When voting for the Executive Officers Election begins Tuesday, we, the students, will have more than the opportunity to cast a ballot for Students’ Association Congress officers. We will have the opportunity to raise our voices and give a clear mandate to the future student leaders of ACU.
Undeniably, the 2008-09 SA Congress has had a turbulent year. It severed its relationship with the student body and distanced itself from us through its lack of accomplishments, myriad of unfulfilled promises, tendency toward closed meetings and an impeachment debacle.
Because of what happened this year, it is more important than ever to make sure we choose student leaders who truly represent the ideals of this Christian university.
A student leader at ACU is different from a student leader at the average public high school or college. Our student leaders must be Christ-centered in their actions.
We need student leaders who create positive working environments and are humble and willing to consider others’ opinions and views. Although our SA officers, especially the president, must be able to occasionally fight for us in the face of possible administration opposition, they still need to take advice from their advisers, officers and student peers. They need to be the first to offer solutions, take steps for change and lead by example. The Optimist holds SA leaders to a higher standard because of their influential positions, and students should do the same.
It is important to vote for our executive officers, but it is more important to pay attention to the actions of next year’s student leaders. We need to take note of what they are doing in their Congress meetings, and if they are not keeping their campaign promises, we, as a student body with one voice, need to hold them accountable.
Last year’s Executive Officers Election had only one contested race – the position of president. This year two students are running for vice president, and three students are running for president. Do not let this democratic opportunity go to waste. Only 874 students voted in last year’s elections, less than 20 percent of the student body. Many students considered the gimmick-filled elections more a popularity contest than a thoughtful voting process.
Our votes are our voices. If you want to see change in SA Congress’ policies and actions next year, do not be silent. Attend the executive officer debates Tuesday, listen to the candidates, challenge them with questions and give them a clear mandate when you go to the polling areas.
Let us not vote ignorantly but choose our next student leaders thoughtfully and wisely. We need representatives who represent us, and not their own self-interests.