Editorial

    Every year, the Guardian editorial board invites candidates for A.S. Council positions to chat for half an hour prior to elections. On the whole, the members of the Action slate were not only experienced and competent in the respective areas of student government for which they were running, but also wanted to best serve the needs of all students, which stood in direct contrast to most members of the Students First slate.

    For example, Students First candidate and newly elected Commissioner of Academic Affairs Halle Beitollahi demonstrated an appalling lack of knowledge on relevant student issues and an even more appalling apathy toward fighting for student rights.

    Rishi Shah, Students First candidate for Commissioner of Programming, is also a program manager for KSDT and planned to continue in that position regardless of if he were elected, a blatant conflict of interest. This is indicative of the larger mentality of the Students First slate: Take a representative from every powerful student organization on campus, have every member vote blindly down slate lines and sweep the election. Shah’s narrow defeat is a silver lining in the abyss.

    Students who voted blindly along slate lines placed incompetence over experience, panhandling over real leadership and unity over intelligence. This is cronyism at its worst, rivaling city political machines at the turn of the century.

    The Guardian, in the strongest of terms, warns many of the newly elected A.S. officers that they must close the gap in competence and experience they had behind their opponents and keep the good of the greatest number of students, rather than the organizations that turned out to elect them, in mind when making decisions. But there is hope yet for next year’s government and if they are to fulfill their mandate to their constituents (and hopefully their consciences) they would do well to heed this warning.

    The Guardian further encourages the highly competent but failed candidates of the election to participate in student government to the best of their abilities. UCSD needs driven, experienced leadership, and there are still an incredible number of opportunities to help better this campus and help its students. Despite the disappointing results of this election, it is the Guardian’s hope that these driven individuals will nonetheless help create a UCSD where student participation and widespread knowledge of relevant issues will ensure that a travesty of an election does not occur again.

    In that spirit, the Guardian calls for the abolition of slate campaigning on this campus. Slates have created a satire of the election process; the Price Center, draped in acres of posters, conveys no relevant information except the names of the candidates. Since organizational cronyism has shown itself as a more powerful force than any semblance of voter intelligence, the Guardian calls for a wholesale restructuring of the system.

    In short, in spite of the difficult results of this election, the Guardian maintains that the newly elected officers, with effort, will succeed in their jobs. Their opponents still have experience and leadership desperately needed at UCSD, and should participate in any way possible. Lastly, every candidate should be forced to run independently in all future elections.

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