Letter to the Editor
I am writing to express my disappointment with your March 23 article, “Lack of publicity for elections disappointing.” While I agree that there has thus far been a surprising lack of traditional campaigning, it is surely too soon to judge the impact of their campaigns on the student body. The same might be said for your analysis of Elections Board marketing strategies: There is more to come.
But my main concern is your lack of understanding regarding the constraints that are in place for the Elections Board, and the role we are asked to play.
You may remember — or have heard the legend of — the year the student body elections “broke” (2007). In response, the rules governing student body elections were revised, and the 2008 Elections Board was charged with strict adherence to the new rules. The aim, in part, was to promote a new culture of respect for the procedures that are in place to guide student government.
While you would like to see posters littering the walls of every building on campus, both candidates and the Elections Board are expected to adhere to campus postering and graffiti policies — which restrict our advertising to one poster per bulletin board.
Consider also the following: Last year there were contests for Senate seats in five of the seven colleges; this year there are three. Last year all of our publicity hit campus after spring break; this year we collected petitions from candidates before spring break and restarted our publicity afterward. Last year everyone was waiting to see whether the election would be once again spectacular; this year we have returned to a slightly less exciting atmosphere.
In short, there are a variety of factors that affect student body election publicity and how it is perceived. Next time you want to express your disappointment, please take the time to consider the whole story, instead of just fanning the flame of misguided perception.
Ruth Poproski, Elections Board Co-Chair