Poor voting habits reflect contempt for money
April 9, 2007 —
For those who voted in the student elections last week, thanks - to all 600 or so of you. For those 8,000 or so of you that didn't: what's the problem? Do you have absolutely no opinion as to who should organize events and speak for the student body at your expense? Are you perfectly comfortable with the notion that the people that now hold office might not represent anything you stand for, or even anything at all, again at your expense? Can you feel the dollars leaving your pocket?
It's not really even an issue of apathy in this scenario. What it comes down to is money: you pay an increasingly large sum of it so that the people elected into office are 1) monetarily compensated for their duties and 2) best able to organize and sponsor events for your enjoyment.
To get an idea of how much money you shell out for this kind of stuff, consider how much Ludacris cost SVSU when Program Board brought him in in 2005: $85,000. Eighty-five grand. Not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, and you paid for it. Every dime. I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn't, you had the option of voicing that displeasure - directly, by voting for a new Program Board president and indirectly, by sharing your thoughts with the Vanguard. The opposite also holds true: if you loved the Luda concert, which many did, you have the vote and the press to express that.
As was the case with Ludacris, even if you don't attend any future events or even care to, you are paying for it. Even if you've never heard of Student Association, there is money coming out of your pocket that pays for its activities and the salaries for the young men and women that run it.
Consider the following analogy: would you pay Burger King to make the wrong burger every time you went there, simply because you never told them you don't like pickles?
When you don't vote for your student reps, you're doing the same thing. And even more shamefully, this process is sickeningly easy, probably even easier than ordering that burger. You log on to voting.svsu.edu. You click a button. You get back to what you were doing. It takes all of 10 seconds, if that.
And with that, you've said "no, I don't like pickles. In fact, I rather detest them."
Maybe the lack of participation highlights a few more obvious issues: do your student reps do their jobs? Do they make their presence noticed? Do we cover the events they sponsor well enough? Do you even know who your reps are? Does the Vanguard tell you any of this?
So maybe the low vote count reflects poorly upon the Vanguard. If that's the case, please, suggest as to how we can make next week's paper better than last week's. In the lower-left corner of this page where a bunch of names are printed, you'll read that the Vanguard is published weekly by the students of Saginaw Valley State University. That's you. Help us make the paper better, and help us make SVSU better: tell us what you want to know.