Editorial: Student government disappoints with their decision to not host fall elections

Casey Orledge/THE REVIEW
The student government association will see a lesser degree of representation this year without fall elections.

Student Government Association will not be holding fall elections to fill its vacant representative positions. Instead, they will be appointing candidates who will then be either approved or disapproved by the existing senators who were either elected or appointed last Spring.

This choice to not hold elections is decidedly undemocratic and will result in large portions of the campus community losing voice in the decision making process. This year’s class of first year students in particular were not on campus to participate in the Spring elections. The Student Government appointed five freshmen to positions through internal votes.

The decision to not hold elections was the result of technological difficulties between the Student Government IT department, the university IT department and the university registrar’s office. It is unknown exactly what these technological difficulties are.

Although some positions in the organization are regularly appointed, students elect the majority of senate seats in order to best provide representation from the student body. Administrators frequently work with and ask the opinion of the Student Government on issues of crucial importance, like the revised student conduct policy.

It is true that the transition from one year’s cabinet to the next, which occurs every Summer, is rife with difficulty and uncertainty. The most senior and knowledgeable members of the organization graduate, leaving the next generation of leaders to figure the little existing infrastructure on their own.

However, this lack of fall elections marks the newest chapter in Student Government’s long streak of incompetence and invisibility on campus. Elections are the most visible Student Government enterprise undertaken on campus every year. It is a period where their existence on campus becomes known to large numbers of students, especially freshmen who often have no idea we even have a student government to represent their interests to begin with.

It is surprising that at a university with over 20,000 students, most of them either do not know that a student government exists, or chooses to ignore it. One might expect that the student government of such a university might have more clout and presence.

Adding to these difficulties is the fact that past Presidents Rojas, Jaeger and Page-Gil have left little to no mark on the university and have squandered their leadership potential on campus. Instead of seizing the pulpit and being the voice of the students that we desperately need, they have left SGA in a state of irrelevance.

It was and is still the hope of The Review that current SGA President Natalie Criscenzo will be able to break the cycle of incompetence and shape SGA into a student government that is actively involved in the lives of the students they represent.

But this is not a promising start to the year. In order for our Student Government to effectively represent students, they must first have been elected by those very same men and women.

Editorials are developed by The Review staff, led this week by Investigative Editor Jacob Orledge who can be reached at orledgej@udel.edu.

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