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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Staff Editorial: If it looks like a party, and you’re calling it a party, it’s a party

They call themselves REDvolution, and it’s not a reference to cheerleaders at rallies in the University Center during football season.

It’s a party platform comprised of 24 students running for different positions in the senatorial and executive branches of the Student Government Association.

The SGA announced in February it would abolish party labels for this spring’s election. Of the 24 candidates running as REDvolution, 10 are current SGA Senate officers. It seems strange that despite having legislation approved by a majority last month, those officers appear to blatantly disregard it and campaign under what members have called a faction or a party.

SGA President David Rosen said the reason for not including party labels was to gain more student interest in the annual elections, which were mostly uncontested in Spring 2007. Of the 36 SGA seats, including the presidency and vice presidency, nine were contested with multiple candidates last spring and only 10 independent candidates ran in 2007.

This year, 36 candidates are independents – a dramatic increase from last year, with 26 more participants.

While abolishing party labels appears to have helped bring a variety of opinions and priorities to this spring’s election, the appearance of REDvolution appears to have the opposite effect, with candidates often repeating the same issues of PeopleSoft 8.9, parking and financial aid as their main concerns, as noted in the SGA Senate debate Thursday among College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences candidates. While those are legitimate and pressing concerns, students are also worried about the affordable childcare on campus and veterans’ services.

Party labels were abolished to make the race friendly to challengers, Rosen said. The appearance of REDvolution, however, also begs the question of the trustworthiness students can give these candidates if they are elected. If incumbent REDvolution candidates cannot follow the rules they helped to set up, how can they expect students to trust them?

Although not technically a violation of the new SGA rules, this platform violates the spirit of the rule by continuing to make it difficult for independents to run and win.

REDvolution candidates said at the CLASS debate Thursday they represent a diverse range of ideas from the student body. Rather than creating a platform to tell students -they’re diverse, REDvolution candidates should let students decide which issues are important and stop playing party politics.

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