As publisher of The Tartan, I have the distinct honor of moderating this year’s student government election debates. The debates, which are being held from 5 to 7 p.m. today and from 8 to 10 p.m. tomorrow, are a great chance for the student body to become familiar with the candidates. That being said, I wanted to take this space to emphasize the importance of voting and knowing the candidates you vote for.
Most of the time, when one contemplates the role of authority in a university setting, one thinks about faculty, administration, or the university president. Few seem to truly realize the role and position of power that those elected to student government are given. The Carnegie Mellon student government passes university legislation, recognizes student organizations, distributes student activities funding and special allocations, and acts on behalf of student interests in an administrative setting. This is why it is so important for members of the student body to vote and be well informed about the candidates they’re voting for.
“Voting is part of every student’s civic duty,” said Turi Alcoser, a candidate for student body president. “In order to see positive outcomes in student government, every person, no matter their major or level of involvement, must come together and voice their opinion by reading the platforms, meeting the candidates, and choosing a team that can speak to their concerns. I believe as long as there is choice, students can make all the difference in their leadership through voting. Every vote counts.”
For this reason I would encourage all members of the student body to attend this year’s election debates. As voters, we seldom get the chance to ask on-the-spot questions and compare candidates side by side. Take advantage of this opportunity and get involved, and become a well-informed voter. Help the student body ensure that those candidates elected will run student government smoothly and to the best of their abilities.