October is the time when many college students’ thoughts turn to lewd pumpkin carvings and sensual backstreet costumes. Yet in all this excitement, many lose sight of another event of equal importance; the annual student government and hall council elections. This time-honored tradition – electing competent individuals deemed fit to preside over the student body’s “fun” and “well-being” quota – is imperative to having a rewarding college experience. The other day I spoke over the phone with Hiett Hall resident life director Dave Macauley about the significance of turning out to vote in the impending elections. The following is a brief excerpt.
Mr. Macauley: “Hello, this is Dave.”
Ethan: “Well hello Dave, this is Ethan speaking.”
M (sarcasm): “Ahh! … umm … I mean, how can I help you?”
E: “I wanted to ask you about the hall council elections. Are they important?”
M: “Yes Ethan, they are, they really, really are. Before I begin however, I would first like to thank you, Ethan, for moderating this phone call, my mother, for those wonderful foot massages …”
E: “Yo! Dave … focus!”
M: “Oh, right. Hall council elections are important because they enable each resident to have input in making crucial decisions for the entire building. For example, hall council coordinates room reservation policies and regulates the appropriation of lounge space. Hall council also oversees front desk rental policies, and approves spending for the $2,000 social programming budget, which last year contributed to the purchase of the wide selection of DVDs and lovely ping pong table on second floor.”
E: “So, hall council will essentially eliminate any further hostilities between the D.G. girls and the Dungeons and Dragons club both desiring to watch ‘Robin Hood Men in Tights’ in the same lounge?”
M: “Uh … yes. Thank God!”
E: “And thank hall council too, right?”
E (hears sword rattling in background): “What is that, Dave?”
M: “Oh …uh, umm, nothing.”
E: “That’s funny. I thought it sounded like…”
M: “Nothing, it sounded like nothing.” Hangs up.
While college campuses nationwide prepare for hall council elections, the appointment of the student government is just as significant to the undergrad wanting his or her opinions to be heard. From this overarching umbrella of just rule, central decisions and potentially life-altering judgments are produced.
At Lawrence University, the new school year brings another crop of issues to the table. One of the central topics pressing the governing body is outfitting all dorms with cable. Other issues include converting both the Alexander Gym and the Recreational Center’s weight room facilities from antique showcases to functioning fitness centers, and opening Lucinda’s for dinner (as of now, Lucy’s will open for a one-month trial period beginning in November).
As illustrated by these examples, it is extremely important that students participate in the election of these officials if they desire any input in the decision-making process. As current president Joel Rogers said: “For any student interested in having voice on campus, a ready and willing committee is waiting with their name on it. All they have to do is go to the Union front desk and fill out a slip.”
The election of competent officials is imperative for those who want to live a fruitful college life. So get out and rock that voting machine (or make sure you do it online).