EDITORIAL: Running for office should require more
SPRING 2017 EDITORIAL BOARD
SGA molds the leaders that help implement change on our campus.
From freshman senators to committee chairs to executive members, the student senate has the power to hear the grievances of their constituents.
They use that information to collaborate with University administrators who can help make Auburn a better place.
These elected campus officials help facilitate student success and make the student body happier as a whole by utilizing their SGA office hours, meeting new people through their classes and reaching out to constituents they might not otherwise have the chance to speak to.
The resolutions the student senate propose have the ability to change minute details on campus such as adding Weagle Water stations, to monumental administrative updates such as Tiger Scheduler, football ticketing and campus dining options.
This fact makes it especially daunting that there are fewer requirements of those major SGA candidates than that of Miss Homecoming, Miss Auburn and other positions requiring an interview and narrowing-down process before choosing a winner.
Those positions on campus that allow for that kind of change should be taken seriously by the students running and by the students putting them into power through the election process.
That’s not to say an SGA-run interview process is the way to successful rectify this situation.
To those who worry that would make the system “rigged,” there several other ways to make sure those who the student body see most fit to lead are running for office over those less deserving.
While SGA’s Code of Laws has requirements addressing factors such as academic standing, the character of those choosing to lead the student body is just as important as their grades and previously held positions.
The content of each candidates character is just as important as the students are putting their trust in them.
The SGA campaigning process requires a lot of time, money and effort on behalf of the candidates.
But it also takes up the time of those students willing to listen to their ideas and goals.
To not take that seriously would be robbing fellow students and “the Auburn Family” of their time, as the campaign process can be both physically and emotionally exhausting.
Hence, having fellow students legitimize ones candidacy provides proof that a large enough group believes that candidate is fit to serve, at least in the eyes of that group.
Although the Code of Laws has gone through a complete audit over the past year, it’s worth considering making more changes to the elections laws.
Something as simple as requiring students who’d like to run for major SGA positions to obtain 100 signatures in a petition could help legitimize the candidates by getting the students voice behind them right off the bat.
If a petition is just one hurtle candidates have to leap to prove they’re willingness to serve the student body’s best interests, it’s worth at least a second thought to ensure our campus is content and our students’ precious time is protected.
Editor's note: Weston Sims, opinions editor, is a member of SGA. He recused himself from the editorial meeting regarding this issue.