As a second-semester senior, my stake in campus elections is arguably around zero. However, having spent almost four years on campus, I can say with confidence that not nearly enough students run for elected campus positions, and that our college is worse off because of it.
As advertised in the Jan. 21 email from the Meredith Student Government Association (SGA), the deadline to announce your intent to run in campus elections is Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. That’s less than a week away, but I’m here to tell anyone who’s ever considered running — do it.
Both campus-wide and class positions have more impact on each Meredith student’s life than one may initially think. Campus-wide positions like SGA President and Vice President, Student Life Chair and Meredith Activities Board Chair influence what happens on campus each year, both in terms of recreational activities and events and also how the college is able to advance initiatives on equity and inclusion. The new SGA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Chair position will be elected for the first time this year, and together with the positions of president and VP, this could result in important changes being made across campus.
In my time at Meredith, I’ve noticed that class positions often rotate between the same group of individuals. This is not a bad thing by nature, but it can be frustrating when elections turn into a simple popularity contest. The more competition, the more room there is for healthy debate and campaigning — meaning that candidates will have to actually discuss what their platform is instead of relying on their name being more recognizable than their opponent’s. Additionally, elections with more competition may garner more interest, meaning that more students are likely to vote.
I’ve run twice for Cornhuskin’ Co-Chair, and won the race my freshman year. I also currently hold an application-based position, Class Gift Co-Chair. As someone who has participated in both successful and unsuccessful campaigns, and who has held both elected and application-based positions, I understand how time consuming it can be to run for a position (and how much more time consuming actually holding the position is). However, if you have the time and mental capacity to run for a position, I encourage you to take the leap and try something new.
By Olivia Slack, Co-Editor in Chief