As president of the College Democrats here at Lawrence and as an avid worker in electoral politics, it was a strange new experience for me to abstain from voting in an election – even if it was only for the Lawrence University Community Council. To me, there is nothing greater than democracy, and there is no greater responsibility we have than to submit our opinions via ballot. Yet in this election I was torn between two presidential candidates – Andy King and Justin Happ – and in the end I chose “none of the above.” That’s not to say I didn’t try. I followed the candidates’ campaigns, read their statements and asked my friends who they thought should win the election. None of this brought me any closer to reaching a conclusion. I just wasn’t satisfied with my options. The comedian Lewis Black once described our two-party system, saying the Democrats were a party of no ideas and the Republicans were a party of bad ideas. That’s sort of how I felt about the LUCC presidential race. On the one hand you had King, who – while an intelligent and amicable person – seemed to bring little to the table in the way of new ideas. To me his campaign message lacked a certain creative drive that I feel is necessary of an elected leader. In his campaign statement last week he told us about what he had done as a district representative, not what he planned to do as president. He spoke nothing of change. Happ, on the other hand, had an exciting campaign that played to student empowerment. “All of your wildest dreams will come true,” he claimed, making reference to the movie “Napoleon Dynamite.” He told us that, under his leadership, LUCC would do what we wanted it to do, rather than what President Beck wants it to do. Yet he touched on historical examples that I was less than comfortable with. He referred to the campus center and new volleyball court as examples of the students’ voices being heard. Guess what? I never supported the volleyball court. It’s seldom used, it takes up a lot of space in the quad, and – being right outside my house – it allows people to bring sand inside. To me there are more costs than benefits to this sand pit. Meanwhile, the campus center – which I originally supported – has crippled formal group housing food budgets due to new fees, has few of the things I was hoping for – they decided to add a second movie theater on campus, rather than, say, a bowling alley – and serves food that is just as lousy as at Downer. To me these are not things LUCC should brag about. Then again, what do they have to brag about? As a fraternity member and the leader of a student organization, I have rarely been pleased with LUCC decisions. For nearly four years I have put up with difficult bureaucracy and nonsensical rules. Year after year student organizations are given less leeway with how they can spend their money. Year after year fraternities get shortchanged – from recruitment expectations to budget encroachments – making it more and more difficult for fraternities to survive. And year after year LUCC puts forth increasingly bad ideas, such as giving faculty members a vote in LUCC elections. In my view, LUCC belongs to the students alone. The question is, “which students?” In my four years, it has never been a student like me. Perhaps many of you reading this disagree with many of my concerns and feel the leadership in our student government has been acceptable. If you feel how I feel, however, it is time to realize that LUCC is not being held accountable, and the students it belongs to are a small group that has come to accept the culture and decision making process of LUCC meetings. In my opinion, we don’t need any more LUCC officers who rose through the ranks of student government like they always do – we need a group of entirely new leaders. We did not see this from King – with his status quo campaign – or from Happ, who continued to promote the ill achievements of the past. We did not see candidates from outside the LUCC establishment, with new and better ideas. Instead we had a choice between “more of the same” and “more of the same.” That’s why I chose not to vote.