A Look at Student Reactions to Elections Week

This morning as I sat at lunch with my dorm, the predictable talk about baseball and the hockey playoffs was replaced by talk about elections and coalitions. “I’ve heard the names SUN and SOCC, and they have endorsed all these candidates, but I have no idea what these coalitions actually stand for,” said one. This seems to be the case with many students I have talked to- no one is really informed as to what SUN is, and why there is a perception of SUN being against SOCC.

To clarify what SUN is about, I took this excerpt from SUN’s facebook page: “We want to increase student involvement in all aspects of student government, and work towards putting an end to the partisan politics that prevents change on the issues that have common-sense solutions. Specifically, we have the following priorities for the 2010-2011 Senate term: increasing the Senate’s ability to advocate for students, improving the funding policies for student groups, and working on three issues which directly affect student life: party planning reform, strengthening community groups, and improving health and wellness on campus.”

From SOCC’s page: “SOCC strives to promote faculty and graduate-student diversity, promote awareness surrounding acts of intolerance, preserve community centers, and ensure a fair funding process for all VSOs.” (Read more: http://www.stanforddaily.com/2010/04/06/the-students-of-color-coalition/)

Another area of confusion among the residents in my dorm is endorsements. “A lot of students have received the same endorsements, and this makes it hard to differentiate who to vote for.” All of these groups endorse multiple candidates who they think will uphold their values and work for their interests on campus. Many students were not quite sure what some groups espouse. Certainly, the Women’s Coalition or GAIA are self-explanatory. Many of the specific issues that the groups support are not very well known to the average student.

Finally, it seems that these groups and candidates, though inundating campus with fliers and chalk messages, are being unsuccessful in bringing their messages to the student body. Sure, there are some students who are very knowledgeable and involved. However, it seems that the deluge of fliers and information being thrown at students causes many to tune out. It’s difficult to pay attention to every nuanced issue that the ASSU deals with.

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