Monday, November 11, 2013

They want a campaign, and they're damn well gonna get one.

I'm going to be a candidate in the 2014 Student Senate elections.

I'm not eligible to run for President, and probably won't be eligible to run for Vice President. That's okay. What I want to do, I can do it from the Senate. And what I want to do is put an end to the corrupt government that currently dominates there.

Here's the situation. Last semester, Student Senate's Finance Committee was disbanded by fiat. Imagine President Obama having the power to disband the House Ways and Means Committee because he finally got sick of the Tea Party's shit. That's what happened here, except in this case the Tea Party was the good guys, and the guy doing the disbanding wasn't even elected. It was Aaron Prestwich, some hired CSC functionary, elected by nobody. The Eagle, which is our student newspaper, rightly kicked up a fuss and pointed out just how contrary this was to constitutional democracy.

Fast forward to this semester. Apparently, the right thing to do after a constitutional crisis happens is to send the leaders of Student Senate on a trip to New Orleans to a "leadership conference," courtesy of student activity funds. As you can imagine, this didn't sit well with the Eagle either, and they blasted the decision in print.

Now, I'm hearing from a friend on the Student Senate that they're going to try to censor the Eagle's editorials: either subject it to prior review, or forbid them from criticizing Student Senate altogether. Instead of trying to provide a more honest government to silence the Eagle's criticism, they're trying to just silence the Eagle.

This is not even remotely acceptable in a democratic society.

Therefore, I will be running for Student Senate. If elected, I will vote not a single penny further for personal trips for anyone on Student Senate. I will vote against any attempt to violate the democratic constitutional order that formally governs the Senate, so we don't have any repeats of last semester. I will vote to increase, not decrease, the Eagle's editorial independence, and put them beyond the reach of politics for all time. And if we run out of ideas for what to spend the money on, I will vote to refund it to you, the students, who have a hard enough time paying for college without having to pay for a sybaritic Student Senate on top of it.

Furthermore, I will not just vote for these things, I will campaign for them. I will not merely register approval or disapproval, but work to get a majority of Senators to implement them. And, most importantly, I want a working majority of students who agree with me to join me in Senate.

Student Senate has representatives from every dorm, every school, and five at-large representatives. If you are interested, please let me know in the comments and I will get together with you.

My friend asked me to run for Student Senate, not because he agrees with me, but because he thinks a couple "no" votes and a contested election would be good for PR purposes. They want a campaign? Let's damn well give them one.

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