Great ideas, not popularity, should guide votes in ASUA election season
Starting today, applications for the ASUA elected positions will be released and a bunch of Pi Kappa Alpha’s, Chi Omega’s, and political science majors will begin clamoring for your vote.
For anyone who doesn’t know, ASUA is the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. ASUA has nothing to do with ASU (apart from a few collaborative projects) despite what the name indicates. Caught up? OK.
Roughly 10 percent of the student body votes in the election. The majority of voters are from Greek Life — not all of them, since Greek Life is only 13 percent of the student body population, but you get what I’m saying. There’s a reason that the candidates campaign at the fraternities and sororities.
Ten percent of the population isn’t really enough to choose the people who will control our policies for the next year. Granted, it’s the voters’ fault for being too lazy to actually vote, because there is only so much ASUA can do, but 10 percent is pretty damn lousy.
A few candidates this year will probably tell you the same thing. They want to make ASUA more accessible, bring Spring Fling back to campus from Rillito Downs, which was supposed to happen this year based on a plan by former ASUA President Emily Fritze, and other minor tasks that never really end up helping students that much.
Perhaps I’m cynical because these past few years we’ve been in a slump. It certainly isn’t an easy task to be one of the 10 ASUA senators that have the responsibility of representing the entire student body. The expectations that the Arizona Daily Wildcat puts on ASUA are tough, but that’s only because we’ve seen such amazing things from our student government in the past.
ZonaZoo, the largest student section in the Pac-12, was a senate project, as was Safe Ride, the transportation service that brings accessibility to students. ASUA has brought us great concerts, great Homecomings and great programs. Yes, it screwed up with the Jay-Z concert in 2009 but we all make mistakes.
In a couple of weeks, the ASUA candidates will spread out on the Mall with catchy signs and free T-shirts. You may ignore them because they’ll seem like those annoying people you try to avoid, but take a moment to listen to their ideas. These are the people who are attempting to represent you, not just another person trying to get you to read the Bible.
This year let’s hold all of the candidates to a higher standard. Don’t vote for them because they’re your friends, or they’re in Greek Life, or because they handed you a cool T-shirt on the Mall; vote for them because they have great ideas that will actually help the student population.
Maybe this year, a person with great ideas won’t be buried because he or she didn’t have the Greek vote and didn’t want to skip class to campaign on the Mall.
_— Dan Desrochers is the opinions editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter via @drdesrochers. _