The message is old, tired and repetitive. Yet it is one that needs to be brought to the attention of USF students: Get out there and get informed about this year’s candidates for student body president and vice president, as well as senators running for their respective colleges. Surely, many students will say, “Yeah, whatever, I don’t care,” or, “There’s plenty of time to decide.”
However, time is of the essence this year, and students should care. This year’s vote will take place Feb. 28 and March 1, not leaving students much time to get acquainted with each of the tickets. Despite the shortage of time, there are ways to learn more about the candidates. A presidential and vice-presidential debate was held last night, and there is another debate tonight, kicking off the short season of campaigning.
Taking an attitude of apathy toward Student Government elections is not the way to go, as it could lead the student body into being stuck with initiatives it does not want and allocation of student fees toward events it does not want. However, being aware of SG’s activities and duties should not be limited to merely election time: It is the responsibility of the students to stay informed.
Here’s a brief rundown of what these offices are accountable for:
The positions of president and vice president can set the tone for an academic year, as they work in conjunction with their cabinet as the student voice to the administration.
What is the best way of making sure that the voice SG is relaying to the administration accurately reflects what the students want? For starters, students should go and visit these officials at their offices in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center room 203. Talk to these elected officials: The student body puts them in office and should not be afraid to tell them what initiatives are wanted on campus.
During the SG elections, students also choose senate members to represent their respective colleges. During the senate sessions every week, these senators are making decisions in how those students’ Activity and Service fees are spent. If you care how your money is used, go to the weekly senate meeting held on Tuesday nights in Marshall Center room 270.
Even though time is brief, there are plenty of ways to find out where these candidates stand on the issues. Go to the debates, read the literature they will pass out and visit their Web sites. Reading the Oracle is also a good way to become informed, as the Oracle will bring an objective view to the issues at hand. The bottom line is to get informed on the candidates and vote on Feb. 28 and March 1. Student’s futures – and the future of the University – lies in the hands of the student body.