March 15, 2002page 10 of 36

OUR VIEWS: Consensus Opinion

March 15, 2002

Candidate numbers too low

With student government elections fast approaching, Tech's student body is looking at an unusually small pool of candidates to choose from.

There are a total of 56 students running to fill representative and executive positions in SGA next year; this is well below the number of slots that actually exist and need to be filled. This could pose some problems that SGA has not had to face before.

In many cases, students running for certain positions face no opposition. With so few contested categories, most students running have to put little or no effort into their campaigns and simply have to wait to be elected. This devalues the ideal of democracy, which hurts the foundation of Tech's student government. Democracy is truly achieved when candidates who are passionate about these positions work hard to achieve a truly well-deserved victory.

Many of the students that are running for these positions have held positions in SGA in previous years. While maintaining a certain level of consistency with returning representatives is important, it is also necessary that new ideas and views be brought into the undergraduate house each year. New students with an eagerness to be involved and make a difference should be coming in and filling many of these positions at the start of each new year in order to bring fresh voices and ideas to student government.

One explanation for such a small number of candidates could be due to the fact that many students were not made aware of the elections and what the deadlines were. SGA's Public Relations Committee has a responsibility to inform the student body of this important information. This year's PR Committee has done a poor job of fulfilling its obligations, especially when compared to more efficient and informative PR committees in past years. There were a substantial number of candidates last year due, in large part, to the hard work done by that PR committee.

SGA is an organization with substantial power. Representatives deal with and allocate large amounts of money to various student groups each year. Such an important role shoud not be taken for granted, and students should value the parts that these representatives play and strive to become an active part of this organization. Class won't solve problem

The recently formed Academic Misconduct Review Committee has come up with several new proposals with regards to dealing with the problem of academic misconduct. One of the proposed solutions is the idea of having first-time offenders take a class discussing the importance of academic integrity.

While this is a noble proposal, it is unrealistic to assume that students will be enlightened as to the ideals of academic integrity and morality after being made to sit through one class and write a short essay outlining what that class taught.

If a student commits an act of academic misconduct it is likely that the problem cannot be solved by having a student listen to one lecture for a few hours. Any academic integrity problems a student might have likely lie deeper than any one-time class can fix.

This class should not be the hub of any plan implemented by the Provost's office.

Consensus editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board of the Technique, but not necessarily the opinions of individual editors.
Copyright Notice