Two-candidate SG format squelches ideas

“What a difference a year makes,” began last Friday’s editorial in this very paper. And I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, while our editors were talking about the transformation of Pete Maki from frat boy to career politician, I am referring to this year’s thin variety of choices, of which there are three: Maki, Pamela Scheiss, or not voting (my money’s on the vast majority of campus voting for the latter).

This is no knock on either of the two candidates. Our paper’s editors came to their decision to support Maki based on an analysis that went far beyond throwing darts at a wall (at least, as far as I know). And for what it’s worth, Scheiss is the perfect candidate for, say, a broadcast journalism student such as myself, as evidenced by her media-friendly platform that includes supporting the $1 referendum to make WVUM more respectable and providing the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in the dining halls, a perfect complement of conservative and liberal periodicals, respectively, that will enhance this school’s “marketplace of ideas.”

Which brings me to my current gripe about our upcoming election: not too much variety. As many can recall, last year’s race featured several candidates, from student-athletes (Billy Bludgus) to architecture students (Josh Arcurio) to Hurricane writers (the talented Scott Wacholtz). Beyond that, there was also an informative debate-more a question-and-answer session, really-held at the Rat to help undecided students better understand the ideas and goals of the candidates.

But this year, we’re left with two candidates, which means a drastically reduced “marketplace of ideas.” Two sets of ideas create a tricky dilemma, as the onus of creativity now falls flatly on the student body to decide what matters most to them. And we all know how involved our collective population on campus is with school politics.

So, what’s the solution? We can only hope that whoever does win takes more than a glance at the opposition’s platform objectives. We can only hope that the student body starts making suggestions of their own. We can only hope that the seeds planted by Vance Aloupis can be nurtured into blossoming plans. We can hope all these things.

The one thing we can know, though, is this: At least we don’t have to worry about being harassed with flyers by more than two people at the Rock this year.

Ben Minkus can contacted