Though the Students’ Association and the Optimist editorial board often clash, we recognize the importance of student leadership on campus.
Student leaders exist in many forms on campus, but our elected officials have a significant amount of power and influence built into their offices. This makes them subject to – and deserving of – more scrutiny and attention.
It is disappointing to see how few students were interested in using their talents to serve the student body.
The competition leads candidates to flesh out their ideas and build more and stronger relationships with students. Knowing they have to fight for the position makes them reevaluate the commitment they are making, and it shows students that they want it bad enough to work to get the job.
This is not to say we are disappointed with the candidates who are running. Each is qualified for the job, and there wasn’t a point where questioned their ability to do the job. But we do think that the competition would have made them even stronger.
It is not the recognition on campus that makes SA executive officers worth thinking about, but it is the size of the budget they control and salaries they receive that requires our attention.
Executive officers make about $8,000 during the academic year, a salary paid for by student activity fees. They also control a portion of every student’s student activity fee. The budget totals at about $90,000. This amount of money gives them a level of influence whether their actions lead students to believe in that power or not.
We don’t need to automatically assume a distrustful or negative attitude toward these student leaders, but we have a pertinent interest in the actions of these individuals.
Leaders and candidates in the recent past were not fit for the public lifestyle, and they sullied campus’ image of SA. This may have something to do with the lower involvement. But SA is on the mend, and the past two years prove it.
After interviewing each of the candidates, members of the editorial board believe this year’s candidates will continue to improve the image and effectiveness of SA. They are all strong leaders, good people and passionate about their work.
Though we didn’t have many choices, here are our endorsements for the 2012 SA election.