Student Senate election day is fresh off the heels of spring break this year. The election kicks off Monday, and candidates have one week instead of the two they’ve had in years past for campaigning. It’s difficult to market a platform to the student body in two weeks, let alone one. The challenge candidates are facing is that they have one week to let students know what they would do in their desired positions and mobilize voters.
However, there is one advantage to this year’s election. There are currently seven presidential candidates, which is more than we have seen in the last several years. Because of this high number, it is unlikely that one single candidate will receive the majority vote the first time around. This means those who advance to a run-off election will have an additional week to campaign.
Student Senate elections have been traditionally labeled a popularity contest, and to a large extent, that is true. But it is important to consider that it really does matter who is president of the student body, as well as any of the other positions. That group of people is in close contact with administration, and they can and do make a difference. They make things happen and they make changes. But they can also do the
Real change can happen with great student leaders. In the past, Student Senate leaders have been a driving force behind some large changes that have taken place on campus. For example, senate has improved the the recycling program, enacted later hours in the Student Center and Center Court and brought a free condom program to campus.
Senate elections are another easy way to get involved and to allow students with drive and ideas to be in a position where they have access to resources to foster real improvements.
Voting is easily accessible via MyBU, but every year there are still a significant number of students who don’t vote. There are plenty of reasons for that, whether people forget, or they’re lazy, or they feel they don’t know any of the candidates well enough to make an informed decision. But the votes do matter.
For students who are wavering about whether or not they are going to vote, the answer is simple. Do it. Every vote really does count, and some elections have been close enough that even a handful of votes makes a difference.