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Student Senate Elections – Are they a popularity contest?

Liberal Opinion—Babatunde Ojo 

The Student Senate elections should be the time for the NJIT community to come together and choose who should control the budget that they – the students – pay for. The Student Senate can really change the campus for the better through hosting events, interior and exterior renovations, or changing school rules. 

For some time now the Student Senate has been doing an okay job. They have extended the time students have between class to class and a few other things. Unfortunately, there is still so much more that could have been done. Students are unsatisfied with how the senate has been run. During this election practically everyone ran un-opposed and it seemed like a popularity contest among Honors students and those who are a part of the senate; but do not really participate in improving the campus. 

Student Senate elections should involve people who are interested in making the school experience more enjoyable for the students and that requires a lot of work, work that the current senators have not accomplished. 

I do not feel confident in the upcoming senators, and wish they would surprise me by actually doing their job as if they care. Otherwise, they are getting paid via stipends to chill in an office pretending to do work. 

 

Independent – Akin 

It should not be surprising whether or not the student senate elections are a popularity contest at NJIT. Candidates who are more popular than their opponents tend to be more competitive in election decisions. This does not necessarily make any election a popularity contest. If the senate elections really were a popularity contest, more people would be running for positions and more students would be engaged in the voting process, unike the past elections. 

This is not the case, however. The newly elected positions were barely contested. Of the seven major senate executive board positions available for election, only two, the Senate President and the Senate Secretary, were contested by more than one candidate. Of the more than 40 senator positions available for contest, only about 18 had interested candidates, of which the Junior Class President was the only one with several students vying for the position. 

For the most part, it may be true that the apathy of NJIT’s student body makes it such that elections are left to be decided by friends of candidates. Even more, when results come down to scraping out votes from the minute proportion of students actually interested in voting, the elections can be agreed to be a popularity contest amongst students. In the larger picture however, I do not think that it is appropriate for the student senate elections to be called a popularity contest when the student senate itself is not an organization loved and appreciated by the student body. 

 

Conservative Opinion—Adrian Wong 

Yes, the elections for Student Senate are a popularity contest.  Recently, the current Senate held a debate for the candidates for all positions.  There was a public forum where students could ask candidates questions.  The number one most-liked question was “GDS after this?”  On top of this, the Senate President had to take down a live stream of the questions since people were posting inappropriate remarks.  This did not even matter since the only people who attended the debate were the people running for office and members of the Vector, NJIT’s student newspaper, who were present to cover it.   

Given the amount of money and power given to the President, it would certainly be better if we had a student body who was least aware of the candidates’ platforms.  Unfortunately, the fact is that students do not care enough about the election to make an informed decision.  Instead, they vote if their friend is running and otherwise ignore the elections. 

 

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