In defense of our Student Government

The people have now spoken. With a few clicks of a mouse the Era of Free Napster has ended, while the Era of Free Towel Service dawns on the horizon. When you start looking for a job in large part based upon the strength of your UM degree, I’m sure the fact you had free Napster and were too cheap to pay $1 for a towel when you work out will stand you in good stead with your potential employer.

This is not a knock on Vance Aloupis or Pete Maki for offering those respective campaign promises; it’s a knock on the electorate for being moved to vote for nonsense like that. This is why I applaud the Elections Commission for canceling the debates. To have had to watch yet another amateurish display of grandstanding between variant factions of the Hellenic Industrial Complex is more than mortal man deserves. Of course that’s a hit on the electorate, too.

Having said that, I think we had two wonderful candidates for Student Government President this year, one of whom I came to know and have great respect for having had the honor of competing along side him for President last year, and the other who is one of those rare and inspiring natural leaders who understands, as they both do, the potential UM students have to make an impact on this community. The choice was difficult because SG is that important.

We would have had a great leader, regardless of who had won, leadership commensurate with the leadership we’re losing. This year’s Executive Board has done an admirable job serving the student body; I hope that next years Board does just as good a job.

SG is that important, because regardless of what arrogant, self-delusional and ignorant people might think, SG is a force for positive change. It is no more appropriate to base the effectiveness of the organization on the fact that refreshments were mentioned in the minutes than it is to base one’s potential effectiveness as a lawyer on the ability to blather nonsensically without restraint.

The problem with SG is not structural. The problem is a lack of sufficient resources to fund better initiatives. That’s why your choice for Student Government President is always between Athens and Sparta…rather than between good and better.

Scott Wacholtz can be contacted at