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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
**Update from Andy** Zach Liberman, Party Chair Jake Kloberdanz, and Campaign Strategist Matt Arkin all tell me that Zach is still the BEARS-United Presidential Candidate. Also, I saw the BU AAVP candidate campaigning on campus today, and I believe that Jordan Mikes is campaigning as well. There are constant, conflicting rumors coming out about BU, some from members of the party itself... but we will be talking with party leaders before we post any more information of this nature-Andy R. End Update**
I have heard several different versions of what happened. Some people have said that the BEARS-United leadership dissassociated the party from him. Others have said Zach quit on his own without any prodding from party officials. I'm guessing the true story is a mix of both, hopefully Zach will chime in with his story.
Billy Wang continues to actively campaign and is the only BEARS-United executive candidate that remains in the race. Some of thier senate candidates are also still actively campaigning.
My Thoughts: I ran for Senate last year with BEARS-United in its first campaign. I thought then and still think now that the ASUC needs some fundamental reform of its operations if it's going to maintain and enhance its status as the only independent student government in the country. BEARS-United under Jake Kloberdanz offered up a good platform to get the ball rolling on institutional reform. Jake ran an honest and clean campaign and he remains a good example of the type of good well rounded students Berkeley has to offer. That he didn't win office says a lot more about the system and the types of campaigns you need to run (full exec + senate slate's) than about Jake's effort and qualities.
BEARS-United this year was a lot different. Some elements from last years platform stayed the same: the watchdog committee + the audit, graduate student autonomy... But other equally important issues: political neutrality, commercial activities reform, connecting the athletic community to the ASUC, Student Union revitalization, etc... were left of the table. Other new issues such as getting involved in the fight between UC and its emoployees over wages were introduced.
By far the biggest change was the difference in leadership. Zach Liberman has a lot of positive qualities: lots of energy, creativity, a willingness to be bold and direct, but in terms of some of the qualities needed to lead an organization such as the ASUC... diplomacy, organization, etc... He was lacking in those areas. And I think that thier campaign performance thus far has been a reflection of that.
ASUC elections, as Kevin! pointed out, are not about ideas. They are about organization and media saturation. BEARS-United has some of the right ideas to govern, but in order to put those ideas into effect they must professionalize thier organization and create broad based coalitions of student groups. The key for them now is to make a good showing in the Exec VP race, get Billy re-elected to the Senate and also elect some other party members to senate positions.Email This Post!
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