My Fellow Students,
I never imagined that I would get caught up in the ordeal that has been this election. Twenty well-qualified candidates vied for SG offices, and with the increased numbers came more platforms and the highest voter turnout in years. Although it was a great forum for ideas and desires to better the school to be expressed, the mudslinging and drama that came along with the campaigning was definitely not expected, at least not by me.
One aspect of this election that many students forgot about was that we DO have to return to everyday life once this is over. There is no “Men In Black”-esque memory eraser that will clear our brains of the events of the past three weeks. The backbiting, turning in of elections violations, and spreading of vicious rumors will remain in our minds long after the new officers are inaugurated. Many have related this election to being “business”, but it was forgotten is that even in business, there are ethics.
Through these elections, a different side of many of the candidates was brought forth. Some student leaders have lost the respect of their peers through their attitudes and behavior, while others have definitely gained it. I commend everyone that kept their integrity and character in tact throughout this process.
Sometimes, though, keeping tabs on your own character and integrity was out of your hands. I personally became a victim of rumors – that I am “anti-Greek” and have been calling another candidate “racist.” Just to clarify: I have never said anything even remotely close to either one of those comments. Certain comments can be twisted and used against a person, and many of us were victims of this. I have always been extremely pro-diversity, which by no means implies that I dislike Greek organizations or think that others are racist. Rather than confronting me about these allegations, I was forced to find out from friends and random people asking me why I was saying hateful things about others. This perpetuated these ludicrous, baseless rumors.
I feel that candidates have had to endure hateful comments and actions in some manner, and I am extremely sorry that people have had to go through this. These rumors and hearsay can have adverse affects on our reputations and characters, which stick with us throughout the rest of our time in college and lives. It is upsetting that people’s reputations may leave this experience tarnished, but it is more upsetting that friendships will leave adversely affected.
Regardless of what the results are (this letter is being written Wednesday night), I sincerely hope that all of the candidates involved in this election take the positive from this situation and move on to make a difference at this University.
Vice Presidential Candidate