Between literature-holding candidates in the Arbor, huge signs on the bike path, and seemingly endless Facebook invitations, the campus could not be any more fed up with Associated Students elections. While the average student might feel relief in knowing the frenzy has finally ended, those more familiar with the organization know that’s only wishful thinking.
Instead of congratulating their competition and moving on like responsible adults, many of those who fared less favorably at the ballots have turned openly spiteful. Numerous comments directed at newly elected council members and executives have been uncalled for, disrespectful, and downright rude. Negative statements implying the new officers will fail to be effective in their positions are purely offensive and demonstrate a severe lack of maturity on the behalf of the speakers.
Beyond the degrading of newly elected representatives, the election reaction I personally find the most disheartening is the extreme misrepresentation of the situation on campus. Claiming that UCSB’s student body could be run as a “dictatorship” or “represents injustice” is truly insulting to those communities actually enduring the rule of a dictator or undergoing unjust treatment. Although the Associated Students executives and Legislative Council members certainly fulfill important roles on campus, they are not the only undergraduates affecting change on campus. Blaming these students before they have even begun working simply makes no sense at all.
As a former elections participant and elected representative, I’m thoroughly disgusted by the aftermath following elections on this campus. Instead of whining about the choice of students who decided to vote, perhaps it would be more constructive to find another avenue to accomplish those goals election hopefuls supposedly hold so near and dear.