Students, beware! If you are an active member of the UCSB community, you might want to reconsider your involvement in any campus club or organization. It might make you popular or, even worse, cause you to win an election!
This Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Flying A Studios Room of the UCen, the Associated Students Legislative Council will decide whether or not to pass the “Support the Fair Use of Campus Publications” resolution — a bill recommending the removal of the “Message from the President” section in the Residence Halls Association publication, The Flush. Apparently, some students think it’s unfair for RHA President Corey Huber to run for a position in A.S. since he appears monthly in The Flush, which, acting like the Cheers bar, means everybody knows his name.
According to first-year psychology major Adela Brigitte De Soto, this is unfair because “most first years, the way they vote is name-recognition … A name they see in the bathroom stall is going to be picked. I think it’s an unfair advantage and abuse of power that shouldn’t be used” (“Leg Council Sits On The Flush Bill,” Daily Nexus, April 10).
Pardon the pun, but the Daily Nexus thinks this is a load of crap. The RHA President is an important figure on campus, and he or she should be able to address the students on a frequent basis and likewise inform them of what is going on within the organization. It increases the communication between RHA and the students.
So what if a visible and active member of the community takes a run for A.S.? Isn’t A.S. supposed to be open to everyone anyway, and isn’t being active a good thing? If the Legislative Council decides it is unfair for a candidate to run for A.S. because he or she has name recognition, why stop at a single medium, such as a monthly newsletter? Why not tell presidential candidate Hassan Naveed that it’s unfair for him to run because he was a DJ at KCSB? Hell, many people have heard his name on the radio. Or, how about telling presidential candidate J.P. Primeau that it is unfair for him to run as well because he is the Interfraternity Council President? Ten percent of the student body is likely to know him. Will Leg Council recommend every campus organization screen itself from having possible A.S. candidates?
This complaint regarding The Flush arises from the fact that two former RHA Presidents — Jared Goldschen and Stephanie Brower — have both won the A.S. presidential elections in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Sorry to break it to the naysayers, but both were very qualified, so we’re not exactly convinced that appearing in The Flush is the golden ticket to A.S. elections. Additionally, in case you forgot, Goldschen tied with candidate Romy Lea Frazier, and a run-off election ensued. Goldschen won, but it was very close.
Even if name-recognition is swaying the votes, no one should whine about it. Instead, the candidates should become more active and open, so voters know of their accomplishments and who they are. After all, doesn’t that seem a little more practical than encouraging another organization to censor itself?