The Associated Student Body needs to appoint a new treasurer and secretary for this year’s Cabinet. The positions are not meant to be appointed but rather elected. They have the power to be the voice for the student body, all 28,000 of us.
The key argument brought forth by the ASB is the lack of voter turnout. The special election at the beginning of the Fall semester netted only 151 votes. That is just one-half of one-percent of the student population, equivalent to only 1.2 million Americans voting for our national government officials.
There is a lack of promotion done by the Cabinet. One wonders where the banners and flyers are around campus. Some argue that the ASB Cabinet does not promote elections to control results by appointing the unfilled elected positions. As a newspaper that is financially supported by the ASB, we will do our part to help promote the elections and candidates better.
Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the U.S. is the only president never to be elected into office. However, what greatness had he accomplished other than pardoning his predecessor who resigned due to an impending impeachment trial? The ASB Cabinet is following in the footsteps of Richard Nixon and appointing key positions while the voice of the students is falling on deaf ears.
The few who are aware of the ASB elections may be turned off from running simply because the regulations to run or hold office are too stringent such as the need to have held an on-campus leadership role prior. This eliminates a vast majority of the student body.
The select few who are able to meet the requirements need to schedule their classes, meetings, office and volunteer hours not to mention their club commitments.
Some have a view that the leadership is working in the shadows and making big decisions based on their personal agendas. Furthermore, the student leaders typically come from a small group of clubs and consistently appoint one another. This is a common practice when there is a ruling class involved in government.
Besides 151 total votes for vice president, this election also saw 31 write-in votes for Secretary, which was almost double the rest of the candidates combined. However, this student was not elected because the by-laws for ASB elections demand there is a 50-vote minimum for write-in candidates. That is a slap in the face of democracy. Democracy states majority rules. How are 31 out of 49 not majority? Arbitrary requirements need to be removed to ensure fairness in ASB elections.
Between the ruling class of ASB leadership members and the requirements set forth by the constitution and by-laws, many students simply do not participate in running for offices. The ASB leadership needs to make an effort to include everyone more. The Cabinet members are not putting themselves out there to listen to the student body or to make wise choices. Hold a debate, broadcast the meetings, hold a town hall with your departments, do something to engage the average student. Working in the shadows and patting each other on the back is doing no one any good.