Turn-out in Students’ Association elections offers hope for involvement, reminder of why it matters


Editorial Board

The Issue:

In comparison to 2007 Students’ Association elections, 2008 was wildly successful in getting students involved.

The Stance:

Students should be applauded for voting and candidates should be congratulated on running well-organized, active campaigns.

During the Students’ Association elections on Feb. 27-28, the polls weren’t packed, but business was steady. This year, 1,785 students voted-that is more than a 250 percent increase from last year’s total of 702 voters.

Credit for the statistically impressive increase in voters goes to all who were involved in the process. The candidates did a fantastic job of running get-out-the-vote campaigns rather than promoting their own names. The vote split in the presidential race was evidence of the lengths each team went to in order to secure votes; in every college except the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Pharmacy, almost an equal number of students voted for each team. When the presidential/vice-presidential teams spoke to students, both asked students to vote, even if students did not vote for that candidate’s campaign.

Students who found the two whole minutes it took to vote also deserve a pat on the back. The increase is evidence that what had been an apparent apathy epidemic is beginning to heal. Let’s hope that students continue to care about what happens at SDSU and continue to get involved. The things we do now have an important affect on future activities and policies at SDSU.

National, state and local political campaigns could take a cue from what happened at SDSU last week. Candidates went back to grassroots-like campaigns and stayed issue-oriented. No one attacked their competition’s character or self; no one even attacked each other’s goals. Each team simply emphasized their own abilities and experience.

We still have a long way to go before we can truly be proud of student involvement at SDSU. Voter turnout was actually incredibly low; 15 percent is well below the pathetic 55.3 percent turnout when President Bush was elected in 2004. There wasn’t a single contest in the senator elections. Everyone who turned in a fully completed petition gets to represent their college on SA-whether or not they will actually do a good job-just because no one else felt like running.

Future SDSU students deserve to come into an environment where their predecessors took pride in where they were. We need to leave this place knowing we left our school in better condition than when we got here. Let’s set the bar higher for those who will come after us.