Blue Prints

Student government still needs improvement

Dylan Drescher, Graphics Editor

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The past few weeks have
included some controversy surrounding
class elections that I
believe will be avoidable in the
future.
Let’s assume the purpose of
student government is comparable
to that of ‘real’ government.
I believe this is a valid assumption
since administration
compared the class elections last
year to the “real world” in order
to rationalize disciplinary action
against those voting improperly.
If this is the case, then the
purpose of student government
is to make decisions efficiently
according to the will of the
class.
Historically, there has been
difficulty balancing these ideas
of efficiency and consent. Athens
had the democratic consent
of all citizens but was slow to
reach decisions, while the English
King could make decisions
in an instant but without the
consent of his subjects.
Last year, class officers were
said to be inefficient, but were
elected as officers by the class,
providing their consent.
This year, student government
jumped to the other extreme.
The current Class Board government
is able to make decisions
efficiently, however it lacks
the consent of the class.
Only people who can make
the meetings and want to be
involved in the student government
have a voice in decisions
that affect the entire class,
making the boards somewhat
oligarchical.
Clearly, a student government
that better serves its purpose
would be somewhere in between.

My solution: Anyone interested
in participating may run, with
unlimited positions on a board
available.
The class would then vote
‘yes’ or ‘no’ for each candidate,
with a majority or supermajority
of ‘yes’s needed to secure a position
on the board, and a quorum
needed to make decisions.
In this structure, members
of the board are elected democratically,
therefore government
decisions have the consent of
the class, and any absences
from meetings are negligible,
therefore decisions can occur
efficiently.
This configuration also solves
several class election problems.
Everyone runs only against
themself, so it is no longer a
popularity competition.
There is no need to petition
for someone to be considered,
so signatures cannot be hoarded
to prevent candidacies.
Everyone has equal standing
once elected, so running
solely for a title is impossible.
And, again, candidates run
against themselves, so there is
no resentment toward others
afterward.
The only major complication
not addressed by this is a
biased advisor, who could, even
subconsciously, subtly manipulate
outcomes of the election
through order of names or voting
times.
To prevent this, elections for a
class could be conducted by the
advisor of the class above, with
the freshmen advisor conducting
the senior polls.
Having a different person
conduct polls would protect a
class advisor from any potential
conflicts of interest arising from
controlling the election of their
own board.
The obvious choice for the
other person would be another
advisor, since they would ordinarily
be conducting an election
for their own class anyway.
In order to avoid bias, the
controlling advisor should be
the advisor for a class above,
since they have never before
worked with the candidates.
Then, in order for this to be
possible for the most classes, the
class adviser will be that of the
class directly above the voting
class.
The exception would be the
freshmen advisor conducting
the senior election, but this allows
for the maximum amount
of time to pass for biases to
fade away.
Ultimately, this system of
government would be impartial
and still uphold democratic
principles while sacrificing little
in efficiency.
I believe it is a real possibility
for the future of our student
government.

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Student government still needs improvement