Undergraduate Student Government elections: Not just a popularity contest

The individuality of students comes before a contest of popularity

It’s easy to assume that elections are popularity contests, but let’s take a moment to place more faith in the ASU undergraduate student body. Popular claims could be that those with the biggest social circle win by default; friends support friends regardless of their ability to successfully govern and social media sways much of the vote simply with aesthetics and catchy phrases. But, these are generalizations that follow any election.

Although these may be valid points, they are not necessarily true. It’s time to step outside of the box and give people credit for thinking individually. Crazy thought, right?

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First of all, the candidates with the biggest social circle have the biggest social circle for a reason.

Whether they are involved in Greek life or other clubs, they have maintained positions in those organizations that have gained them the respect from their constituents. Optimistically, people vote for who they think is right for the position. That person may be one they have seen operate in leadership positions other than Undergraduate Student Government.

Friends may vote for friends, but they also understand the candidates' characters. 

Some people did support their friends hours after their candidacy was announced, but that doesn't discredit those supported candidates. These friends have followed them throughout their private and public history. Much like the supporters of Sanders, Clinton and other presidential hopefuls, these students have followed these candidates and therefore can make quick but educated decisions on whom they plan to support.

Word-of-mouth and social media can promote the popular vote solely based on adoration, but it can also positively promote the candidates that are equipped to win and run the Undergraduate Student Government.

Instead of simply assuming people are voting for someone based on social media popularity, give them the benefit of the doubt that they have reviewed the platforms and trust those who are supporting that specific candidate.

The popularity of a candidate should not preclude you from voting for them — just make sure you know why you're voting for that ticket. 

Grab a cup of coffee or whatever your preferred drink is and take the 20 minutes to review all the platforms, then make an educated vote that will better your overall experience at ASU.

Related Links:

Sorting through the dialogue: The story behind an ASU senator's impeachment

USG-Tempe President Isaac Miller on his background, policy goals and the nature of leadership


Reach the columnist at morgan.difelice@asu.edu or follow @mcdifelice Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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