SGA elections about more than the candidates

It’s that time of year again, but not exactly, because the 2003 Student Government Association elections have appropriately been moved from the chaos of Greek Week.

It’s unclear whether that campus-wide distraction was the dominant factor in the recent low turnout for SGA elections. But without the specter of Greek Week hovering over the voting, Western students have no excuse for not logging onto Topnet and making a few mouse clicks.

That’s not the only reason turnout should increase, however.

Students now have an opportunity to help determine the direction Western takes during these less-than-booming economic times.

Though Kentucky’s budget crisis appears to be reaching a long-overdue resolution, there are difficult days ahead for Western, which wasn’t spared from state-mandated funding cuts.

And with the nation’s economy sputtering, students should be particularly concerned with how much their education will cost in the near future.

The SGA elections give students a chance to choose who will represent them when decisions about tuitions, fees and charges are being made, as well as how the school will use that money on the Hill.

Unfortunately, there are several uncontested races, including the presidential race. The contested races shouldn’t be blown off or considered a glorified popularity contest, though.

It doesn’t take much effort to decide who you think is the best person for a job.

And even if you view SGA as an ineffectual or unnecessary organization, vote anyway. If a large portion of the student body – even half – votes, it lets the candidates know that Western expects SGA to get to work.

If students choose not to vote by tonight’s midnight deadline, they’ve got no right to gripe when SGA does something dumb.

Casting a vote, however, greatly reduces the likelihood that SGA will make such a decision that goes against the majority opinion of the students.

It’s your school and your money.

With all due respect to the candidates, maybe that’s what we’re really voting for.

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