No parties, but SGA elections still have factions

Jeremy Stull

Elections are a wonderfully horrific time.

National elections entail seemingly endless commercials, billboards and a few debates. Most people who actually vote have their minds made up prior to elections. The aim is to rope in those in the middle to your side with some grandiose promise that has a slim chance at fruition.

Quinnipiac’s Student Government Association elections are a bit different. SGA elections, apart from the executive board, are based entirely on name recognition. The executive board has debates in the cafeteria two days before elections. The attendance this year was comprised mostly of people running for SGA (who were required to be there) and the fraternity brothers of the respective presidential candidates.

It’s a tired topic, but all of the current executive board members are in a Greek organization. Their members are the ones who mostly have their minds made up prior to the campaigns. There are no political parties within the SGA community, but there are most definitely factions. I said the e-board was exempt from the category of being simply a popularity contest. That does not mean it’s not mostly a popularity contest. It’s still largely based on name recognition.

General board elections are decided absolutely entirely by a name recognition basis. Part of being in politics is getting out there and getting your name out. Even so, there is no substance in hanging posters. If you do go and talk to organizations, there is zero accountability to hold to anything you say.

The fact that the elections are a popularity contest is not a problem with the organization. SGA is an absolutely wonderful organization comprised of people who work very hard for a community they really care about. They do the best they can with their resources and contacts. Most would say, including myself, that they do a very good job of that.

The problem doesn’t lie with the voter base, for they work within the system they are given. The problem that prohibits truly open and effective elections is that SGA is not a very visible entity on this campus. People rarely know when SGA gets something accomplished. When people do know, they don’t know what committee, what cabinet, and definitely not what individual member worked on the issue at hand. The campus needs to start caring about and recognizing these student leaders and from that elections will carry more weight and be conducted in a more effective manner.