I attended some of both the College Republican and Young Democrat meetings last night. They each held a forum for Student Body President (SBP) candidates. What meet me was a smack in the face of boringness.
As a congressman I understand the need to sound like you have something important to say and do. Nevertheless, “platforms” should be simple because the jobs required from the student government officials are simple. Congressmen approve appointments and approve funding. Those are the two important things congress people do. The SBP appoints a lot of people, can veto bills and set agendas (J.J. Raynor did this very effectively) if he wants. Besides representing the students, that’s about it.
I’m not trying to be rude to you nice people who take student government very seriously and who work hard at what you do. But, in the scheme of things, what you do should not be that important. And you shouldn’t see yourselves as the supporters or the protectors of the students (as some SBP candidates seemed to posit last night).
Instead, you should see yourselves as people doing an extra curricular activity. To see it as your job or as some sort of opportunity to centrally plan the activities of students is just silly. The students don’t need you, student government officials.
For goodness sakes, your only real responsibility (in my opinion) is the responsible allocation of monies. And, for that matter, if we didn’t have the student fee process I wouldn’t care. My parents would have a greater amount of expendable income and I Heart Female Orgasm and the Carolina Review would have to find a way to fund themselves. Boo-hoo.
All the students out there who vote should consider these things as they make choices. Bottom line: student government positions are leadership positions. The people you elect should be responsible and competent, but not power-hungry. By power-hungry I mean they should not see government or themselves as too self-important. If they do, silly programs or extensions of programs that cost you money will pop up each year, every year, like wild-flowers. Take for example the child-care fee increase or the safe walk program.
In conclusion, don’t feel the need to care too much about student government campaigns, but if you do, vote for the person who sounds the least full of himself and the least interested all the while checking their competency.