Editorial: Election Reform Needed

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    The campaigning is over. Looking back, it was a typical BYUSA election. One candidacy was disqualified over a seemingly trivial matter. Only 3,785 students voted. And most students, though annoyed by the color-coordinated campaigners, couldn’t have cared less.

    We at The Daily Universe hope next year’s elections won’t continue the trend. Before candidates can start running on valid platforms and hoping the student body will care, the BYUSA election process needs to be reformed. President-elect Chris Giovarelli should make election reform a major issue of his presidency. While much has been printed on this page about the small area which BYUSA’s umbrella of power actually covers (activities and clubs), that is one organizational matter that can and should be changed before anything else.

    BYUSA can’t be wondering what the student body’s general opinion of the organization is. The number of voters speaks for itself. And the annual disqualification of candidates without a substantial explanation as to why only causes many students to move from not caring to being upset and annoyed with their student association. It is perceived as an out-of-touch organization staffed by students looking to add another line to their resumes.

    That opinion can change, but it will take some work. BYUSA needs someone who is willing to shake up the system from the inside. For Giovarelli, that would mean changing the system that got him where he is today. If he truly cares about serving the university, he will do so. He will push for more transparency in the election process. He will push for a longer campaign period. He will push for a restructuring of the election committee. He will push for more sensible campaign rules (rules that don’t punish frugality).

    Giovarelli could be the president who started it all – the one who initiated the transformation of BYUSA into something more than just a glorified high school student council. He could be the one who finally got students (besides freshmen) to stop disliking and start supporting their student association.

    The Daily Universe congratulates Giovarelli and Leavitt for being voted into office. Now we encourage them to change the system that got them there, for the good of the student body they represent. Then maybe next year, more students will actually care.

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