This Thursday, I will cast my ballot for Amherst’s next student body President, and I recognize that I am making a choice that will have an impact far beyond the next year.
I will vote for the candidate that I feel has fought for changes large and small and has a proven record of making Amherst College a better college.
In short, I’ll be voting for George Tepe.
From his work as a TA to the Amherst buttons on his sports coat, George Tepe lives for Amherst College. His unfaltering passion for this college can be felt in all of the work he has done for it, in both subtle contributions and major achievements. When the student body needed to break the silence, it was George who made the student government raise the volume — by organizing a rally that brought together students from across the Five Colleges. When ACEMS needed a new car to continue providing its crucial services to the student body, it was George who not only found them a new car, but also, with over 80 percent of the student body’s support, put Amherst on a path to greater sustainability by purchasing the College’s first electric car and charging station. When the Senate’s money troubles threatened to limit the range of activities clubs could offer, George cut through years of waste and red tape to save the student body $95,000. It’s not all, however, about the big projects.
In subtler ways, Tepe regularly represents the college through his involvement in the Committee on Priorities and Resources, the Judiciary Council and the Five College Student Coordinating Board. He is known and respected throughout the College as the advocate for student causes. Student committee positions aside, Tepe also stands out as a friend, a tutor, a classmate and a fellow Amherst fan. George lives and breathes Amherst as he works to make it a better place. From this, I cannot question Tepe’s passion for our college, nor do I worry that he could ever lose sight of what matters to students and the future of Amherst.
At his core, George is a problem-solver. He sees a problem, rolls up his sleeves and won’t stop until it’s fixed. What we need, what Amherst needs now, are real, implementable solutions. You can count on George to encourage discussion and student involvement on the tough issues, and you can count on George to turn ideas into realities. George’s list of accomplishments is one massive proof of his ability to come to a solution and follow through with action.
Of course, all three candidates love Amherst. All of them seem to have great ideas to make it a better place. The major difference with George is that he is not just telling you that he will work hard for you. He has, in fact, already worked hard for you. Every candidate says he or she will make the AAS listen to your concerns — George has held Town Halls and organized conversations between Senators and students to do just that. For him, these issues aren’t just a part of a campaign platform — they’re a part of his life; they’re a continuation of the hundreds of hours of hard work he has already put in and continues to do so because he loves this College. Aside from innovative ideas and a strong relationship with his or her peers, a president must possess the ability to work past differences and obstacles to reach a destination. His long list of accomplishments shows that George Tepe is the candidate for the job. I can’t wait to see what more he will achieve as President of the student body.