Gadgil Seeks Re-endorsement

Undergraduate Council (UC) vice-presidential candidate Tara Gadgil ’07 has asked the South Asian Association (SAA), which endorsed her opponents last week, to reconsider their position, according to several members of the group.

But SAA Co-President Arjun Vasan ’07 said last night that the group will not change its position. “We are not changing our minds,” Vasan said.

Gadgil told the board on Wednesday that information provided by opposing UC presidential candidate John S. Haddock ’07 and vice presidential candidate Annie R. Riley ’07 regarding the student groups grant process—one issue taken into account in the endorsement—was unrealistic.

“We wanted to issue a statement to South Asian Association and to other student groups about the feasibility of various tickets’ plans to increase the funding of student groups,” Gadgil said.

“It has come to our attention that the Haddock-Riley ticket has been proposing a plan to cut social planning from the scope of the UC and to use the money from the committee fund to distribute back to student groups and HoCos,” Gadgil said, adding that it was unclear where social funding would come from if not the UC’s own budget.

Both Undergraduate Council President Matthew J. Glazer ’06 and the college administration have raised concerns about the financial feasibility of the Haddock-Riley plan.

Haddock declined to comment specifically on the SAA issue last night, but expressed appreciation for the SAA’s stance.

“We’re tremendously flattered to have the confidence of the board of SAA,” Haddock said. “We feel strongly that Annie and I deliver a vision that benefits students and student groups on campus.”

The SAA board encouraged Gadgil to submit a written statement outlining specific factual points of contention on Wednesday, but SAA Co-President Alka R. Tandon ’07 that as of last night, Gadgil had not yet provided this additional information. “We really want to get the facts straight,” Vasan said. “The concerns she brought up, we wanted to make sure they were valid, not one-sided.”

Vasan and Tandon also noted that while the student grants process—through which organizations like the SAA apply for funding from UC coffers—was one consideration in their discussion, the ultimate endorsement was based on a range of issues.

“That is not the focus of our endorsement,” Vasan said of the grants issue.

“Even with any clarification, I’m not sure it would change our opinion at all,” Tandon said.