Already the student media has been bombarded with individuals who plan on running for office this spring.
As we embark on this season of free goodies and catchy slogans – for just a few hundred votes – some may wonder how much it costs to run for an elected position at Florida A&M University and if it is worth it.
“There is no type of limitation on how much you can spend,” said Electoral Commissioner Marva Butler.
“Anything that has to do with what a person spends individually on their campaign we don’t have anything to deal with as a commission.”
Butler said the electoral commission’s main focus is copyright infringement.
She also said there has been talk of a budget cap in the Senate, but it was just talk.
So, if people run for student office, they practically can do whatever they want as long as they do not commit copyright infringement.
Endless parties, socials, forums and many other useless events are held that cost hundreds of dollars just to hold office.
Don’t get me wrong; I love the free pizza, popcorn and campaign shirts that turn into pajamas, but in the back of my mind, I pity the individuals who run for office.
Most of the student body at FAMU does not vote during these elections.
Generally, class and study time are not first priority when campaigning, so if people lose the elections, they come out of the situation worse than they began.
Not only are they broke, their grades are lower and it is all because they wanted to “represent” the University.
It’s not worth it! Still some bring up valid arguments for running for office.
“This is something I wanted to do since high school,” said the current Mr. FAMU, Jeremy Monticure, 21.
“But you can serve the university without an elected position,” he said. “It’s totally absurd to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a campus campaign.”
Monticure said to his knowledge, men spend less money than women. He also said he spent $4,000 on his campaign, the most out of the campaigning men last year.
“People told me that I wasn’t going to win because I didn’t have a billboard,” Monticure said.
Though Monticure was fortunate enough to receive monetary donations from community sponsors and family members, he said other people are not as fortunate and it may discourage them from running for office.
“It’s my personal opinion that the University should limit the amount spent on campaigns,” he said. “This way, it will be an equal playing field for everyone.”
When these people run for office, we as a student body shouldn’t think about what they can do for us on a short-term basis.
We need to be concerned about the positive additions they will be to the legacy of our institution if elected and if their reasons for running are truly genuine.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much money you have,” Butler said. “All that matters is that the best person for the job was elected as decided by the student body.”
Wesley Martin is a senior magazine production student from Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.