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LETTER: Candidates not at fault for running unopposed

Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 00:02

To the editor:

In light of the recent comments made by Tavin Stucki in his column on Thursday Feb. 6, I would like to respond as a candidate called out for running for office unopposed.

While the intentions may be well-meaning, it is incorrect for an influential member of the media to use said influence to coerce candidates who are unopposed into detracting from their own respective campaigns as a consequence for our ability to submit paperwork in a timely manner. It is not our fault that we are running unopposed. Therefore, we as candidates should not be held accountable for others' failure to act and declare themselves as candidates.

When I first ran last year, I was up against four other candidates. I firmly believe the fact that no one has challenged me this year is a testament to my ability to serve as a senator. While I welcome competition for a healthy election, it is preposterous to believe the responsibility lies with the candidates or their committees to essentially shoot themselves in the foot by introducing competition.

On that point, I would like to introduce another problem. Albeit altruistic for the currently unopposed candidate to name equal and worthy competition, it would be harmful to the to the USU/SA elections the three following ways:

1. It is likely that it would put individuals who did not originally plan on running on the spot, possibly forcing them to run out of an obligation to social pressure and the opposing candidate’s campaign.

2. Dishonest alliances would form — e.g. the unopposed candidate names someone who understands that even if they win, they will relinquish the spot or purposefully disqualify themselves so the originally unopposed candidate will win.

3. The unopposed candidate will naturally select an individual who is not worthy competition. It must be remembered that while holding student office is a position of service to others, running for election is likely one of the most narcissistic activities one can subject themselves to; you spend all your time telling everyone about how awesome you are.

Therefore, I once again insist that it is not the responsibility of the currently unopposed candidate to seek out competition. What I do believe would be positive alternate solution would be for the individual clubs and organizations on campus to hold caucus meetings in order to select write-in candidates for the various unopposed positions.

– Sam Wright

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