Why the Student Government Disconnect is Growing
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Politics and Activism

Why the Student Government Disconnect is Growing

Why the Student Government Disconnect is Growing

I write this on the last day of voting in this year’s student body elections, amid my campaign for student body president on a ticket with Stephen Svatek. While I won’t know what the results of the election will be until after this issue goes to print, I have definitely learned a lot from the process, including a lot more about how the campus deals with Student Government.

What I’ve seen throughout my campaign is largely a campus that doesn’t have much faith in Student Government, leading many to not want to get involved or to not take Student Government elections seriously. I think this is largely how the Rotnofsky-Mandalapu team, candidates for student body president and vice president, have been able to do so well throughout the election.

The candidates come from the Texas Travesty, a satirical student publication at UT, and like in many prior election cycles, are running as a joke. While their jokes throughout the campaign have been hilarious and have shed light on many things that are wrong in student body elections, it’s known that the candidates are both graduating seniors who aren’t interesting in actually taking on the jobs if they win.

Nevertheless, many students have vowed to vote for them, often out of a distaste for Student Government. The Jones-Dargahi team has mainly relied on contacts Jones has made during his time in Student Government, with little to no platform whatsoever. The team’s slogan is “Let’s Talk Texas,” and throughout the campaign, they’ve mainly just emphasized that, that they’re willing to talk to students. While that’s a nice sentiment, it’s really not saying much of anything, yet, many students that are deeply involved in Student Government have chosen to support that, more supporting the candidates than the campaign.

I think all this just shows how Student Government elections have become something that are largely not about the issues or the campus. From the trend of Student Government generally having a big disconnect with a lot of the campus, most students don’t seem to take the elections seriously, and the ones who do seem to more just support the candidates that seem to have the best chance of winning, in the hope of getting in good with them and getting the chance to serve in Student Government in the future.

I think this cycle is dangerous for the university, as it promotes that disconnect between Student Government and the campus, growing it. Students are never going to be fully represented in Student Government if this cycle continues, and I hope that efforts are made to put a stop to it. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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