Student Body President, or CEO?

I’m sure many students have noticed — actually... “many” might be an overstatement — that student government elections have been going for the past few weeks.

We, as the body of Shoreline Community, have the opportunity to decide whose voice should represent us.

Well, those who paid attention to the ballot know this could be the last year students will have that option.

Student Government has made a move to eliminate the electoral process of the Student body President and Minister of Communications positions by placing two questions on this year’s ballot. They read, “Do you agree to have the position of [insert position name here] a hired, and not elected position?”

Voters have two options: Yes or No. I, however, would prefer a third option: Why? And perhaps even a fourth: Why didn’t anyone hear about this until the day they signed in to vote?

This is a big issue! It’s not like asking to toss another vending machine in the Music building (which I’m sure would be well received), or whether we want hand-blowers in the PUB bathrooms. This is a change that affects the entire student body, and our power within a school we attend and pay a ton of money into.

You can’t just slap a question like this on the ballot a week in advance, tell no one, and expect everything to be peachy keen.

Some may be thinking, “Damn. This kid is going apeshit over some dumb Community College election that I didn’t even vote in anyway. Who cares? He must have anger issues. I bet he hates puppies too.”

Well, first of all, I love puppies — and kittens — so don’t even go there. Secondly, I care, and let me tell you why.

Choosing a student leader is one of our most basic rights. We as students have the ability to vote on who will represent us and who can hold strong against the gnashing teeth of the administration. And that is how it should be.

Not only does this allow us to choose a direction for our institution, but it also provides vital training for the real world, where paying attention to political issues and candidates and voting wisely can mean the difference between positive social change and prosperity or a decade of war.

To rob us of this right is wrong, and would not increase voter turnout on school issues, but instead create a generation of students who don’t give a shit — who float aimlessly through the murk of school politics without a second thought or breath of care, like so:

“Hey, did you hear we have a new president?”
“No. Do we even vote on that shit?”
“No. I’m pretty sure they just hire some dude.”
“Oh, well fuck, why even pay attention then, if they’re just gonna do it for us?”
“I don’t know, good point. Lets go smoke some weed.”

End. There you have it. The future of student involvement in a nutshell. Personally, that’s a shell I’d rather leave sealed.

Student Government argues that more qualified candidates will apply if the positions are hired. Was our current student body president not qualified? Did he not stand up against the administration and School President Lee Lambert, advocating for student concerns and opportunity? Yes, he did. It is not his fault that creating change within the school is like trying to bore a tunnel through granite with a water hose.

So, to the students of SCC, I ask: Do you want to choose your leader, the person who will be your foothold, your solid ground on the tumbling hillside of student politics? Or would you rather have those sitting at the top hire some resume-toting, power hungry student with a flawless smile and overly-firm handshake?

But don’t think too hard on the decision. It’s only our future.

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