Students should take time to vote for campus leaders

March 31, 2014 6:18 AMComments Off

Column by Lauren Horsch

Lauren Horsch-w200-h200I shouldn’t be surprised anymore.

I’ve been at Drake for four years. It’s in those four years that I’ve spent countless hours pouring over Student Senate elections (and yes, I know how lame that sounds). But it’s been in those four years, I’ve gotten to understand the process and realize that as mundane as these elections can be, they do make a difference.

It’s important not only to look at the candidate, but also what he or she has to offer the Drake community. All six candidates would do well, based upon their passion for Senate.

But passion only gets you so far. I’ve been seen plenty of passionate people run for Senate and then not do anything.

Congratulations, you got a nametag! I’ve also seen plenty of passionate people burn out on Senate for various reasons. But I think what is important is knowing as students, as the constituents, we help make that decision. We help decide who is the right person to serve our interests.

That’s right, our interests.

We are the people they serve. They do not serve at the pleasure of the president (OK, some do), but they serve at the pleasure of the student body.

That’s why we have a student body president. We’re the ones casting online ballots. We’re the ones with the power.

Unfortunately, very rarely do we ever wield our power. Let’s be real, we’re pretty darn apathetic, when it comes to mobilizing for a cause (unless, of course it’s tweeting or posting on Facebook).

So maybe, let’s take a small step and actually look at the candidates and what they have to offer the student body as a whole.

Let’s ignore the names, the Greek houses and alliances. Let’s look at what they’ve done and have to offer us. Take away the name, the affiliations and look at the promises.

Look at what each candidate has to offer. Whether it’s an “insert number here” plan or a list of ideas how to improve on-campus facilities, look at it. Think about it. Can this help us?

But also, let’s take a moment to look at what these candidates have done around the table during their time one Senate (or SAB). What results have these candidates actually brought to campus? Let’s be real, do they make a difference?

This is an important moment in our institution’s history. With President Maxwell retiring, it’ll be paramount next year that the students making the decisions are well equipped to also aid in the search for a new university president.

It’s important because things could drastically change around campus, and we need to have leaders who are ready to either help the change or fight back against it.

Here’s the deal, no matter what happens in the coming years, it’s important to take the time to actually think about what the candidates, if elected can do for the student body. What changes they have to offer. What improvements they can foster. How in tune they are with us.

Take the precious few minutes of time to vote. It will make a difference. It will help in the long run. Don’t take for granted the opportunities we have as a student body to help make these decisions.

This is the easiest, most non-invasive way to help make those changes, those improvement, those goals.

It’s hard to think that for four years I’ve been harping on voting for Senate, while never being an elected senator.

It’s been four years since I covered my first Student Senate election, and nothing has changed.

We still have low voting turn-out, we lack participation.

So let’s start to make that change, here, now. Before it’s too late.

Because these terms don’t last four years, we don’t get a second term. It matters here, and now.

Horsch is a senior news Internet and rhetoric dual degree and can be reached at lauren.horsch@drake.edu

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