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"Double Candidacies" Must Be Examined

Running for two positions creates an advantage, and the Elections Committee should address this

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


In a Feb. 20 letter to the editor, newly-elected UGBC senator Tim Jablonski, A&S '13,  commented on the Elections Committee's allowing a presidential candidate to simultaneously run for a Senate position, saying, "It simply isn't fair to the other students running for Senate."
The Heights, after much analysis, must agree with Jablonski's view and urges the Elections Committee to investigate changing this structure. Presidential candidates gain an immense and innate advantage over senatorial candidates simply by their increased visibility, larger budget, and earlier campaign start. Their names are sprawled across campus on t-shirts, banners, and windows; their ideas are showcased in debates and in the press; and their names become household ones weeks before any Senate candidate can knock on a door. For the senatorial elections, this is especially crippling—after all, when you are jockeying for a position in a saturated race, name recognition is everything.
We certainly recognize why the Elections Committee allowed this, though. Those students running for president are usually the best and the brightest of our student government. They have worked hard for years to formulate ideas, connections, and to gain a strong knowledge on how to navigate the bureaucracy. If they lose the election, they also lose their former spot within UGBC, which does appear to be a waste of talent. Without a rule in place, it makes sense for the Elections Committee to have allowed a double candidacy this year. However, this does not eradicate the unjust process outlined above. At first, this may seem unfair to the "double candidate," who simply wishes to serve the student body. But their choice is unjust to all those vying for a Senate seat who must abide by different restrictions.
 The Heights urges the Elections Committee to search for a solution to this plaguing issue. Ideally, we hope that the Elections Committee can find a way to allow star talent to remain in UGBC despite a presidential loss, while not infringing on the chances of others. We recognize that this may not be a possibility, and if so, we ask them to change the policy to one that is more fair.

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