Incumbents announce round two

Ryan Brown, Managing Editor

Student Senate is set for a competitive presidential election this year, with incumbent President Cliff Maloney and running mate Marcus McGuire confirming their re-election candidacies Thursday.

Their campaign joins the running against the season’s first ticket, led by second-year Senator Christian Woo with running mate Alexis Prusick.

Maloney, who won last year’s election against Michael Cerveris, said his administration’s focus on financial transparency and open debate will be a major point to sway voters in the March 20-21 election.

“Last year, we got a lot of complaints that (Student Senate) wasn’t approachable,” Maloney said.

Since then, Maloney said, efforts to lengthen the student-activities budget process and to bring more student requests to campus officials have been largely successful.

“Our No. 1 priority is the student activities fund,” he said. “(Last year) it was printed a week before we left. And if we didn’t vote ‘yes’ we went home for the summer.”

Maloney, like his opponent, doesn’t yet have a clear list of policy goals, instead relying on student input before the election.

Aside from matters like student Wi-Fi access and parking – issues on which senators largely agree – Maloney said emergency allocation and spending are the senate’s most frequently debated points.

“We’ve encouraged a lot of healthy debate on the emergency allocation procedure,” he said. “It gets pretty heated.”

Emergency allocations, by which student organizations receive cash injections from a senate fund, often divide senators and can reveal their political loyalties.

This year’s election may be free of the bitter accusations that followed last year’s race, however – Maloney said he respects Woo, whom he appointed as senate parliamentarian this year.

“I appointed Christian to parliamentarian for a reason,” Maloney said. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders.”

Maloney’s candidacy may be underway soon –Facebook groups may be set up after spring break and tables may be placed in the Student Union in the days preceding the election.

And despite historically unexceptional turnout rates, both presidential candidates said they want to target broad swaths of voters.

“We’re going for 100 percent,” Maloney said.