It’s safe to say history has repeated itself here on campus.
Last Wednesday’s Associated Students election worked out like many of the past elections had. Everything was going great, then suddenly all systems weren’t a go.
For the third A.S. election in a row there were technical difficulties despite numerous promises made and money spent to increase voter turn out by making the voting process accessible for all students.
After last semester’s election fiasco with online votes not counting, an unexpected tie and then a run-off election, the Elections Committee promised its constituents a much smoother election this time around.
They abandoned the former online voting system and worked with a consultant to establish a campus-based voting system. In addition, they received $16,000 from A.S. to spend on the election, which included money to be spent on advertising.’
Spirits seemed to be pretty high and people were optimistic that this semester’s elections would leave the glitches in the past. In the week leading up to the election, many students were genuinely excited about voting in the A.S. election.
The advertising campaign the Elections Committee instilled was by far the best I had seen in my four years here. They wanted to get the word out and make students aware of the election and care enough to vote. They succeeded in that regards with almost 1,600 students turning out to the polls on Tuesday, approximately the same number of students that turned out for last semester’s election overall.
Everything appeared to be going as planned until the past came to haunt the committee. All the money A.S. allocated them couldn’t have stopped the complex technology from failing and causing students to doubt the credibility of the committee.
How many times can our student government make well intentioned, yet empty promises and expect us to be ok with the end result? We’ve made excuses for them in the past, but it is my belief that they must stop now. With all the funds they receive and past mistakes to learn from, the skeptical side of me can’t help but wonder why they haven’t figured out that the online voting system doesn’t work.
After so many failed attempts of implementing an electronic form of voting, it is vital to the integrity of our student government that they once and for all stop organizing elections where the chance of malfunctions are so high.
There is absolutely no reason why there should be a need for a second round of elections after all the money spent on the first one.
All this money is being spent on student elections and in the end there only seems to be technical difficulties. The thousands of dollars being spent on them could be better spent on programs that may actually serve a purpose and possibly benefit students.
When I think about the mindset behind A.S.’s allocation of $16,000 for the election and the committee’s reasons for implementing a voting system that is more technologically advanced, the only conclusion I can arrive at is their main goal is to increase student involvement in the formation of their government.
With only 1,600 students voting in the two-day election last semester, the Election Committee’s reasons for wanting to create a system and campaign that would get students to vote are not far fetched.
The tried and true argument would be that CSUN is a commuter campus that lacks the school spirit of local universities, such as UCLA and USC, and it is vital to the growth of the school to go to any measures to foster that spirit. But to what cost should this spirit be fostered? The students’ fees or the credibility of the government?