It’s become a given that 2008 will be (and already has been) the stage for an exciting national political race. We have the first female and African-American candidates running on one side and on the other side.well, yeah. Still, despite the multitude (read: excessive) coverage that this race has warranted, the university community has seemingly been underwhelmed with the political process.
The lines outside the BUC on Florida’s primary day weren’t long enough. The voices chanting candidates’ names weren’t loud enough. Absentee ballots for out-of-state students weren’t mailed in bounty.
Diddy would be very disappointed.
If UM is ever going to be a “new Ivy,” one of the requirements is brilliant students. Not just in the classroom, but in the voting booth, too. After all, the president of our fine university is a former cabinet member.
What makes the lack of political involvement even more upsetting is that it will no doubt translate to poor participation in Student Government elections. In 2006, only 13 percent of the student body voted for SG representatives; in 2007, it was up slightly to 19 percent. Still, when a decision affects 100 percent of the student body, 100 percent of the student body should participate. Even FSU students could do that math.
We can’t expect elected student representatives to know what we’re thinking via osmosis of the 20 percent of students who do vote. Similarly, we can’t expect elected students to be accountable to the student body at large when they’re only indebted to the less than 2,000 undergrads who cared enough to vote in the first place.
SG elections are Feb. 25 to 27. That’s two weeks away – plenty of advance notice, so scratch that off of your list of excuses. There is a debate among candidates for vice president on Feb. 19 and one among those for president on Feb. 21 – both are at The Rat. Go, have a beer (or five), meet the candidates and get informed. Don’t decide who you are voting for on a whim when you’re walking through the Breezeway at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 and see a campaign t-shirt.
Get informed about the issues and make a good choice. Good for you and good for the university. Most importantly, though, just make a choice because. Otherwise, it’s just like national elections: If you don’t cast a vote, you can’t cast any complaints.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.