Some of you may be wondering what all of this #VoteAnything business is about. You see, we’ve noticed a big problem with student elections over the years, and those of us on the Student Association’s Executive Council (who aren’t running for office) are working to raise awareness about the personal impact of every student’s choice to vote.    

   I serve as the chief of staff in the SA, and I see firsthand how much influence these elected candidates truly have. Every day I see wild ideas from their election platforms slowly take shape. This year, a freshman senator decided we needed to replace water fountains around campus with water bottle filling stations. She contacted other schools who do this, worked with cabinet members who would be interested in helping and convinced administrators this would be a beneficial use of our university’s budget. SA President Michael Hogan decided last year that our students would appreciate cell phone charging stations, and those are being installed over the next few weeks. The people you elect for the SA are the same people who handpick the person who works all summer to plan Bulldog Bash, the largest free concert in the state.

   But here’s the problem — I received more votes to become homecoming queen than Hogan did to become SA president. While being Homecoming queen has been an incredible honor, I can’t help but feel that I’ve done more good for our university in my role as chief of staff for the SA. As chief of staff, I’ve been given more insight to the workings of our university, more opportunities to speak on behalf of my friends and certainly more say in what we can do to improve student life on campus. I loved being your homecoming queen — but I urge you to utilize your vote for these positions that are so much more important than a walk across the football field. Get invested in these candidates. Form opinions about their platforms. Go to the debate (Wednesday at 6 p.m. in McCool 124) and ask them hard questions. Your vote is incredibly important in shaping what our SA represents and works toward every year. Make sure that your voice is heard this year on Feb. 11.  The SA is ready and willing to represent anything that you see fit.  This year, your vote can sincerely mean anything you want it to mean.  Get involved, stay informed and most importantly, vote.

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