Last Thursday the Student Body voted for the new Student Union Executive Board. The voice of the student body was heard loud and clear. The question I pose is what group of people was listening to their cries? The group of candidates running for election to represent the students seemed to be very lacking. The fact of the matter is that three of the positions had a candidate that ran unopposed. We have often heard that competition breeds the best candidate for any given position. I am not here to say that the candidates that ran unopposed are unqualified; rather, some competition would have encouraged each person running to step up their game and get out and talk to the students who voted.
Of the Executive Board positions, the Vice President for Student Organizations, the Vice President for Judicial Affairs and the Vice President of the entire Student Union were uncontested. The “election” can loosely be called a “glorified appointment”! The other positions had exciting races that brought out that competitive spirit and hopefully the best candidate won their respective races. For instance, the presidential race was fairly competitive. The race between the two candidates was heated with a great debate and campaigning as well. The winning candidate, Rita Rochford, won by only 192 votes. Compared to the size of the student body that isn’t much at all! The Executive Board is in charge of governing their respective groups, which encompass the entire student body. The Vice President for Programming went to a non-senator running which does not happen very often. When we see these races that are heated and bring about ideas and conversations we see the best coming out of the candidates. Then the students may vote on the ideas they deem to be the strongest and most worthy of their attention.
There was a problem, however, in this past election in that only 28.1 percent of the student body voted for their student leaders. This poses another question. Why didn’t more students vote? Could it be that no one really cares about the Student Union? Perhaps people feel the Student Senate doesn’t really do work, so why waste time voting for their representatives? Another possibility may be that people didn’t know elections were being held. Whatever the case may be, the elections did happen and students have been elected. It is now the student body’s responsibility to hold these leaders accountable for their actions or their lack of action when it comes to leading their peers.