Opinion

The undeniable presence of apathy overwhelms UM

In my ill-fated campaign for Student Government president, I ran on the idea that most students on campus feel that SG is irrelevant. In my conversations with former President Sadowski as well as with more than one senator on this issue, I’ve come to realize that this is not a problem of which SG is unaware. In fact, this isn’t even a problem that is unique to UM.

According to Sadowski, “This is a problem that student governments across this country grapple with.” I believe he’s right, which perhaps says more about the average college student than it does about student government.

On the final day of the runoff election this year, I had some time to help the candidate I was supporting hand out flyers. I was surprised by what appeared to be general hostility that we were being so impolite as to actually attempt to hand out campaign literature to potential voters. Some people were downright resentful. I mean, how dare we? Judging by the attitudes of some, you might have thought we were trying to sell these people insurance or something. Some people even made ridiculous comments, like the girl who said she didn’t vote in SG elections because she was “an anarchist.” Ah, yes, only on a college campus! I guess if somebody stole all her books and money she’d be all right with that since she doesn’t believe there should be any enforcement of rules (of course she probably doesn’t believe in books or money anyway). Then there was the guy in the guise of a hippie-wannabe who said he didn’t vote in the election because he was opposed to Greeks controlling Student Government. As if the preponderance of Greeks in Student Government is a conspiracy or something. HELLO! Greeks are the ones that come out and vote, you putz!

The great wise man Peter Maki said it best during the un-debate we all attended (and what a joke that event was): “If you’re going to complain about SG, get up and do something about it” – which I would remind you he did, as did I. The point is, if you really think SG is not doing its job, get up off your well-fed posterior and do something about it. There are many good people in SG. If they’re not doing what you want… it’s probably because you haven’t told them what you want. The Senate meets every Wednesday from 4 – 6 p.m., and the SG office is up in the I-Lounge. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other. What’s the worst that can happen? You may surprise yourself and actually make a difference. It’s up to you.

Scott Wacholtz can be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu

April 2, 2004

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