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Racial, gender, and special interest groups aim for your important vote
We are a monthly paper so it is very possible that you picked up our paper after the Student Government Board elections are over. If you have picked it up after the elections are over, I hope you use this information to help you vote during the May primaries or national elections in November but candidates we support for SGB will be useless to you.
On the other hand, if you picked up the paper before Thursday April 11,02, before 8:00 pm and you have not cast your vote yet, we hope we can help you pick the best candidates that will be your voice on this campus populated with more than 15,000 students.
Even before we share with you who the Pittsburgh Standard supports, we want to address the issue of the right way to vote rather than the wrong way to vote no matter what elections you participate in.
For starters, we want you to know that you matter and your vote counts in the larger scheme of things. It can be easy to think that you are just one person and what can your vote do, but you have the power to boot someone out of office and allow them to make a grand entrance. You have the right to vote and you can make it count. Yes, you maybe just one person who decides to go out and vote but all the 1ís add up and eventually thousands come to the poll to vote.
Never think your vote does not count and whatís the use because if everybody thought that way then nobody would vote and then you lose the democratic process of electing somebody. Eventually, what would happen is special interest groups would cast only votes for their candidates who can help them.
What about your needs and concerns? Who would address them if only special interest candidates take office? We need candidates who care for a larger spectrum of the population and not just their constituencies. Your vote can make sure that happens regardless of what the elections are.
A single vote not cast could cause ramifications in the long run for people. English became the official language over German in the United States because of a single vote. What we have shared apply to national elections too.
Now we want to shift back to campus elections for Student Government Board. We donít want SGB to be run by candidates of special interest groups like Black Action Society, Rainbow Alliance, Campus Womenís Organization, and Greeks if that would alienate representation for much of the other groups on campus. The argument can be made that they should run then if they want to represent their constituencies. To a certain extent that is true and makes sense but only 8 candidates get elected for board and you can only vote for 5.
This brings us to the next point that is Ďyou can never fully represent the needs and concerns of the entire student bodyí the way we have elections set up. Groups from special interest groups have a higher advantage of getting elected because they always send candidates and their members all go out and vote.
You can change that with your vote and make sure that every candidate that is running has a fair chance of getting elected whether they are part of a larger organization or not if the issues they are running on can benefit the student population over other candidates that are running.
If you are not part of a special interest group and do not vote, you will help continue the trend that has occurred these past two years in elections which is Ďspecial interest groups rarely loseí. Two years ago one of our board members, Mr. Reddy managed Robert Brown III and predicted he would come 7th as the first 2 predictions went out to the 2 Greek candidates that were running and the next 4 went out to the 4 Coalition candidates that were running. When the election was over, thatís exactly how the votes turned out and Robert Brown III came 7th.
Last year, Mr. Reddy managed Kevin Chung for board and predicted he would come 11th unless a miracle happened in student turnout to vote for him. He also predicted that the 5 Greek candidates that were running would take the first 5 seats on board and the Coalition that ran 5 candidates would get the next highest votes. Thatís exactly how it happened. The Greeks took the first 5 seats on board and the coalition took the next 3 seats on board with the last 2 not making it because of the 8 board member policy. As predicted, Kevin Chung came 11th place.
Why then did Mr. Reddy even bother to manage Kevin Chung? It was because he hoped that trend would not continue and students would vote wisely rather than sticking to their special interest groups.
This election we have 8 Greek board members running, 3 Coalition members running, and 6 other candidates running who are not part of the Greek system or Coalition. Since Greeks rarely ever lose, it is possible that they can take 5 seats this time too and make the majority vote on board giving the coalition a minority vote on board. If voting continues as it has in the past few years.
Why not be the one to change that? If you have never voted, take time to vote now. If you feel obligated to vote for your friends and group, take the blinders down from your eyes and look at each of the 17 candidates plat
form and issues. Vote based on whom you believe can better serve the student population on board.
Thereís been talk that Greeks rarely lose and Coalition rarely loses but your vote can change that if you believe other candidates have a better platform than the Greeks and Coalition. But, if you believe the Greeks and Coalition have a better platform, you should vote for them.
Our hope is that you donít just vote based on the racial, gender, and special interest lines of the candidates. If you are Black, please donít feel obligated to vote for a Black candidate if you feel a candidate of another color will do a better job. If you are a woman, please donít feel obligated to vote for a woman candidate if you feel a male candidate will do a better job. The same goes especially with the Greek candidates. You do not have to vote for all your Greek brothers and sisters if you honestly feel others have a better platform.
Remember you are nobodyís puppet and nobody can run you. You have a free will and free choice to choose your candidate based on their platform. If you vote only out of a sense of obligation then you as an individual cannot make as much of an impact on your campus than if you vote on issues regardless of the candidates.
So we hope whether you vote in Student Government elections or other elections, your vote will be based on issues rather than the color or gender of the candidate. You can make your vote count and the majority of the editorial board hopes the right candidates will be chosen by you all on April 11 for SGB elections.