EDITORIAL: Playing fair: More notice needed for SGA election deadline extension

Editorial cartoon 3.22.11

Herald staff

The Issue: The Student Government Association extended its application deadline to March 15 without much notice.

OUR STANCE: SGA should have put more effort into publicizing the extension to give the student body a fair chance.

The SGA application for spring elections opened February 28 and was initially set to close March 4.

Though the original application opportunity was publicized on the SGA website and Facebook page, the Herald thinks SGA could have used more aggressive means of getting the word out, especially considering that most students’ minds were probably fixed on spring break.

SGA Chief Justice Dajana Crockett said they were disappointed that there seemed to be less interest in submitting applications among students. She also said they discussed extending the deadline before the break, though it wasn’t announced until Monday, March 14, giving anyone interested only until 5 p.m. the next day to finish their application.

The hasty decision could have caused some interested students to go unaware. Facebook and the SGA home page are certainly good starting options for sharing SGA news and updates, but with only 588 Facebook fans on the page, we can accurately say it was not the most effective in reaching more of the student body.

Furthermore, Crockett said emails were sent about the extension but would not clarify if they were only sent to SGA members rather than all WKU students.

Though the positions for president, executive vice president and administrative vice president require a one-year involvement as an elected or appointed SGA officer (or an exemption by the judicial committee), the senator positions were open to all full-time students meeting the GPA requirement.

Therefore, with such short notice, many students might have missed out.

Crockett said SGA as a whole was pleased to receive another presidential application so that there would be some competition, and to receive a total of 37 senate applications, as 36 was the number of open seats.

While it’s understandable to want to increase participation, some situations call for fairness and neutrality. SGA should not have chiefly targeted their members for the sake of avoiding non-contention.

And since the extension has proven that the deadline can be set after spring break, perhaps SGA should consider moving it for future elections. And they should definitely make the extension longer than one day.

SGA is meant to serve the student body and give it a voice. But that cannot be achieved without full participation of the student body. That may be hard to garner on a seemingly apathetic campus, but that doesn’t mean SGA should cheat anyone out of a fair shot.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member editorial board.