Editorial 3.28.14: Lack of SBO candidates disconcerting

Five students will formally run for next year’s student body officer (SBO) elections April 7 and 8.

The presidential, speaker of the assembly and secretary of the assembly races are uncontested, and the secretary of finance election is only comprised of two candidates.

This is a lack of drive from us students, and it’s something like we’ve never seen before.

Last year, seven students ran for the presidency, five ran for speaker of the assembly, three ran for secretary of the assembly and two ran for secretary of finance.

That’s 17 students who wanted to step up for the student body. Seventeen students who volunteered to represent us and work with the administration for us, get us the things we complain about daily.

Now, we have five.

As seen in the SBO elections story on A1, sophomore and only presidential candidate Jason Blumenthal said the lack of candidates is indicative that the students “need to be vamped up for student senate.”

It not only needs to be revamped – it needs an overhaul.

This year’s senate brought us some important improvements, including the Brave Life application for campus life and the Rise of the Red campaign. The smattering of legislation passed on the senate floor included three passed resolutions, which featured smoking in the St. James Apartment Complex, tutoring hours and Sisson Hall access.

The five SBO candidates also vaguely mirror the senate’s first general assembly meeting of the semester – which featured around 20 empty seats out of 45.

And don’t know what’s happening.

Are students uninformed of the senate’s role for them? Are students discouraged by senate’s long-winded meetings?

Or is it that resolutions get passed with little to no effect on the University Senate, the academic and administrative board that Student Senate works under?

Or, even still, are the resolutions being passed asking for more than Bradley can give?

We need a functioning, formal student organization to facilitate student concerns, or nothing will get changed. But how can we do that if we only have a few students willing to step up and lead that organization?

Can we expect passionate leaders if they don’t have any competition?

At this time of the year, we usually use this space to discuss SBO candidates and voice our endorsements.

But it looks like this year, we and the rest of the student body will stay silent because we don’t have any choice.