With the student bodypresidential election only two weeks away, the dearth of presidential candidatesis troubling.
Though the two candidates announced yesterday have been previously involved with Student Government (SG) and may be ideal choices, the lack of involvement from the general student population is worrisome. The student body president represents more than 40,000 students, but how can all voices be heard if only two, as open to representing the student body as they may be, are willing to step forward?
The student body presidentplays an important role in the overall functioning of auniversity, particularly at USF. The president oversees SG operations, which involves the allocation of more than $14 million in Activities and Services fees that everystudent pays into, and is a voting member of theuniversity Board of Trustees, which sets much of the universitys agenda in termsof priorities and planning.
Regardless of whichcandidate wins the election,the early stages of thecampaign should be a forum to hash out the best ideas from which better ideascan emerge.
Having only two plans for USFs future undermines how important it is that thestudents pick a representativeaccording to their idealsand plans.
The low number ofcandidates is disappointingbecause it hinders thedemocratic process of the universitys governing system when there are a limitedamount of platforms forstudents to choose from.
Many complain of the positionof student body president not being reflective of their needs, or being representative ofsubpopulations of campus,such as Greek Village. But unless more individuals are willing to run and serve as student body president,complaints become invalid.
Unlike the qualifications needed to run for president of the U.S., the qualificationsto run for student bodypresident dont require one to have a high level of pedigree orindependent wealth. Anyone can run for the position, yet only two, who had previous involvement with SG, chose to run.
Apathy in the electionprocess can diminish the importance of the student populations involvement in the governing process,which could lead todangerous consequences forfuture students.