Members of the Program Board and the Marvin Center Governing Board are considering holding internal elections for the positions of executive chair and vice-chair, entirely removing popular student involvement from the election process.
The logic behind the idea is sound – members of the organizations themselves know best who would make the most effective leaders, and student turnout at the elections has been extremely low. But senior officeholders of PB and MCGB must be held accountable to the students, who pay thousands of dollars in fees that fill the coffers of the organizations.
Part of the problem lies in the election process, which was a debacle last year. Undoubtedly, changes should be made in the process. Either the Joint Elections Committee, the body that regulates elections for the Student Association, PB and MCGB, should undergo major reforms, or it should be scrapped altogether.
Other options would account for last year’s problems, including separating PB and MCGB elections from the SA elections, or holding separate elections for all three organizations. These possibilities would hold greater legitimacy than internal elections.
PB and MCGB could hold internal primaries, similar to national primaries, and present the student body with a few candidates. This process would likely eliminate unworthy candidates while preserving the popular vote.
Clearly, the election process for PB, MCGB and the SA needs to be changed, but internal elections are not the answer. School-funded organizations must have popular elections.