More than 2,800 students voted in last week’s campus elections. As the race for Student Association president pushes to another week – with Carrie Potter and Patrick Macmanus securing places in a runoff election – the challenge is to return a hefty turnout to the voting booths.
Students who imagine their votes don’t matter should keep in mind that only 92 votes separated Potter and Macmanus last week, the closest finish in five years. Each vote counts in this runoff.
Round one for SA president mobilized voters behind candidates who promised change in student government. Sabina Siddiqui’s campaign attracted international, multicultural students who expressed discontent with the SA’s attention to a narrow constituency. She garnered a substantial 19 percent of the vote – 563 students.
Likewise, almost 300 people voted for Jason Ditzian claiming they are fed up with the SA and want radical change. Both these blocs of voters should not stay home because their preferred candidates lost.
In our view, the candidate to bring greater diversity, inclusion and change in the SA remains Carrie Potter. She represents the best hope for opening up the SA to all students, not just political junkies or those aiming to live grand illusions of power and influence.
Macmanus definitely has fire in the belly, but his passion does not translate into realistic and attainable goals. His call for professional pollsters to discover what students want bodes ill for his presidency. Hopefully the new SA president will be tuned-in to students without professional help – and will well represent students’ concerns with a diverse cabinet.
Siddiqui, as well as Executive Vice President-elect Jesse Strauss, have thrown their support to Potter. While their stated support is good for the Potter campaign, what counts is whether their supporters come out and vote Tuesday and Wednesday.
Many students want the SA to be more friendly to average students, and accountable for its actions. If students really want change, they should become active in campus life and work for it – even if that means one vote at a time. Change will not come if students simply complain about the status quo.