Goofing around taken too far during election time
In all my years at UW-Eau Claire I thought it important to exercise my right to elect student government and for the past couple of years, I’ve made a point to vote in the student elections. This year, however, I did not vote.
Why bother? It seems no one is taking this election seriously, even some of the people we’re supposed to be voting for.
I’m just one voter, but I’m not alone in my opinion. Last year more than 85 percent of the student population did not vote. I wouldn’t be surprised if only 10 percent of the campus chose to vote this year. And it’s not like I’m a student who just doesn’t care. I did at one time, but this year the whole election seems like one big joke.
One person I talked to said she went to vote Tuesday in Davies, but after seeing a candidate in swimming trunks dancing around by the ballot box, she chose to just walk on by.
This example nicely illustrates why so few students vote: Student Senate has done little to let students know they should take this election seriously.
Each year The Spectator gives candidates for Student Senate the chance to get their message out to students with an inside spread with pictures and information on the candidates. Monday’s issue was our foray into this yearly tradition. The majority of the Senators used the space to let students know about their stances on issues.
But sadly, a handful of incumbents chose to run personal jokes and waste their chance to say something important. Being funny is all well and good, but what are students supposed to think when they see incumbents, people who are supposed to act as leaders for the Senate and the student body as a whole, ignoring issues to make a public joke?
The jokes don’t say to me, “This person is funny, I should vote for him or her.” They say, “This person doesn’t really care, why should I?”
When the most seniored Senators are the ones doing this, it sets a bad example for everyone and sends the wrong message to the student body.
Then there’s the presidential race. One of two presidential tickets seemed virtually non-existent in the campaigning. They had no signs, no editorial in The Spectator, not much of anything to let students know they existed. I bet less than half of students can even name both candidates.
And when the two tickets were together to debate the issues, there was little difference in what they had to say. Both want to increase differential tuition, both want more student input to reach Senate and both want more diversity.
It’s like getting to choose between George W. Bush or . George W. Bush.
Maybe it’s the lack of competition in the election. For the first time I can remember there are fewer candidates running than available Senate seats. Every single person on the ballot is essentially automatically elected barring some sort of write-in campaign that successfully garners a ton of votes for three candidates. Considering the most popular write-in choices are Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Britney Spears, I’d bet it won’t happen.
Even with a lack of competition though, that doesn’t mean that candidates shouldn’t take the election seriously.
One of the prospective candidates wrote in Monday’s issue of The Spectator that she believes Senate has a lack of respect. If that’s true, it’s their own fault for not addressing issues and taking their election process seriously.