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My Thoughts on Undergraduate Student Elections

After a full year of studying, events, and getting to know one another, the time for student government elections has once again returned. Students vote for the elected student government positions for the next academic year. However, because the semester is coming to an end, some students are more concerned with exams and preparing for finals than they are for student elections, which could lead to voters not really taking this election seriously. The results lead to a new administration of the student government. If the new administration does a good job, then the student government will likely hear the concerns of the students and will resolve those issues efficiently. If the new administration does not do a good job, then the newly elected student government will not likely be effective or willing to hear what students are concerned about on campus.
The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) elections might be considered a great resume builder for post-university life, but the elections are mostly for students who believe they can make a positive change in the university. However, some students might just run for office to gain popularity, which, when the time comes to make difficult decisions, the winner of the popular vote might not have the necessary problem-solving skills to effectively handle the situation.
Another reason why a student might choose to run for a position within the student government is that they might want to try to become connected within the campus community. In my own personal opinion, this type of election is simply a distraction from the everyday life of a student, which usually consists of studying for tests, completing projects for courses, or even trying to complete their homework to pass it in on time. Running for a student government position could shine the spotlight on a chosen few students and their opinions and thoughts for a changing campus. However, if most students do not even recognize who is running for elected positions, then having an election based on political views would seem pointless, as students would just vote for their friends instead. These types of elections occur at other colleges and universities across Massachusetts and other states around the nation, and they are conducted in similar formats where students are likely to cast their votes online on a secure platform.
The student government elections take place over the course of several days, which ideally would give students plenty of time to vote. However, during an actual presidential or governor election, the timeline is shortened to about 12 hours or so for the public. In that respect, voting would be much more difficult due to a time constraint and needing to know or learn about who is running for public official positions. Regular voting is quite different than voting within the university for the student government because the issues that are dealt with on campus are on a lower level of importance compared to the more important issues such as immigration, gun control, and drug control, which impact the entire nation in one way or another. However, the issues that only impact the university itself such as repairing campus grounds, keeping the parking rate affordable, having decent meal options, and ensuring that students have a decent educational experience are what we are voting for in student government elections.
Student government positions are not just imaginary positions that are made up for a student to gain popularity or to build their resumes; these positions are in place to oversee any issues that need to be resolved for students to have a pleasant experience while attending the university. Also, students who run and get elected into these positions are more likely to be recognized by other students within the university than those who just attend classes and do not take part in any clubs or activities on campus.
I believe that the undergraduate student government elections are underrated because they only involve students who attend UMass Boston, and the elections have no impact on anyone who is not part of the university. Also, the USG elections only count to those who participate. So, if a student, such as myself, does not participate in the elections, then the final result would be considered as unfair, especially when internal issues occur within the university. However, when it comes to actual elections, such as governor and presidential elections, then voting will matter much more because those types of elections are much more important because the issues they work on impact our country and state. So, not to say that the USG elections don’t matter, but they are not valued as highly as state or presidential elections, where the voter turnout is more likely to be high because there is an advertisement presence in place to reach out to as many people as possible. With the USG elections, the voter turnout can be high or low, but it won’t matter because there will be a new student government, regardless of voter turnout.