As far as student body politics are concerned, we have it pretty good.
Last December, a student news organization at a university in the midwest reported that the student body president resigned amidst an investigation into his conduct.
It was reported that he stole school property, set fire to alcohol in his hotel room on a state-funded trip, bullied and hazed a student senator, destroyed 800 copies of the student paper, violated a restraining order and intimidated student association employees who were being questioned in conjunction to an investigation about his conduct.
Presuming that he started in September, the guy didn’t waste any time.
Over the last decade, The Easterner has reported on some of the questionable student leadership decisions. Some examples include the $47,000 purchase of office furniture in 2005 and, prior to that, a 75-minute meeting, spontaneously voted as closed, where the main topic may have been the consumption of pizza.
The triumphs of the student government have not been few and far between, either. We’ve seen rallies against cuts to higher education, representation for students at Riverpoint and, my personal favorite, Eagle Cards that not only double as bus passes, but now are available for summer quarter students as well.
The present ASEWU council seems to have strong leadership, but since none of the student positions carry over from year to year, disaster or success is only one election away.
For the average student who has difficulty keeping up with studies and day-today life, one more thing to research and vote on is just one more thing to do. However, the ghosts of ASEWU past and present have been guarding over your ability to vote. Not only is voting as simple as logging in to vote.ewu.edu or finding an open kiosk on campus, but all the candidates have pop up windows with their pictures and their platforms right there. It’s the one-stop-shop of voting, right at the students’ fingertips.
Unlike national elections, the voting store is only open 14 hours on one day. I’m not certain if that’s long enough to boost the percentage of voters from last year, which is a goal of student leadership.
The number of students who voted during the 14-hour primary was 1,240, which is 9.78 percent of the 12,130 students enrolled. The week following the primary, 1,429 people viewed the candidate baseball cards on The Easterner’s Facebook page.
Granted, many of the Facebook viewers might not be students, but if students were as excited about the elections as they are about what they find on Facebook, no one could say that voting was merely about cool-sounding names or popularity contests. The wisdom of the crowds would prevail and many of those who voted would feel a sense of accomplishment when their winning candidates succeeded in making EWU a better place for students.