Who cares about SGA elections?
It seems as if not many students do. But everyone should, particularly this year. Whether students were preoccupied with tests or frustrated, students have shown an ostensible lack of participation in SGA events in the past. Town hall meetings concerning this season’s men’s basketball lottery maxed out at 15 attendees, and focus groups relating to the future of the men’s basketball lottery had zero participants attend two out of three sessions.
Students have often voiced frustrations about such things as the men’s basketball lottery in the comforts of their residence halls or while having lunch at the IK, but they have failed to speak out when it most counts: in a public forum. Whether it is through a lack of participation in more personal and intimate town hall meetings and focus group or through SGA elections, students have neglected their responsibility to voice their concerns to student leaders and try to affect a change.
But over the course of the next week, students will have a chance to change all that. They will be able to decide who will lead them next year.
Beginning yesterday and continuing throughout this week and next is the campaign for next year’s SGA president and vice president. However, if this year follows the trend from recent years, only about three in 10 students will vote in next Thursday and Friday’s elections. (1,987 out of a total 6,408 undergraduates, approximately 31 percent, voted last year.)
This week, students need to take a small break when they can to listen to the presidential candidates’ platforms. Incumbents John Von Euw and Dave Pedra are running for re-election and will certainly have several ideas they would like to execute. But the challengers, the J.C. Stellakis/Amanda Chuda, Kyle Audi/Geoffrey Doody and Sharika Anderson/Michael Hallman tickets, will be gunning for the opportunity to replace the highly scrutinized president and vice president.
Contrary to what many may think, the SGA president and vice president do have the power to significantly change things for students and the University. The real issue is not about whether the SGA presidential platforms will consist of powerful ideas and the capacity to execute them; it is whether students will take enough time to actually listen to what the candidates have to say and take the time to vote.