I remember my first SGA election. It was in the seventh grade, and I was running against Matthew Feraco, whose blond hair and soccer skills made him a shoe-in for president.
On the day of the election, we both give a speech to the entire school, stating our campaign platform and above all, why we deserved to be SGA President. I don’t remember what I said. All I remember is that I walked away embarrassed, because there was no way the earnest speech I had worked on all night could beat the seemingly as earnest promises of one-hour lunch periods and relaxed dress code could coming from my opponent’s mouth.
Sitting there, watching the SGA debate, I was distinctly reminded of that middle-school debate, except longer lunches have been replaced with shorter semesters and increased funding to just about every department on campus.
Despite what I believe the overwhelming student body opinion to be, SGA elections are important, and as students, we deserve better than pie-in-the-sky goals and lofty, unrealistic plans.
Next year’s SGA will have power over about five million of our dollars, and honestly, I can’t tell you what a single candidate actually stands for.
I trust that anyone who has gotten into Tech, decided to attend and then participated in enough activities to be confident they could succeed as SGA President and Vice President will probably not drive SGA into the ground. I believe in their capabilities; now, I just need to know what they believe in.
When we elect presidents, we don’t focus on their connections to members of Congress or their lobbyists in industry. Instead we choose presidents based on their stance on important nationwide issues.
All of the SGA candidates, however, were careful to not reveal their stance. Instead, they stated over and over again, “I’ll do what the student body tells me to do.”
Really? You are going to to do what 14,527 differing opinions tell you to do? That’s reasonable.
I don’t want to know about your close and personal connection with George P. Burdell or about your inexperience or your experience. I want to know whether you voted for the tobacco ban, how you think sexual assault should be handled and what you think should be done with the Student Center.
I want to hear the candidates’ priorities, which projects they will work on first, which project they are most passionate about and which one they will be delegating to someone I didn’t worry about electing. I want tangible evidence of what each of the candidates truly cares about.
What I really don’t want to hear is every candidate giving the same political correct, “Thank you for that question,” “I am honored to be running,” answer. I appreciate the care and preparation taken to answer so vaguely, but I am too smart to be swayed by taglines and politeness. More so, those practiced answers make me unable to differentiate between the candidates based on merit and lead me to choose my future SGA President, the person in charge of my $123 student activity fee, based on website design and shoe choice.
If a candidate does not come out saying they are passionate about more than making 14,527 students’ dreams come true, that is exactly how I will vote.