It is once again the time for College Council (CC) elections – typically a time for the campus to reflect on the role of CC, consider the pros and cons of multiple tickets and urge voter participation in the spirit of deciding student leadership. This year, however, it is difficult to weigh the platforms of the candidates running for co- presidents, simply because we do not know what they stand for.
Since a plethora of posters for the class representatives inform students of the issues the candidates hope to raise if elected, the absence of visible ideas from the presidential candidates is all the more stark and disconcerting. Notwithstanding the colorful posters scattered around Paresky and self-nominations posted online, both pairs of candidates fell short of fulfilling their potential at the debates. Instead of clarifying positions and presenting their ideas during the sole forum open to the cam- pus, neither ticket offered much substance. The campus is left wondering what issues the candidates find relevant, what problems they hope to resolve and what goals they have set for themselves. It is difficult to ask students to vote conscientiously and wisely when it is so unclear what voting one way or the other will mean for the future.
The vagueness of these presidential campaigns is disappointing because of their import. CC is a crucial presence on campus. This year’s co-presidents have succeeded in being the voice of the student body through their leadership in discussions surrounding the Hardy House events and the current WCF situation, as well as in actively engaging in the presidential transition process and the neighborhood review. The role of leading the student body through trying times should be a coveted one, and it is unfortunate that the current campaigns have not demonstrated the passion the position warrants.
As voting takes place over the next two days, it may be too late to ask the candidates to step up their campaigns, but for the future, we urge our leaders, our candidates and our student body to take student government leadership more seriously. We hope that students heed the call to vote, recognizing that this is their chance to be heard. Equally, we hope that the co-presidents elected this week live up to the precedent set in recent years of truly serving as a voice for their peers. Finally, we hope that, in the future, students will fight for these positions with fervor, not complacency.