Participation needed

By David Muccigrosso

I’m writing in response to Emma Clare Sohn and Brian Pierce’s Point-Counterpoint articles run in the DI on March 7. They both made convincing cases blaming both students and the media for apathy in elections and rightly exhort all students to participate in current student senate elections. While there’s enough blame to go around, none seems to have been placed on either the University or the Student Election Commission.

For starters, where are the polling places? The entire election this year was on the ISS website, but I dare say most students have never visited it – I certainly didn’t until just now. Why doesn’t the SEC set up polling booths on the quad, or dozens of other places around campus? If the city of Champaign can vote for presidential elections in a bunch of cramped public school gyms, then surely the University, with all its resources, could help the SEC run such an operation.

Beyond that, why should I even vote for the ISS? I have yet to see a good reason published by either the University or the DI. The ISS has been a University puppet stocked with resume-builders with no real power from the get-go. Where were they when the University tried to ban Unofficial? What about the fact that I barely understand half my T.A.’s, my textbooks leave me broke and confused, and my professors would rather fail me than do what I’m paying them to? The purpose of the ISS is to be a check against University power, but the current system serves only as an excuse for the University to point at when students complain their opinions aren’t being heard.

David Muccigrosso

sophomore in LAS