Column: Student government-a-palooza

By Eric Naing

There are only a handful of things that sound more boring than voting in student government elections (NASCAR comes to mind), but I’m still urging you to vote today. Nick Fabek is running for Student Trustee and I really think he is the best person for the job.

The Student Trustee gets an advisory vote the Board of Trustees, which makes decisions for all of campus. This includes things like allocating money to fix campus buildings and voting whether or not to get rid of Chief Illiniwek. The Student Trustees not only get a vote in these matters, but they also act as the liaison between us students and the Board members.

I’ll be honest – I tend to think of those in student government as shameless resume builders, who will say or do anything to help themselves get into law/med school, but I really think Nick is different. Aside from the usual boring stuff (being on the Dean’s List, being President of the Illini Speech & Debate Team, etc.), Nick’s been a resident advisor, is on the executive board for Alternative Spring Break and was an orientation student leader. All of this means that he has a proven track record of dealing with students personally.

If you’ve spent any time on this campus, you know about the controversy over Chief Illiniwek. This is a debate that has raged on for fifteen years and has distracted us from more important matters. Instead of continuing the same dead-end debate, Nick wants a compromise. His plan is to retire the symbol of the Chief and end the half time shows while retaining the name and heritage of the Fighting Illini. The Chief and the movement to retire the Chief will both be remembered via an exhibit documenting the history of Chief Illiniwek.

Unlike many other candidates, Nick Fabek isn’t some one-note pro/anti-Chief candidate. He wants to keep tuition down, improve the infrastructure on campus (cough, fix Lincoln Hall, cough) and promote campus diversity, none of which can be effectively dealt with while the Chief debate hangs over our heads.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Look, I know you. Ninety percent of you are thinking to yourselves “what election?” and I do not blame you. In the grand hierarchy of your life, student government probably ranks somewhere between flossing and clean underwear. But please, just take the time and vote. It’s mind-numbingly easy. All you have to do is go to http://www2.uiuc.edu/election/vote. It takes no more effort than checking your e-mail or stalking someone on Facebook. Polls opened yesterday and will close tonight at 11:59 p.m.

    To borrow a famous Nixon catchphrase, “All aboard the Nixon sex train.” Wait, not that one. What I meant to say was that there’s a silent majority of students out there that either are sick of the Chief debate or just don’t give a damn about student government. Only a third of all students voted in the last referendum about the Chief. All you apathetic students have the power to take over this campus.

    Nick Fabek has got the experience to be Student Trustee, but that’s not really what I care about. What’s important is that he realizes that the debate over the Chief has gone on long enough. Most of the other candidates don’t want to move on, they just want to keep on fighting the same tired battles till the end of time (or at least until Lincoln Hall finally collapses). Nick wants compromise and that’s something we all should want, be it in campus or global politics.

    Granted, I may not have the credibility of a P. Diddy or a Bruce Springsteen, but I do have a mediocre column in the Daily Illini so I urge you: vote. Even if you don’t pick Nick Fabek, just vote. The outcome of this election directly affects you as a student. Voting is your voice and you deserve to be heard.