With the hustle and bustle of the school year quickly coming to an end, we anticipate what a new year and a new Student Government Association (SGA) board will bring to the students who will return in the fall.
This past Tuesday, April 10, students took to the polls in the Student Recreation Center (SRC) to cast their ballots to decide who can make Rider a better place next year. It’s important to know the results of the election and students should be familiar with who is helping to run the University. In the past, not all information about the election results was disclosed to the student body and this year, there is a lengthy process to endure in order to obtain what should be public information for all.
Current SGA president, Brian Williams, announced on Tuesday night the winning SGA executive board members for the 2012-2013 academic year. Running unopposed, sophomore Lorelei Colbert moved up from vice president to president, Adam Grossman moved up from secretary to vice president, Justin Baldwin won the spot as treasurer and Joe Forte was elected secretary.
If you took the time during your day to vote, that probably means you care about who wins, what certain people can bring to the SGA board and how they can better your educational experience at Rider. Just as we have the right for a campus vote, we should also have the right to know the specifics of the results.
In past years, trying to receive other numbers from the election was a losing battle. Finding out things like who came in second, how many people voted for each candidate and the total number of votes are simple things that students may be interested in knowing. Revealing all the numbers from our own student government votes to the students should be a non-issue — it is public information that everyone should have access to.
This year, SGA faculty adviser David Keenan notified staff at The Rider News that the numbers would be available for viewing, but access to all the numbers required an appointment to meet with Dean of Students Anthony Campbell. Results such as these are given to us through elections on the state level and even the presidential level, but at Rider they are withheld. It shouldn’t have to be such a lengthy process to receive information that is public knowledge.
By withholding this information, it seems as though there is something to hide and in turn decreases the legitimacy of the election in the minds of students.
This year, Keenan claimed that the reason the numbers aren’t given out is to spare the feelings of the losing candidates and not to discourage them or other students from running in future elections. While the numbers may be low, it is a college election, and we are all adults who can deal with these kinds of outcomes. The candidates and the rest of the student body should be able to maturely accept the real numbers behind our student government election – though it is important that everyone should vote.
The SGA is an important group on campus that has a lot of responsibilities. As the student body, bearing the right to vote also comes with the importance of understanding where the election conclusions come from.
This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Opinion Editor, Kristy Grinere.