The Joint Elections Committee has made three incredibly ridiculous mistakes that will negatively affect this year’s Student Associations elections.
First, the JEC in all its wisdom decided to change the time posters are allowed to go up on campus to 8 a.m. Although in previous years the time was noon or 5 p.m., students began their day at six in the morning to guard the most precious spots. Now students will camp out beginning at one in the morning (or even earlier) to get those same spots.
To have students camp out in the middle of February is both a health hazard and a safety risk. The JEC is well aware that students guard prime spots hours before they are allowed to put the posters up. By moving the time earlier, students will camp out earlier. Although it does not make sense to students who do not participate in SA elections, it is a custom. By moving the time to 8 a.m., the JEC has showed us how misguided it can be.
Not only is the change in time a terrible mistake, the change in date also raises an eyebrow. In previous years, the postering was conducted on a Friday, when students typically do not have classes. This year they were forced to poster in the middle of the week. Can anyone tell me where the logic is in that?
The third and final mistake the JEC made was in having the time between postering and election day, which this year is nine days. Again, previous JECs had realized that posters are expensive and the infamous “3 a.m. winds” take them down each night. To combat this problem, postering was allowed only four days before the actual election. Now this year, campus will be littered with posters like never before. We can all thank the JEC for that.
I am surprised by the JEC’s poor judgment on this issue, particularly because I thought (and by and large still do) that we have experienced and wise people on the JEC this year. There are no hotheads, no giant egos, just good people who have a difficult job.
Therefore, perhaps the problem is more with the structure of the JEC than with its actual members. Each year the JEC does have a difficult job to do, however, that does not excuse it from making poor decisions that affect the safety and well-being of GW students.
I sincerely hope next year’s JEC will move swiftly and correct the egregious errors committed by this JEC.
-The writer is a senior majoring in political communication.