Elections for the positions in the University Student Government are held annually and it gives the student body a chance to be heard and instill the change that they want to see by selecting leaders who they believe can best represent them. However, the recently concluded elections for the upcoming school year were tainted by the low voter turnout. With the current stature of Lasallian apathy towards the elections, the concept of fighting for change has become an afterthought for most students.
Change in our University begins when students are properly represented by elected leaders who champion their cause. There is a question of how we, as a student body, can hope for better student services, transparent leadership and genuine representation when, from the very beginning, the process of electing our officers is rife with inconsistencies and the usual mudslinging. These give politics such a dirty impression among students who bear witness to more or less the same thing year in and year out and this could possibly explain the low voter turnout.
However, no matter how bad the turnout, the recently elected officers of the USG now face the daunting tasks of the year ahead and they would do well to remember the spirit of the government that they have committed themselves to. Student politics should go beyond elections, with all members of the USG and its electorate striving towards a government that is for the students, by the students, and of the students, especially because their power comes from the students. This challenge does not end with one’s successful bid for election into the student government and subsequent assumption of office. It continues even as integral functions of representation and policy making, along with the day-to-day tasks of paperwork and coordination among offices, keep student leaders busy throughout the year to come.
As the dust clears after this year’s elections and we settle once again into everyday student life and governance, the focus must remain on true service and representation. If the tenacity with which our candidates sought office is carried over to the active pursuit of a better Lasallian community now that they are elected officers, they can make their mark and turn the University into a better place. For our leaders, they are now in a perfect position to change the perception of the voters towards the USG and the political scene within the University. The students have done their part and have elected their student leaders for the upcoming school year. It is now the USG’s turn to make good on the promises made during the elections and make the University a better place for the students that they represent.