Upperclassmen roll their eyes as freshmen with bright eyes and excited faces enter the plethora of student organizations. They just seem so happy.
They haven’t seen anything yet.
While freshmen eagerly attend Students’ Association interest meetings and run fierce campaigns, upperclassmen participation in SA elections dwindles each year. But Student Congress needs experienced upperclassmen to run for office.
Yes, freshmen have more time and energy to run for office. Yes, you have club events, research projects and grad school to apply for. But SA is handling your money, making decisions about your campus, so you need to step up. Here are four reasons why you, juniors and seniors, need to run for office in this year’s election.
1. SA handles a budget upwards of $100,000 to fund student organizations and campus entertainment. They use your money to fund projects like tailgates, hammock hotels and concerts. While other university staff members handle much more of your money than SA does, SA is the only governing body you actually have a choice about.
But what if your only options are freshmen and a few sophomores who don’t understand your world?
2. You can make a difference. As an upperclassman in SA, you can make bold decisions that underclassmen aren’t experienced enough to make. You can vote for ideas and events that you know your fellow upperclassmen would appreciate. Think Abilene is boring? You can help plan fun events. Think you’re too stressed to function? Plan a relaxing puppy event. Think the university needs more recycling opportunities? Vote on a green initiative. There are so many ways Congress members can impact campus life in an immediate way.
3. SA funds your student organizations. After the executive treasurer and chief financial officer make a budget, Congress votes on the distribution of funds. Maybe last year your small club received little funding for an important trip. As a member of Congress, you have the opportunity to fight for your organization and try to change that funding.
4. If no one runs for an office, the executive cabinet will appoint officers. You may be thinking, “If I don’t do it, someone else will.” But what if that’s not the case? What if no one runs to represent your class or college and the executive cabinet chooses someone you don’t like very much?
Upperclassmen, this campus needs your voice and participation. To be a member of Congress you must commit to a weekly meeting and involvement in several events like concerts and tailgates. If you agree with our four reasons and you think you can handle that time commitment, then please run for office.