Spencer Slovic–In the wake of all the recent election controversy, heated meetings with Jordon Elliott, and failed write-in campaigns, there’s one thing the OES community should know: StuCo saw this coming. The part of the constitution in question, the part that limits a run-off to two candidates, in fact was discussed by Student Council while reworking and amending the constitution this year—and they failed to do anything about it. Making an amendment to the constitution takes a two month waiting period, a written proposal, and “marketing” to the student body. Out of the three amendments Student Council chose to propose this year—that anyone can run for president, the mission groups, and the preferential voting system—they chose to do two of them. And the third came back to bite them.
First of all, to clear up Grace Hashiguchi’s email supporting the write-in campaign of Sarayu—that wasn’t from all of StuCo. Grace made a mistake in framing the email as coming from StuCo (even though she never explicitly said it was). Let’s stop trying to hide under the false pretenses of the “less than 50%” argument. Much of the student body is ready to elect a woman. The cold fact? There could have been a female president elected this year. If StuCo had changed the voting system to a priority system or a multiple vote system, called in slang terms the “alternative vote,” there could have been a female president. It’s great that three girls ran, showing the student body’s want for more female leadership, but if Sarayu, Alexandra, and Natalie had not split the votes of people who consider having a girl president a priority, one of them would be in the run-off and this controversy would not be happening.
A preferential voting system is the most progressive, fair way of running elections we can possibly do as a school. I’m not going to describe it here, but you can look it up—it’s not too complicated, and I don’t see why people would have problems with it. If one of the candidates was everyone’s second choice, they might be the most well-liked and preferred candidate but would get no votes under the current system. A single vote for each student doesn’t give everyone a full voice. Say I liked three of this year’s seven candidates—a single vote only gives me a third of my voice.
StuCo needs to stick by their own rules and deal with the consequences of their mistake. Yes, they messed up, but trying to change the system because of the results is not the way to make changes. This is dictator-level election interference, perpetrated by those we elected to represent and lead our school. If you don’t like the rules, change them, StuCo—you’re the only ones who can. Maybe the change will happen next year. If anything’s an inciting incident for change, this election is. Congratulations and good luck, Charlie and Daniel. You’re in the run-off, fair and square.
Student Council is flawed, and it has nothing to do with constitution. All that policy board did this year, according to a member of policy board, is that single amendment to the constitution. Nothing else. It’s not like the US Congress—there’s no gridlock or disagreement. They discussed the results of the Citizenship Survey—remember that? probably not—for a month. What came out of it? Nothing. The real issue is the structure of StuCo meetings themselves—the proportion of saying to doing. People talk a lot during StuCo meetings—they run their mouths till they bleed—but when push comes to shove, they fail to act (or or kept from acting). Actions speak louder than words, and though students are vocally encouraged to speak up, in terms of actually enacting the things we talk about there is a suppression of free speech.