Saturday, May 25, 2024

Voting With Purpose

by the Weekly Sillimanian | April 16, 2023

With Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) elections just around the corner, it is essential that we, as a student body, take the time to evaluate the candidates running for office as well as the current student leaders. 

Student leaders have a tremendous impact on campus life, from organizing events and activities to advocating for policies that affect the students’ Silliman experience. They represent the student body in meetings with the SU administration and are responsible for making sure their voices are heard. 

A recent opportunity for students to partake in evaluating student leaders was a survey conducted by the SUSG Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee to gather feedback on conducting a separate survey to “assess the effectiveness of the college governors and identifying areas where improvements can be made.”  

As students, we owe it to ourselves to make informed decisions about who we want to lead us.

Being informed means taking the time to research the candidates’ platforms and track records. It is important to know what they stand for, what their priorities are, and how they plan to achieve their goals. 

Voting for the most popular candidates or for the party with an appealing campaign while being uninformed demeans one’s right to vote. Critical thinking and research skills need to be utilized in deciding which individuals have the skills and the dedication to do their jobs, and do them right.

Evaluating the candidates also means asking tough questions. Students should be willing to challenge their ideas and ask for clarification on their positions. It is only by engaging in a dialogue with the candidates that we can get a sense of who they are and what they stand for.

We from the Weekly Sillimanian believe that voting is not the end of our responsibility as students. Once leaders are elected, they need to be held accountable. This includes attending meetings and events and providing feedback on their performance. Now more than ever, it is crucial to assess the individuals whom we entrust our present and future to, and to continue to create and push for constructive criticism and evaluation so that elected officials hold true to their campaign promises.

SUSG elections are an essential part of college life and should be taken seriously. By being informed and evaluating the candidates, we can ensure that we are choosing the right people to lead us, thus, ensuring that we are taking an active role in shaping our college experience.

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