One presidential candidate not enough

Evan Watson/The News

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board

Evan Watson/The News

Evan Watson/The News

Each year during All-Campus Sing, the newly elected president of the Student Government Association is announced by SGA?Adviser Jeanie Morgan to a crowd of hundreds of students and residents after weeks of campaigns, speeches and online polls.

While there is typically an element of surprise and mystery as to who garnered the most votes after the lengthy process, students this year will know exactly who the president is before the announcement is even made.

Junior Michael Dobbs was the only candidate to run for SGA president of the 2014-15 academic year.

Even if he proves to be an effective leader and politician for the student body and the SGA, it is still concerning that nobody else decided to run against him.

Whether nobody else ran because of lack of confidence or a sense of apathy, it is important that students at least have more than one choice when it comes to political candidates and their platforms.

We can’t only blame the issue of one candidate on students directly involved in student government. This problem is also a result of our overall disconnection to campus politics.

Students generally do not care about who wins these positions and most don’t bother to vote when election time comes around.

It’s hard for a presidential candidate to be excited about representing a student body that doesn’t care either way. We disregard someone who fights for the fate of our tuition money and against campus policies with which we may not agree.

We know little to nothing about someone who swears to keep our best interest in mind when voting alongside the Board of Regents, who can determine the future of our life at Murray State with a single meeting.

Twenty students and SGA members campaigned for eight at-large Senate positions, Residential College Association president, treasurer, secretary and vice president. Of all the nominees listed, could one more student not run against Dobbs for presidency?

Even though the SGA president has a difficult job, the representative is compensated with multiple University-related benefits such as unlimited Flex Dollars, an all-access parking pass and more.

As excessive as the presidential benefits are, they are meant to encourage students to run and be more involved in campus politics.

Unfortunately, it isn’t working.

If only one candidate decided to run for president of the United States, Americans would undoubtedly be disappointed. There would be no diversity of viewpoints and plans of action. There would be lack of representation for people who felt that the one candidate was not the best person for the job.

This very scenario is occurring on our campus and we should care. Caring could range from running for the position ourselves, encouraging others that we feel could be an effective candidate to run for the position or by simply vocalizing our concern for the lack of political diversity on this campus.

Students don’t have to be a member of SGA?or involved in Greek Life to become a political candidate. One thing candidates do need, however, is the knowledge of the issues and the confidence to want to change them.

This is the time where we need to get more involved, educate ourselves on political happenings at Murray State and question if one candidate is enough.

Freedom of choice is an opportunity that we are missing.