SGA elections: Focus on constituents, not each other


There is a peculiar illness that plenty of politicians seem to be plagued with upon the onset of campaign season. Symptoms include an increase in competitiveness, a sudden obsession with fighting other candidates through slander and rhetoric, and a growing focus on the detailed machinations of campaigning. The obvious cure?

They need to focus on their constituents. By becoming embroiled in the “politics” of their politics and by the goings-on of their rivals, politicians lose focus, and ignore their voters. Upcoming Student Government Association elections are not immune. Students need to hear from theirsenators on a usual basis as it is; election season makes this absolutely and irrevocably crucial.

Students are their constituents. Students should be their focus.

The purpose of SGA elections is for students to decide, through a thorough and careful examination of each ticket’s platform, which candidates will represent their interests best. This makes it apparent, then, that candidates should focus on students – not each other.

As a piece of advice, it is slightly ineffectual to be facing one’s opponent trying to convince them they are wrong. What is your opponent going to do? Concede? It’s a ludicrous idea. Thus, students first and foremost are the ones that need convincing. “Politicking” and machinations need to stop. Students need to come first.

Keeping that in mind, SGA candidates should develop platforms that can persuade us to vote for them. While we do want SGA to effectuate change and represent student voice, candidates need to stay grounded in realism.

By advocating for reforms and policies that are intuitively possible (i.e. realistic), candidates have a much better chance of convincing students to vote for them. Persuasion is an art that requires balance and perspective – this starts by making arguments that don’t shoot for Cloud nine, but rather hit closer to home.

First, senators need to stop wheedling each other. Face the student body and intelligently convince us. Second, the platforms used to persuade us need to have realistic goals. Herein lies the key to successful campaigning.

In steady, daily doses, SGA senators can learn to shift their focus to their constituencies.

Election season requires this medicine and a little bit of practice and exercise. This is the cure.