Elections are done. I know; I didn’t space the last week, and I would like to congratulate our own T.J. Bard for winning the presidency this year. But to be honest, I was frustrated at the way which our student body approached the election season. A post from Onward State put it perfectly:
“Presidential candidate David Adewumi had a good point when he said
that most of the student body wasn’t attending last night’s debate, and
that the majority of people who were had already made up their minds as
to who they were voting for. And he was right: clearly divided sections
of supporters indicated their choice by the brightly-colored shirts they
“Unfortunately, this is the nature of political debates. Objective
discourse is nowhere to be found. The UPUA doesn’t have the luxury of
broadcasting the debate to a wider TV audience featuring undecided
voters. And even if they did, let’s be honest; who would watch? Each
ticket’s cheering section began applauding its candidates’ answers early
into the debate. During an opponent’s answer, sometimes these sections
would even murmur uneasily or borderline catcall their opponents, giving
the debate an atmosphere somewhere between the British Prime Minister’s Question Time and an episode of Jerry Springer.“
I’m disappointed in UPUA for two reasons: first, for all the mudslinging and accusations that go on between the candidates, the few students who actually follow the election, and the educational and nonpartisan Daily Collegian. Second, I’m disappointed that less than 10 years ago, when Penn State Students got together to remodel the system of student government, they didn’t pick a structure that would allow for campus-wide student engagement. Instead, they chose an archaic and conventional system that, much like the local and state government today, would only appeal to a portion of the population (note: a record 18% of the undergrad population voted this year). I’m probably going to be considered radical for this idea, but to me it seems that we have a small enough population on this campus that we don’t need representatives to vote for us. Instead, I think that student government would be much more representative of the student body if every student were to be given the right to vote individually on legislation. We’re more than capable of doing it -either through electronic voting booths or through our e-lion accounts. Ultimately, I’m just bummed that instead of coming up with a creative alternative to our flawed system of government, we the students settled for minimal representation.
p.s. Go Huskies!