This weekend was a weekend filled with opportunities for students to get involved. On Friday, we received the announcement of the upcoming College Council elections, and later that afternoon, we were invited to nominate ourselves for the presidential search committee. The deadlines for nominations were today at 4:00 for College Council positions and yesterday at 5:00 for the It is wonderful, especially in the case of the College Council elections, that all students were given the opportunity to nominate themselves. What is less wonderful is that these students were officially given only a few days to do so.
Of course, not everyone found out about the College Council elections or the presidential search committee last Friday. Present College Council members, for example, were urged at meetings attended by Record staff members during Winter Study to start thinking about their campaigns. Before the nomination letters went out, messages appeared on several student organization list-servers urging people to nominate themselves for CC positions. The intentions behind these emails were no doubt noble. Indeed, more people should run for College Council positions than traditionally have, and, since no one is trying to keep the elections a secret, it is good and proper that individual CC members encourage their friends and constituents to run for positions. The trouble is that College Council is holding off on soliciting nominations from the campus at large and for no good reason.
This is a busy time in the semester. Exams and papers are starting to roll in, sophomores are making difficult decisions about studying away and many of us are worrying about summer jobs. To suddenly present the student body with one more thing to apply for, and only a few short days in which to apply, seems unnecessary, especially when there is no reason the all-campus mailing could not have gone out earlier.
Here we run into another problem with the College Council system in general. It is a problem in which we are all, to a certain extent, complicit. The College Council is the official voice of the student body, yet many of us don’t pay much attention to what they do during the school year or to the elections in the spring, and neither know nor much care who we have representing us.
Part of this problem can be blamed on that traditional whipping boy, good old campus apathy. It’s nothing new for us to say that students should care, but no amount of foot stamping and finger wagging will accomplish this admittedly noble goal.
Part of the blame for this problem, however, must be placed with the election process. When Council members are reminded months in advance of the elections and the rest of the campus is given less than a week to consider running for office, when house rep elections are frequently confusing affairs conducted over house list-servers, it is easy for College Council to become a self-perpetuating body.
When this happens, students can become disenfranchised and important opinions and ideas can go unheard. Students who nominate themselves for positions on College Council should be applauded for their energy and enthusiasm (and for those of you who are still considering running, you have until 4:00 P.M. today to submit your nomination!), and we at the Record would like to thank both them and the officers who have served us this year. However, we do sometimes feel that many people who might be interested and who might be invaluable do not run for CC positions, and we feel that if the campus were given more time between the announcement of the elections and the due date for nominations, more of these people might volunteer their time and effort to better represent us all.