More people should run for SGA positions

On the night of last year’s SGA elections, I sat huddled around a table with a group of candidates and their supporters. In the center of the table was a laptop broadcasting WVUA, which was preparing to announce the results of the elections. We listened intently, no one talking, to the names that were 
coming through as the victors.

Invested though we obviously were, the sense of impending doom or success was tempered by the fact that only four of the seven positions were even worth listening to. The other three consisted of only one candidate each, all running unopposed. Eventful, exciting and interesting they were not. That said, as painfully dull as those races were, the 2014 elections made the 2013 elections, in which only the position of executive secretary was contested, look like a Division III pre-season bowling 
tournament (much love to my bowlers out there).

Now, here’s where it gets good. $863,585.05 – that is the sum of money listed in the SGA’s adjusted operating budget for the 2014 fiscal year. Now, this money doesn’t just spring into existence at the behest of our wonderful Board of Trustees. Rather, it is collected from you, the students, in the form of “student activity fees” that are levied on all students every single year. If you’ve ever justified not voting – or running – in SGA elections by thinking it simply doesn’t matter, I hope you’ve reconsidered that position.

Hopefully at this point there are those among you reading this who are wondering what it might be like to run for a position in the SGA, either in the senate or in the executive branch. If that is you, I urge you to hold onto that sense of wonder. By making these elections truly competitive, we can finally make the Student Government Association something worth investing money into. We can make it something to be proud of.

And don’t think for a second that you would be alone in this endeavor. The United Alabama Project is steadfast in offering assistance and guidance to all those interested in running, no strings attached. If you feel it is in your stars to run for a position in the SGA, you are my hero. And I look out for 
my heroes.

If you wish to make a difference on our campus, a real difference, submit your statement of candidacy to sgaelections@sa.ua.edu by Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. If you would like to ask questions about the process or just need some smart people in your corner, email theunitedalabamaproject@gmail.com about running. To paraphrase the political mastermind David Axelrod, some people run for office because they want to be something, while others run because they want to do something. If you fall into the latter camp, here’s your shot.

Chisolm Allenlundy is a junior majoring in 
philosophy and economics. His column runs weekly.

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