Uncontested elections can yield good results


The Student Government Association “election” for president this year was uncontested. Only one person, Laura Rashedi, put her name in to lead the student body, to be the voice of almost 15,000 individuals, and to have a significant say in where student fees end up.

Only one person put their name in.

Only one person gave a damn.

It is a shame that of all the eligible senators, they all just don’t care.

The notion of uncontested elections is a paradox. This SGA election is not an election. It was a sign up.

You’re probably thinking by now, “Why didn’t I try? What the heck, it’d look good on a résumé.” But it’s not quite that easy.

Aritcle VI of the SGA election code requires presidential and vice-presidential candidates to serve in the senate for a full term before they’re eligible to run.

Laura was a senator her freshman year and so, fits the bill for the… err… rectangular office.

Fair enough, but so have the almost 50 senators who do their duty (well, some do anyway), by showing up at the weekly SGA meetings.

Of that group, and the year before’s crop, and so on, only one person thought it a worth-while endeavor to build on their experience, to be a voice of change, to help the student body and run for office.

It is appalling that only one person cares enough to become president. And, at that, it’s not the first instance of an uncontested presidential election. My freshman year, 2001-2002, Paul Tran also became president by SGA’s sign-up-and-get-the-job method.

Who here is at fault though? It is, after all, not the SGA’s responsibility to foster intangible “caring” that’s necessary to get senators excited about running for office.

Or is it? Has the SGA become so bogged down in the trivialities that pepper their meetings that they’ve forgotten what it means to be the student government in the first place?

In any case, we are a lucky student body to have Laura Rashedi lead us into next year.

I’ve known Laura for a long time, and I think she is an excellent person to lead the SGA.

Laura and I went to elementary school together, we worked on Destination Imagination projects together, and we failed AP English tests together (I’m guessing at this one. I’m sure she did better than I ever did).

Laura is the sort of person who throws herself wholeheartedly into something and will get it done right. Laura will see to it that SGA has a louder voice in the Student Service Fee Committee, which oversees the doling out of almost $10 million from our collective pockets. She will see that senators fulfill their obligations and that SGA turns back into what it should be.

Laura is just the right sort of person to generate enthusiasm from senators so that next year we can again have vibrant presidential debate.


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