Opinion, Student Government

Vote for real change, not unfulfilled promises

Monday marks the beginning of campaigning week for Student Government (SG) executive board elections – the week when SG appears relevant to students’ day-to-day lives. Throughout the week, supporters wear matching T-shirts, hand out colorful pamphlets and promote the candidates’ platforms.

These platforms, which list large and small promises alike, make or break whether candidates get elected. However, once voting is over and a winning ticket is selected, the candidates’ exciting plans rarely get accomplished. These plans, which in the past have included locking in tuition and a public relations graphic tool, just become distant memories – until the next spring semester, of course.

With each new executive board, it seems SG has made less of an impact on students, by being unable to finish what it sets out to accomplish. Voters, therefore, should not be so concerned about the specifics of which students are running, how much experience with SG politics they have, or what would-be platform promises they wave in our faces.

Students should instead consider whether a ticket will be defined by real accomplishments. All tickets must hold their new president, vice president and treasurer accountable for the promises they make.

Former SG administrations under Brandon Mitchell and Nawara Alawa, in particular, stand out as the best recent examples of a student government making a difference.

Mitchell, who was SG president from 2011-2012 and previously Category 5 chair, managed to redesign the University Center when the Student Activities Center was on the drawing board. He also developed late-night dining, which is still available today.

The next year, Alawa’s ticket ran on the ambitious Plus One Scholarship program, which the university recently announced is now accepting applications from students looking to attend UM for a tuition-free fifth year.

Prior to her term, Alawa was a member of SG Senate’s Student Affairs Committee, the Parking and Transportation Advisory Board  and the Civic Engagement Task Force.

Both Mitchell and Alawa were familiar with the administrators that mainly determine what initiatives have a chance of succeeding and were prepared for the primary responsibility of leading a student government – a commitment to the student body and its needs.

Mitchell and Alawa made themselves visible to the student body through realistic accomplishments for the university. For example, Alawa finished one of Mitchell’s lasting contributions to campus: the U statue that students pass by everyday on their way to class.

As students start to see their Facebook news feeds flooded with the faces of this year’s SG candidates, they must remember to vote for the people who will reflect the same spirit of accomplishment.

Look for an SG administration that listens to students and is ready to bring about change that is recognizable and practical but still packs a punch.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

February 8, 2015


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Vote for real change, not unfulfilled promises”

  1. R says:

    More inaccuracies from TMH “editorial board”? I’m not surprised. Embarrassing.

  2. Emily Stanch says:

    Attributing the Plus One Scholarship to Nawara Alawa’s ticket, “Inspired By U” is inaccurate. This was a “Think B.I.G.” initiative. I know this because I was a candidate on the Think B.I.G. ticket and helped to develop Parker Barnett’s idea into a strong initiative that was approved and featured on our palm card. After we presented our initiatives, the Inspired By U ticket hopped on the wagon. It was not featured in their original initiatives. Even if they did offer their support for the idea after the presentation of Think B.I.G.’s initiatives, the name “Plus One Scholarship” was created by the Think B.I.G. team. Please address this blatant inaccuracy in your article give Parker the recognition he deserves.

    Prior Hurricane articles praising Inspired By U (and not mentioning the Plus One Scholarship because it was not their initiative):



    Prior Hurricane article glossing over Inspired by U’s appropriation of Think B.I.G.’s initiative:


    Thanks and Go Canes,

    Emily Stanch

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Juwan Dowels vividly remembers his first winter on the Syracuse University campus. Like the other 11 ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

The Miami soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Thursday night at Cobb Stadium behind ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team will open play Friday at the ITA Southeast Region ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.