What grinds Wesley’s gears: Traditions taint freshmen elections

“No, I am not a freshman,” was the phrase I said to a doe-eyed and overly eager first year student yesterday.It has been a week since freshmen and graduate campaigns have started and I am so happy that they are over.Everywhere I went I was bombarded by zealous freshmen and their offerings of free candy and pizza.And while my belly was satisfied, my conscience was not.Here is the deal: I’ve never been a fan of the whole election process here at Florida A&M (though I always vote).“Creating a better FAMU” seemed to resound on most of the campaign materials. But what does this mean? It is vague at best, and intangible. Listen freshmen: you need to ask more of these individuals and keep them on their charge. What do these youngsters really know in the first five weeks of college? That red tape at FAMU is a problem? That buildings need to be remodeled on campus?Here’s some advice: be original. The elections here at FAMU are not only bogus, but dishonest as well. Most of the candidates are clones of one another. They recycle they same tired ideas and present them in a new package. These elected officials end up with stellar resumes and they student body stays stagnant. Not true you say? Here’s the proof. I personally witnessed two freshmen males who are running for class president and vice president looking at old platforms of past student body presidents late one night in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication while their campaign materials were being designed. It’s sad that the old vultures, clinging on to student government, prey on our new students and infect them with their poisonous ideologies.To clarify, I don’t think all SGA officials are shams. I have seen some individuals who really cared. Agnew and Gillum respectively were great in my opinion. And it is my hope that Franklin and Hayes follow suit. But, that doesn’t negate the fact that there are individuals in office with ulterior motives in these positions. There is a bunch of lip service and not enough action – and this is being passed to a new breed of students who will inevitable carry on the same tradition. But all is not lost. To the newly elected freshmen officials, it’s not to late to make a change. It’s okay to have mentors, but make sure whatever you do; you do it from a good place.