The last of the Trial Court hearings regarding candidate violations of Election Codes ended Wednesday night, a little after 1 a.m., bringing to an end three nights of agonizingly unfounded accusations, immature finger-pointing, and heated outbursts, mostly from the candidates that are frustrated at the fact that they don’t have what it takes to take over SG.
Basically, the Elections Codes are guidelines that must be followed by all candidates during the elections process, ranging from restrictions on wearing ticket-affiliated shirts in certain parts of the UC to illegally distributing campaign materials. Candidates are assessed a certain amount of points for every infraction. For the most part, however, those running for office decide to let minor infractions slide, in honor of good sportsmanship. This is definitely not the case this year.
First let’s get one thing straight: Breaking the rules is breaking the rules, but having your buddies lurking on permanent lookout in the UC – with their neon vomit-colored campaign shirts and hi-tech camera phones ready to collect “evidence” against fellow candidates – is pathetic.
What’s more, most of the candidates filing repeated complaints have been virtually invisible during campaigning. To them we ask: Where have you been? We know you’ve been hiding in the bushes trying to catch your competition breaking the rules, but why haven’t you been dedicating the same amount of time to spreading your ideas throughout campus and reaching out to the student body? After all, aren’t these the people that will be voting for you?
All of the candidates should have followed the example set by those who withdrew their complaints in the spirit of fair elections. They didn’t blatantly ignore violations, they tried to address alleged violators before actually writing anyone up.
That shows true leadership and respect for others as well as for themselves.
Vance, Don, Chris and Peter, as well as their respective tickets, have lead clean and ethical campaigns from day one.
However, other candidates seem to believe that the way to win is to compulsively write up the competition. In fact, most of the violations have been brought up against Vance by the same people that like to hide in the bushes.
Is winning by default really winning? Well, for some people it seems to be.
Obviously, focusing on these petty violations is merely a weak attempt at disqualifying the most qualified candidates.
The worst part is that all this exaggerated drama has caused friendships to end and reputations to be tarnished.
Bottom line: Is it all really worth it?
If anything, the actions of all of the candidates has taught us who the pros are and who the cons are – We now know the true colors of some of UM’s most “respected” student leaders.
That said, the governing forces in this whole circus – the Election Commission commissioners and the Trial Court justices – should be commended for comporting themselves in a polished and professional manner despite having to sit through dozens of unfounded claims and self-made rumors.
To the losers hiding in the bushes: Next time focus on your own campaign and maybe you’ll have a chance at winning.