President talks elections

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

This week marks the start of the 2013 Student Government Elections. This is an important time in the year that gives you the power to make a positive impact in the community here. Over my four years, I’ve seen a lot of progress in student government and the continuation of that progress begins with this election. I hope you will agree with me that the size, publicity, and impact of student government has been on an upward trajectory this year. Student involvement in this election will ensure that progress continues.

For those of you who were here during last year’s elections, there was, unfortunately, a great deal of turmoil and controversy surrounding the elections. I’m glad that this year there is a much less contentious environment, but I do not want that to detract from the attention that was paid to that election, which had the highest turnout in recent memory. I urge those of you who read this to not only do your part and vote in the election, but to also remind your friends and classmates to vote as well. There are a small number of positions you will be voting on and voting itself is online, so making your voice heard is a very small time commitment that has an important impact. The winning margin last year for President was 64 votes. The year before the margin was 50 votes. Given low turnout rates in the past, this means extra votes really do have tremendous power in this election.

As an undergraduate in the election, you are able to vote for Student Senators to represent your college. All students are able to vote for president, vice president for finance, and vice president for organizations. There are great candidates running for these positions and I urge you to attend the debates today and tomorrow to learn more about them and their platforms. Within these three positions, there is a tremendous amount of power, as those who fill the positions advocate for students with the administration, manage student organization recognition, and decide funding among many other duties. I can say on behalf of all student government execs that these positions all hold very meaningful responsibilities that require a lot of dedication from the winner. By voting you are not only choosing who you want to take on those responsibilities, but you are ensuring they are held accountable. By voting for one of these excellent candidates you are helping to positively shape your CMU experience.

Voting will open this Thursday at noon. Before then you can read up on the candidates’ platforms at — the same link where you can vote. To get more informed please attend the debates, which are hosted by The Tartan: Student Body President is today in McConomy at 6 p.m. Vice President for Finance is tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. and Vice President for Organizations is directly after that at 8:00 p.m. Both of those debates are in Rangos 3. I wish the best of luck to all of the candidates involved and am excited to see what next year holds for student government.