George Tepe: A Modest Endorsement
Issue   |   Mon, 04/08/2013 - 01:45

I’m not the biggest fan of George Tepe. He seems ambitious, and quite frankly, obsessive about AAS politics. Not to mention we’ve been on the opposite side of too many issues to count.

That said, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the best man standing for the job. I have a great deal of respect for George Tepe, because he always seems to be trying to help the student body, and is open to new ideas. George Tepe cares more about the student body and the effectiveness of the AAS than probably anyone else on this campus, and it is apparent in his track record.

First, George Tepe has worked tirelessly for the student body. Whenever there was a town hall to gain student input, George Tepe was behind it. Organizing the Day of Dialogue? George Tepe. Protesting in front of the Lord Jeff Inn against the “Culture of Silence?” George Tepe. Turbo Vote? GPS systems? Delivery of the Wall Street Journal? Yup, George Tepe.

The man is a goddamn machine. He never stops working, and he has devoted all of his spare time to working on student life. He also understands how the AAS works — noting the mistakes of the past to avoid them in the future. While perhaps you do not view this as a problem, three of Savino’s five ideas for AAS transparency have either been rejected or implemented by the Senate. Having a President who understands where we have been and what we have done is crucial to bringing the AAS to its highest potential.

George Tepe has also done a fantastic job as the vice president of the AAS. George handles senate meetings with remarkable deftness. If George can handle self-important people of the AAS in a heated senate meeting, he should be absolutely excellent at gathering student input on issues of moment. He will ensure all students are listened to, and that all viewpoints are represented at the table.

However, soliciting student input is not the only responsibility of the President. As President, you must be able to latch on to diverse, even contradictory, student opinions and turn them into a cohesive plan for action capable of weathering the scrutiny of crucial stakeholders. Without an experienced President ready to lead in this regard, the student body loses out. An inability to represent multiple groups at the same time produces bad results. Moving the MRC to the first floor was an achievement to be proud of; turning half of the game room into an unused lounge was less so. Ineffective leadership allowed the debate on campus to divide us, not unite us.

Finally, George Tepe is the best person to combat the administration on important issues. To put this in the words of Professor Barbezat — the students are labor, and the administration and faculty are management. As the students we must fight the administration on a number of issues: alcohol policy, residential life, continued support for sexual assault resources. George Tepe is the right man to fight the administration when necessary. “Working with” the administration and failing to stand our ground has gotten us the current unsatisfactory housing situation, a counterproductive alcohol policy, and years of continuously atrocious sexual assault policy. When the issues require it, we must organize and fight, and Tepe is the right man to lead us into battle.

When I was considering endorsing each candidate for president, I asked both Will Savino and George Tepe about their ideas for student life, the AAS, and their commitment to the position. AAS meetings are at 8:30 pm on Mondays; they regularly go for two, even three hours. Mr. Gad’s meets at 10 pm on Mondays. When I asked Will if he would quit or move the time of Mr. Gad’s, to commit to the AAS, he demurred. Will said he would stay in AAS meetings if there were important issues to discuss, but otherwise, he would leave early to go perform in Mr. Gad’s.

If you are deciding who to vote for, I think that is all you need to know.

Liz Mutter (not verified) says:
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 16:08

Ignoring all of Chris's other points, I think it's important to recognize his attempt to vilify Will for his active commitment to an on-campus group of which he will be Director next year. George is similarly dedicated to the Amherst Symphony Orchestra; I highly doubt he would let us down by missing a concert for a weekly AAS meeting, and I highly doubt Chris would shame him for doing so. Most students on campus are involved in various campus organizations and have experienced prioritizing on a case-by-case basis. Will understands this need and would do his best to be both an involved student and a president. Who could blame him for that?

John (not verified) says:
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 19:49

Says the person in Gad's...

Chris Friend (not verified) says:
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 18:39

I'm not entirely sure how accurately quoting what Will said counts as vilification, to be honest - he literally just rephrased the last paragraph of my article in a recent status update. Even so, the analogy is a poor one, because a) Gad's is every Monday at 10pm, which directly conflicts with AAS meetings, and b) Orchestra doesn't. If you're going to be the president, you should at the very least try to commit to coming to every meeting and stay for the entire meeting. You should be the president first and foremost, and involved student next. I don't think that's entirely unreasonable.

Get over yourse... (not verified) says:
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 22:55

So does this mean that if anyone has a current commitment on Monday nights they can't be a successful President? Do you really think the President would put Gad's over the student body that elected him? You, sir, need to concentrate on your next campaign and stop ruining what had been a peaceful campaigning period

Lady Jeff '15 (not verified) says:
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 23:22

Chris very succinctly just made his points in his comment to Liz. Like he said, Will should be president first and a Gad's member second. As per Chris's quote and Savino's euphemistic rephrasing on his facebook page, he clearly does not believe that the presidency comes first.

LOL @ John (not verified) says:
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 23:22

Could not have said it better myself. Nice try, Liz.