By Melissa Godsoe
After a bitter battle last summer, one of RyeSAC’s most controversial former executives is taking to the trenches and has signed on as a campaign manager in the upcoming election.
Former vice-president finance and services Sajjad Wasti will be heading up Dave MacLean’s campaign for presidency.
MacLean, a business faculty representative, declared his candidacy this week.
By signing on as MacLean’s campaign manager, Wasti ended all speculation that he might mount his own bid for the presidency.
“I fully realize that by foregoing this year’s presidential candidacy I am removing any chances of ever heading RyeSAC,” said Wasti.
Wasti says he has more to offer other candidates and will draw on his personal experience as a former RyeSAC executive.
“There is a need for developing leadership to guide this organization,” said Wasti. “I believe my most significant contribution to RyeSAC would be in doing that and I am gladly accepting my new responsibility.”
Wasti plans to lend support to MacLean should he win the Feb. 13 elections and work behind the scenes to focus on developing policy and offering advice.
“When they [the executive] are up and running, they will need support,” said Wasti. “That was my experience and I couldn’t get any.”
Wasti resigned from his position on the executive council last semester after writing and distributing a letter in which he accused RyeSAC management of being “corrupt” and “nepotistic,” which resulted in a drive to impeach the former vice-president.
MacLean supported Wasti during the fiasco and believes Wasti will bring a lot to his campaign.
“I guess people who know what happened will see that the person who first opened their eyes to change is still working for change,” said MacLean. “He is supporting me and there is going to be an opposition.”
MacLean is heading up a platform of fellow Board Members Derek Isber who is running for student life and events, and Aradhana Choudhuri, who is running for vice-president education, along with newcomer Ronney Young, who is campaigning for vice-president finance and services.
According to MacLean, the group met while working together on the board and share many similar ideas about how RyeSAC should run.
MacLean said the group decided to run on a united platform because they want to see changes in the make-up of the student government and he believes that changes can only take place by “stopping a circle of friends from running RyeSAC.”
In the past, MacLean has been a vocal board member and said the present executive attempted to silence him because of his outspoken criticism of RyeSAC.
“Conflict isn’t always a bad thing. It can be a matter of difference of opinion,” he said. “That’s democracy at work.”
He wants RyeSAC to be more accessible to the average student and he wants to give back to the students by adding more bursaries for those in financial need.
“We take so much money from students,” said MacLean. “I think it’s time we started giving more back.”