Opinion: students interested in elections, finally

Cassidy Alexander

Alexander
Alexander

Did you hear? There’s actually going to be an election for our senators this year. There should be banners, there should be a parade through campus, we’re finally having a student government election! Oh, happy day!

While something like a senatorial election is not really anyone’s idea of fun (myself included), it is something we should be celebrating in the streets.

This will be the first senate election in three semesters* of nothing — no voting, no choices. Just a line of students walking into elected office like they own the place. As far as presidential elections go, there have been two consecutive years without one.

This lack of democracy is something that even Student Body President Joe Turner is opposed to. Turner told Spinnaker he thought the lack of elections is undemocratic and promised to do all that he can to ensure we have a real election.

So far, he and his party members have been good on that promise. There are 28 candidates vying for 20 open seats*, in part due to Student Government Elections Commission Officer True Rains’ work in simplifying the election process. Thank you SG, for working to change the awful trend of having no student elections.

Thank you to the students who are running for office and the students who are going to be finally voting. This year we join the ranks of students who are actually invested in their experiences and their own money.

From the Activities and Services fee that all students pay, SG is in charge of allocating almost $4.5 million in funding. When there’s no election, you have no say in how that money is spent.

For example, last year SG got away with spending $49,200 on new lounge furniture, $25,000 on a veteran’s memorial park, and they almost spent $39,000 on a statue of Ozzie the Osprey (which thankfully, students voted against this year). I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I want them to spend my money.

SG has a history of spending that money in questionable ways. When there are no elections, that history continues into the present. But thanks to an increase in student interest, that may be changing.

I urge students to keep up this momentum and get involved. Go to the candidate forums, talk to current and prospective senators about what you want and vote. And when SG does something you don’t like, or something that you do like, tell them. I promise they’re not so bad to talk to.

But for right now, join me in rejoicing over the highly elusive and long-awaited SG election. Let’s keep it up.

Email Cassidy Alexander at [email protected]

*10/14/14 at 5:31 p.m. – Fact error corrected. Incorrect time since last senate election was originally posted.
*10/14/14 at 5:32 p.m. – Fact error corrected. Incorrect number of senate seats available and incorrect number of candidates were originally posted.