STAFF EDITORIAL: Election shows apathetic nature of Lawrence politics

The 2002 LUCC elections have come to an end, and while we can now turn our attention to the business before this new government, we might take a moment to look at how this campaign was conducted. This year’s campaign was a mixed bag of serious politics and outright farce, and should because sober reflection.While the absurd element, in the form of the wasteful and embarrassing campaign of Bill Schreiter for president, did not achieve the sensational—much less the political—effect it clearly sought, it is none-the-less a blemish for Lawrence student government that one of the three candidates was a joke. Schreiter’s campaign was also insulting to Lawrence students, UW students, and any person who wasted their time considering him as a serious candidate.

Another concern is the inexperience of the field. And while the enthusiasm and dedication shown by these young candidates is admirable, the idea of an inexperienced president or vice president of LUCC is not a good one. It seems particularly unlikely a freshman would have a sense for all the potential difficulties of running the contentious and complicated budgeting process for campus organizations.

The political inexperience of some candidates also calls their ability to govern into question. It is easy for inexperienced students to have big ideas about things like better food on campus or to make big promises about cable in every room. In reality LUCC has little power in these areas and only a veteran would know this. The most important parts of the president’s and vice president’s jobs are their roles as managers, both of the legislative and fiscal components of LUCC. There can be little doubt that the skills to do these jobs come not only with enthusiasm, but more importantly, with experience.

In the future we hope that the candidates take a long-term view and spend time on hall councils or in the senate before considering the jump to president or vice president of LUCC.

We hope that experienced students with a greater sense of the Lawrence community’s problems and LUCC’s responsibilities would throw their hats in the ring. Experienced upperclassmen must take the initiative and consider running for offices with more responsibility if LUCC is to be as effective a governing body as it could be.

As this year’s extremely low voter turnout suggests, though, Lawrence students are apathetic to what happens with LUCC despite the $160,000 of their dollars it has to spend. If experienced students would run and be elected into the high offices of this organization, it could be a far more valuable tool.