With elections for various Students’ Association positions quickly approaching on April 9-11, an important issue comes to light – is there ample time for students to really know the candidates? Platforms have just become available, and many students are still unsure of who the candidates are.
The only reasonable ways of getting to know the candidates are through reading the platforms published three days after the beginning of the campaign period or attending the convention and debate held on only one night. For those first three days, students must rely on searching flyers and Facebook to find out who is running and read their platforms. Furthermore, if students were unable to attend the convention and debate on Wednesday night, they will find it extremely difficult to get any kind of personal interaction with the candidates.
In order for the students to become informed earlier, the names of all the candidates in each election category, along with their platforms, should be readily available on the Hive Web site on the first day of campaigning. Students should be charged with taking more initiative to get to know the candidates, but once they take the initiative, the information should be easy to find.
If the length of the campaign period were to be extended, the candidates would be able to do a better job of explaining their platforms and reaching out to students around campus. This could also allow for a second debate and/or meet-and-greet with prospective officers. It may even be beneficial for the SA to work toward moving the entire timeframe a week later. This would interfere less with the work of the current Senate, allowing for present members to finish their final tasks of the year before elections while still giving a couple of weeks for the new administration to get situated in their positions.
The SA should work to have a group of more well-informed voters, and a little extra work should be done to ensure that the candidates are actually known and their ideas for the new year are communicated.