety for students. Finally, his administration would work to review Alert Carolina’s effectiveness; increase awareness of public safety options at orientation; and work to increase blue lights on campus as well as explore possible alternatives.

13. Student Government Reform

The main concern of the Lambden campaign with student government is the overlap between committees as well as the lack of cohesion between the congressional branch and the executive branch of student government. Being a former member of student government, Lambden knows well its complexities and problems. He aims to reform the “integration of the committee, special project and external appointment structure” and to “submit reform proposals to ASG that reduce stipends, improve the ratio of representatives from larger schools to accurately reflect the population of each institution rather than have each institution with an equal number of representatives.”

14. University Services

Attacking the current One-Card system as “too complicated”, Lambden details how students currently have to deal with three separate systems on a single card, as well as the difficulties of adding more money to those systems. In order to reform this system, Lambden proposes the following: “expand payment options for online expense account payment to include Visa, American Express, and debit accounts; increase number of Tar Heel tellers on campus; simplify One Card system by combining the Expense and Flex portions of the One Card; and start discussions with businesses on Franklin Street about the use of One Cards as a payment option.” His administration would also work to develop a more comprehensive roommate finder tool.

Ladies and Gentlemen, five websites and fourteen pages later, we have the Christy Lambden platform. Please visit the following website for the full platform, as well as a more detailed and longer-winded platform: http://christylambden.com/platform.php

 

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