Alex Romano

Student Government elections are looming. Campaigning has already begun and elections are scheduled to take place April 5–6 . The question is, is it worth voting?
SG is split into the Student Senate and the Executive Branch, consisting of the president and vice president.

When I was first writing this article, the Elections and Disputes Commission (the branch of SG that handles elections) was preventing five Senate candidates from being placed on the ballot due to “signature issues” with their election packets. There were officially 18 people running for 30 seats — a non-competitive election. At that point, the period to submit a packet to be on the ballot was over.

I e-mailed EDC Chairman Dale Warfield for comment. The EDC responded with an official announcement stating, “The competitive nature does not affect our decisions. Any packet that is approved or disapproved is done so according to this commission’s interpretation of Title VI of the George Mason Code of Student Governance.” Then, EDC met Thursday and decided to alter their decision, adding those five individuals to the ballot.

I guess they realized how ridiculous it was to prevent students from being placed on the ballot due to minor “signature issues,” despite the “code,” especially in a non-competitive election cycle.

Glad to see they woke up. This will bring the grand total to 23 people running for 30 seats. Everyone will win by default, totally uncontested.

It’s almost embarrassing to see that our SG doesn’t even have anything close to a competitive election. A bit of competition would be 40 people running for 30 seats. It’s a joke that in a university with almost 20,000 undergraduate students, there aren’t even 30 people that take our SG seriously.

I would like to note that there are three tickets running for president/vice president though (still less than last year). A possible reason for the lack of interest could be that EDC didn’t advertise to the student body encouraging people to run for office. Maybe it’s due to the fact the Senate spent time introducing a bill to purchase beta fish for their office, which was tabled. Or spending a good chunk of their general body meetings week after week debating over arbitrary rules on how they govern themselves.

However, SG does some great things that aren’t recognized, such as the Academic Advising Expo, coming up on Tuesday. Still, there is so much nonsense that overshadows their good work.

So why should you care about who’s representing you if you didn’t even have a choice? Your vote in Senate elections doesn’t matter. Everyone will win by default. All of this raises the question, is Student Government a legitimate functioning organization or simply a mock government?

Shane T. Smith contributed to this piece.

Alex Romano is currently the Program Director of WGMU Radio and co-host of “Mixing it Up and Back,” Sunday nights 9-10 p.m., where you can hear a preview of the Weekly Rant live on-air. Alex is also a former member of SG’s Senate.