FAMU elections aren’t what they used to be

Photo courtesy @famuelections Instagram

Another virtual campaign season has come to a close. Most Rattlers know who they will be voting for in various positions, including junior senators, Miss FAMU, and King and Queen of Orange and Green.

This year’s elections raised some eyebrows because some candidates are running unopposed, including SGA president and vice president, electoral commissioner, sophomore and junior class presidents and vice presidents. No one is running for senior class president and vice president, and the junior senators race is short with six students running for eight vacant seats.

 This raises some questions. Why aren’t more students running for these positions?And have FAMU elections lost their competitive spirit?

 The answers could be due to the fact we are still in a pandemic. Perhaps many were not thrilled about the first virtual election a year ago.

It also could be because students are just not interested in campus politics anymore. This goes hand in hand with COVID as well, since we do not know when we’ll be able to return to normal campus life.

This is my junior year at FAMU. I have witnessed three in-person election seasons and three virtual election seasons. What always stood out to me about FAMU’s in-person elections were the different themes, events and campaign teams that students created.

When coming to “the hill” as a member of FAMU 22, I was very eager to be involved on campus. Every freshman position that was open in Fall 2018 had more than enough candidates running. Everyone was very happy to speak with you and tell you why they should be representing our class and what they plan on doing to make our experience at FAMU better.

Even during our first virtual election heading into our junior year the candidates still were excited and ready to serve our class and university.

The candidates are still providing amazing graphics and holding virtual events this spring, but I feel as though something is missing. It may be the personal feel that you get from each candidate when you speak to them and see their passion.

This recent election season came with something different from what I saw from the past elections — both in person and virtual. This election was filled with a lot of giving from the candidates, from rent being paid, “flewed out” and numerous free meals.

Some have said that the candidates are trying to buy votes. Maybe it’s as simple as, you have to pay to play. Candidates know what the people like and what will probably get them votes — or at least exposure. All publicity is good publicity, right?

In the future hopefully more students will want to hold leadership positions and not let the circumstances  that we’re dealing with today psych them out.