Think back to last November. The nation was involved in a great debate over the next president. Ideologies and opinions sparked national conversations about controversial issues. People were talking because they were interested. They exercised the rights granted to them in a democracy – to learn about the potential leaders of their society and make an informed decision that would reflect in their vote.
While SGA elections cannot incite the national excitement of the presidential elections, the need for an informed public is mandatory in both cases. Students of the College must get to know the candidates who are running for positions within student government. These people will be representing student concerns for the entire school year.
As of late, however, it seems as if not many students get to know their student government leaders, nor do they take the time to understand the issues presented by these leaders. Take, for example, the recent referendum on the creation of the position of the vice-president of Equity and Diversity. A mere 3 percent of the student body voted.
This shows two things. First, it shows that not enough students knew enough about the referendum to make an informed decision about it. Second, it shows that SGA can pass a lot of legislature without much input from the students. This is not how a student government should work. And the only thing that will remedy this is student participation.
So read the candidate profiles prepared in this week’s Signal’s middle spread on SGA elections. Attend individual candidates’ speeches. If these options aren’t informative enough, question the candidates yourself. They all have @tcnj.edu e-mail addresses.
And don’t just question them on general issues. If a candidate is running on a vague platform that seems only to promise mere words and no real action, dig deep and ask them what they really plan on doing to make SGA better.
Besides, students have no right to complain about their student government if they don’t try to learn about it in order to ultimately vote for it.
While it is obvious that no SGA election will ever reach the anticipation and excitement of the Bush-Kerry contest last November, The Signal highly encourages students to seek out information about their student government candidates in the same manner they did for the presidential elections.