Flames of the Torch

It’s becoming rather redundant. Every spring, Student Government Inc. holds elections for a new ticket of student leaders, and every spring we watch a disappointing amount of students come out to cast their vote.

The reasons behind low turnout at the polls for Student Government are up for debate depending on your bias and knowledge of the event, but it’s always unfortunate just how many students don’t care to vote for the people who will spend a portion of their tuition money.

We perennially struggle with this topic at the Torch every spring, tossing around solutions and offering our thoughts on how to make the elections more student-friendly in editorials like this one.

This year has not been much different. The 2011 S.G.I. elections are off to a slow start, with elections scheduled to take place next week and, by our observations, only a small portion of the student population is aware.

Most years, we tend to blame S.G.I. for poor planning and advertising of the election. We usually point out flaws with certain campaigns and suggest ways that future tickets could increase their student participation.

Unfortunately, year after year, the student turnout is a steady disappointment, a poor reflection of a student body that is generally

uninterested and uninvolved.

This year, what is more distressing than anything else is the amount of students who have chosen to put their efforts into something as trivial as the “REAL graduation” campaign. This movement started in reaction to the University announcing they would not be calling out names of graduates at this year’s graduation. In a week, 1,000 students had joined a Facebook group petitioning the move, and another 300 signed a formal complaint.

The Torch finds it distressing that students are so easily absorbed by inflated issues that have no real significance, while things of actual importance – such as Student Government elections – struggle to attract mass attention.

On Tuesday night, we posted a breaking news story to our Web site that announced the University would be reversing their decision to not call names at graduation. By 10 p.m., the story had received over 200 page views, 35 Facebook “likes” and multiple comments. If students cared more about real issues and put their efforts to use around campus through organizations and clubs, this school would be such a better place.

Real student involvement is more than joining a Facebook group whenever a hot button issue emerges and sweeps across campus. True student leaders who make a difference can be found year round in organizations around campus making a difference and improving student life.

To all the students out there, we urge you to consider what outlets you put your energy into, and start by voting next week, March 29-30 in the D’Angelo Center, for next year’s Student Government leaders.

Cast a vote because, believe it or not, these students will represent your activities fee and decide where it goes. Cast a vote because the best possible candidates should be elected to move into the S.G.I. office in the D’Angelo Center.

Take the time to look at both tickets running for office and form an opinion that actually has weight.