On-campus Elections Frustrate the Democratic Will of FAMU Students

Florida A&M’s Student Government Association has yet to decide on a president and vice president for the upcoming school year, and a lot of speculating is hanging around February’s election. Allegations of votes being thrown out have also surfaced.

Remember the 2000 U.S. presidential election? Remember the controversy? The only difference between then and now is that ours is only for student government – not national government.

The student body has questions: what has become of the SGA election system? Can we count on this system to be effective in the future? We are near the middle of April. Think about it; it has taken nearly two months for tomorrow’s run-off elections to happen.

If the voting system were more organized, we would be able to name our student representatives by now. Instead, there is one run-off election after another. One has to ask whether the student body even cares anymore. Amid all the controversy, students must take a minute to consider the situation. SGA has to evaluate whether the rules that it has set are still effective.

Students are starting to lose faith in their student government. Discrepancies in our election are comparable to problems one might find in countries without democracies.

The system in place now is questionable.

First, let’s talk about the infamous point system. It’s a little crazy to call this a democracy when candidates can lose points. This is not to say that there shouldn’t be a point system. But is it really necessary to monitor how high or low someone places their posters?

Students need an election system where the candidate with the most votes wins with no discrepancies. We don’t need perfection, we just need a workable system.

The system that is in place now seems almost undemocratic. To move forward as a university, there needs to be a collective effort to reform the election system.

Students have to stand behind SGA and make sure they hold their student politicians accountable. This is what it will take to make an effective election system happen.

In order for that, there also has to be rules in place to make sure people abide by them. The rules that are in place at the moment are arcane and have too many loopholes. As a university, we need to make sure that students abide by them. Hopefully, the student government will make this change by the next election.