Though most students on campus may be abuzz about Trivia, another Lawrence tradition took place this week: the 46th annual LUCC Executive Elections. Two candidates ran for president, while the vice president position went uncontested, a slightly sparse election compared to last year, when three candidates ran for vice president.
This is not unexpected. Student participation is incredibly unpredictable; one can never tell how many will run for an LUCC election, and Lawrence University is too small to afford the services of Nate Silver. That’s old hat, though. This newspaper, the LUCC and hundreds of students have made litanies like this one for years, criticizing student apathy and arguing for increased election advertisement and student participation. It hasn’t changed anything. In the coming weeks, though, new legislation may be introduced into LUCC General Council with the hopes of engaging our unpredictably complacent student body.
The idea, introduced by LUCC President Nicholas Paulson in a recent email to the student body, is this: Instead of electing fourteen student representatives by geographic on-campus residences, the student body will elect sixteen representatives evenly divided among the four classes, with super-seniors included within the senior class’s representation.
This ostensibly simple change to the Student Handbook has large implications to the way LUCC does business: Experienced LUCC members who served their classes well may be recognized and re-elected, rather than struggling with the shifting whims of their constantly changing constituencies. General Council will no longer be so focused on issues that relate to certain residence halls, but will address more general issues affecting all students. Off-campus students will have clear representation, and unbalanced elections with four students running in Plantz while only one runs in Trever will no longer be possible.
It is entirely possible that this may backfire. Creating two additional positions for students to fill runs the risk of facilitating uncontested races, but at least it’s a change. Decreasing limitations for LUCC participation could be the motivation many Lawrentians need to participate in their student government. But why wait? If you have an opinion, go to the next LUCC meeting and let your voice be heard.