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COLUMN: Don’t let USU/SA candidates run unopposed

Hail to the Chief


Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 22:01

No fewer than eight USU/SA candidates are running unopposed for office this year. This means $44,800 in free scholarship money is being handed out because there simply wasn’t any other interest. That’s money partially funded by the student fees you and I pay.

That disgusts me.

But, we can still do something to fix it. Don’t let these candidates run by themselves. The deadline to declare candidacy was Monday, but write-in candidates may register until 4:30 p.m., Feb. 18.

I often hear complaints from students about not knowing how to get involved on campus. Well, here’s the best opportunity possible.

Have you ever had a complaint about the Howl? Have you ever wondered why few big-name bands perform at USU? Are you upset the student section at basketball games hasn’t been as good as in the past? Are you frustrated that alcohol is prohibited on campus, even at sporting events? Are you upset that minorities don’t receive enough of a voice?

The positions with only one candidate running are the positions that actually have the power to do something about those commonly heard complaints:

Student Advocate, Programming, Athletics and Campus Recreation and Organizations and Campus Diversity vice presidents, as well as arts, education and human services, graduate studies and science senators.

Some of the people walking into these offices are more than capable of doing a good job. I’m not so sure about others.

Either way, having competition raises quality. Think of it this way: How much better do you think The Statesman would be if there was someone behind me clamoring for my job and saying they could do it better than I can? Androids would be awful phones if they weren’t trying to beat the iPhone. It’s the same for anything, including student government.

Do you really want to be stuck with the decisions of someone who walked into office, received a full-ride scholarship and was paid to go to school, just because nobody cared enough to campaign against them?

Personally, I don’t have a dog in this fight: I’m graduating this May and won’t be here to reap the rewards or failures of the 2014-15 student government. But if I were you, I would be pissed enough to do something about it.

Tavin Stucki is the editor in chief of The Utah Statesman. His articles have won awards and appeared in numerous news publications throughout Utah. Send any comments to

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