The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Make ASUU elections about the issues

By Chronicle Senior Staff

Wednesday evening marked the first of what usually becomes a long stream of grievance hearings during ASUU elections.

During these legal battles concerning who did what before which deadline or who violated which article of which section of Redbook, the focus of elections unfortunately shifts away from what the BLOC Party or The Big Idea Party want to do for students, as the bureaucratic battles begin to overshadow the real issues at hand.

Whichever party emerges victorious, it will not serve students by vigorously seeking violations of student code.

It will be responsible for allocating millions of dollars in student fees to various student groups and toward a wide array of causes that may emerge. It will be partially responsible for collaborating with and lobbying the state Legislature to fund projects. It will be responsible for working with the U’s administration. It will be responsible for championing causes such as diversity, childcare and recycling. It will be responsible for incorporating the U’s uncommonly abundant non-traditional student population. It will be responsible for addressing a broad scope of imperative issues-not for hunting down and punishing people for ticky-tack fouls, such as taking food from students who violate “no eating” signs in computer labs.

But in the past, grievance hearings have sometimes become a scoreboard by which to measure which party was more honest, which party had more integrity and which party was flat out better at working the system.

This year, students should admonish their leaders-both present and future-to make election time about issues rather than bureaucracy. Either party can learn how to work the system when it gets into office, but the candidates who prove the most dedication to the cause of this campus’ nearly 29,000 students should emerge victorious because they demonstrated during elections their ability to lead in an all-inclusive fashion.

While the first grievance hearing was not a result of either side bringing forth charges against its competitor, it should serve as a warning sign regarding what elections can turn into if we stoop to that level.

Politicking is an important lesson for students to learn, as it happens everywhere in the real world. The rules set out in Redbook are important, and as such, they should be respected and followed. But these attributes should be small factors in the grand scheme of things. The party that best demonstrates its will and ability to recognize and address students’ needs deserves your vote.

In the meantime, the elections watchdogs should continue to do their job responsibly. Recognizing their service is important and appreciated, yet secondary to the real purpose of ASUU elections.

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