Volume 93, Issue 68

Tuesday, February 1, 2000


Editorial Board 1999-2000

Moving at a snail's pace

Editorial cartoon

Moving at a snail's pace

When it first came to light that this year's presidential race would feature such a huge number of candidates, things looked very promising. At that time, it seemed logical to think that more candidates meant the student body would have a stronger pool from which to choose their future leader.

Now that we're officially five days into the presidential grind, it's obvious the large number of candidates has done nothing but reveal to us just how uninspired and depressing things can get.

As of Friday, we were three full days into campaigning and yet the majority of candidates couldn't be bothered to present their ideas on paper and circulate them to the students. When asked about the issues, some responded with tired excuses. Others had nothing to say, preferring to make promises for the future instead. Is it too much to ask that a candidate comes into a campaign with a set game plan and the desire to execute it?

The overall lack of literature hasn't been the only problem. Some candidates have already flip-flopped on simple issues. Others have half-heartedly lifted ideas from their peers. We've even witnessed a few wannabes boldly try to mask the fact they have no real discernible plan of action.

The results of today's annual candidate quiz are similarly disheartening. In past years, candidates have prepared for the election and the quiz by reading up on the school's history and learning more about their academic environment. This year, we saw a handful of people seemingly take pride in how little they know. It's no wonder there's a serious lack of good ideas coming from many of the candidates. After all, it's tough to formulate ideas without first having some sort of bearing on your surroundings.

While it should by no means be the deciding factor in the presidential race, the quiz is run every year so students can get a handle on how well-informed and knowledgeable these presidential hopefuls are. Keep in mind, this was not sprung on the candidates – they knew about it in advance and had time to prepare. So when a widely published quiz is looming on the horizon and a candidate still chooses not to educate himself, how are we supposed to believe that he'll care enough about student concerns to become informed by his own volition once in office?

Unless students are prepared to make that huge leap of faith, something has to change. It's time to start separating those who are serious about running, from those who might as well have done it on a dare. Ask about issues, put weight into the research each candidate has or has not done.

Given that there's over a week left in these elections, maybe it'll serve us well to send out a quick memo to the candidates. Run because you love this school, not because you want this school to love you.

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