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Monday, Mar 4, 2024

Student Demands More Courting from Candidates

Author: [no author name found]

As I was rubbing the sleep out of my eyes a few mornings ago, I was quickly awakened by something I very much hoped I wasn't seeing. Yes, sad to say, when my computer opened up to the Middlebury Web site 15 minutes before I had to be in my German class, I saw to my dismay a link reading, "Students: Vote in SGA Elections."
"There's an election?" I asked myself. No, I am not an opponent of democracy. I do think it is important to vote and yes, I do appreciate the lovely green color of the words. But it is a sad day when a person is invited to the voting booth without having known that an election was about to take place.
This disgusts me. I am astounded that the democratic process at this College is so debased that I did not know the name of even one person running for my class or commons. I realize that voters must inform themselves, but this is ridiculous. How can anyone expect a fair vote if those running do not campaign?Of the 10 students running for the senate positions for my class, not one had put up a poster where I could see it. Not one had campaigned personally where I was. Not one had made his or her platform available to me. In fact, not one even bothered to let his or her prospective constituents know that he or she was a candidate, much less that there was an election! I realize that some of this may be due to chance or my own lack of attention, but I do not live in a hole. How can I make an informed decision based only upon the look-alike blurbs posted on the voting Web site? In these statements, many of the hopefuls promise to listen to their constituents and to be in touch with them. Fine start they've made.
In my opinion, democracy works. But as the founders of this country realized, it only works if voters are empowered to do more than throw a dart at a ballot to make their decision. No wonder voter turnouts are low. The disrespect shown here for voters is not only discouraging, but insulting. I, in turn, mean no disrespect to the candidates or the Student Government Association, and wish to express my admiration and support of the officers. But if this is the way elections are going to be, why don't they just play one-potato, two-potato to figure it out?

Dixie Dillon is a sophomore from California.