Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Student Elections

Hey Guys,
It is warming up in Logan. The snow is melting and the jackets are getting left at home. Not everyone leaves their jackets at home, but more and more people are. Anyhow, student elections just happened on campus and it was a great experience.
It happens in two parts, first the primaries. The primaries are where anyone can run for an office. It’s also where you separate the finalists from the rest. I put a bid together for student body president. I wanted the job. I built up a campaign committee, signs, all sorts of stickers, and things to get attention. It was really fun. We had planning meetings, strategy meetings, and other get together meetings that were more like just going out to eat. At any rate, despite my best efforts, I did not make the finals.
There were many different stages and plateaus in this last week. The process began on Wednesday at seven. Trucks swarmed the busy walkways of the university. Each candidate and their respective campaigners was setting up a booth area to present to the students their issues and goals. Each booth was original and brightly colored; each was eye catching, all in an effort to make the student elections important to the students. Truly, the students did not find the elections very important. Only 2,000 some odd students voted in the election of the primaries. Now that primaries are over, finals are in full swing.
The Finals take place over three days. On Monday and Tuesday there were presidential debates held in the HUB. A moderator controlled the questioning of the candidates and the assembled students’ submitted questions. It’s a fun environment. Later on Tuesday night the candidates and their excited assistants swarm around student housing knock each door in order to encourage students to vote in the ongoing elections.
Finally, the elections come to a close. New officers are announced and many lessons learned.
Student elections are a long held tradition. Your parent’s participated, your parent’s parents participated and I am guessing; if your great grandparents went to college, they too participated. Now, more than ever before, students do not turn out to vote. Even with the easiest option of all, voting from home, online, they choose to not vote, not make a choice, not make a difference. Some students say the elections are a popularity contest or that their vote makes no difference. I dispute both these assumptions.
Your vote matters, it is more of a popularity contest if you choose not vote. If a student does not vote, according to his conscience and good judgment the candidate with the most acquaintances/friends is given an open door to office.
If you don't think your vote matters, then it doesn’t. You are given the opportunity to vote by our hard fought democracy. It’s your right to say who represents you. However, if you do not make time to cast a ballot, then your right to vote is valued the same as a being given great wealth and never spending a dime of it; what good does it do you? To never enjoy the pleasure of deciding, leaves the non-voter short changed, no one else. Perhaps a feeling of disconnect exists between the students and the ASUSU candidates. Approach them, ask them why they are running, investigate their objectives and get involved. There is always room for more in ASUSU.
The take home message is vote. Do it. Its quick, easy, and a spirit of involvement surrounds it. Show your Aggie pride by voting!

No comments:

Post a Comment