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Union positions should be competitive and coveted

By The Brandeis Hoot

Section: Editorials

March 13, 2015

This week, Brandeis held its annual Student Union elections, and The Brandeis Hoot is dismayed by the apathy among Brandeis students. Very few students run for Student Union positions, and very few students vote in the elections. This year, candidates ran unopposed in every race besides vice president. Only one student ran for Student Union President, a position that entails a great deal of work, such as making decisions and organizing events that affect student life.

This is not to assert that future president Nyah Macklin ’16 and the students elected to the Student Union will not do an excellent job serving our community. We simply wish that Student Union elections engaged greater student attention, in terms of number of candidates and voter turnout. We want students at our university to care about the way it is run. Students may have little say in selection of administrators, but they do have a say in Student Union elections. Moving forward, we encourage students to treat this privilege with the respect it deserves.

If the Union values its role in the Brandeis community, they ought to take more responsibility in advertising the elections and connecting to the student community. They must publicize the candidates’ platforms and hold a debate. Elections should be more than friends voting for their friends, and the Union itself should not be seen as a far-removed group that only exists through a weekly email listing the upcoming events.

The Student Union is a vital part of the university. Its members advocate for students and can act on changes they wish to see on campus, and as such students should relish the chance to be involved in their university. Voting for Student Union is an important way to get involved, as much as joining clubs and advocating for valuable causes. Brandeis students have a reputation as a politically informed and socially active community and ought to prove that by interacting with the Union. As we have written in past editorials, the Brandeis community is ready and willing to work with groups such as the administration if said groups will meet students halfway. In this case, it is students meeting students, which should be even easier.

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