Volume 95, Issue 27

Friday, October 19, 2001
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Editorial Board 2001-2002

Belton wins battle of the boobs

Editorial Cartoon

Belton wins battle of the boobs

It may not be a resounding victory, but Scott Belton deserves his moment in the spotlight.

After a boring, if not miserable, campaign and a poor showing from candidates and students alike, it was the cocky young business student who emerged victorious in this year's Board of Governors undergraduate election.

His opposition was less than stellar.

In one corner, a former University Students' Council VP who seemed to be banking on past "glory" to carry him to Western's highest body.

In another corner, the mystery medical student who couldn't be bothered to show his face in public and seemed to be pinning his hopes on a large turnout from the med. school student body.

Beside these two lesser lights stood Scott Belton – young, inexperienced and lacking the political polish that has defined past BOG stalwarts like Joel Adams and Michael Rubinoff.

But, in the end, voters seemed to believe more in the young kid who could learn and grow, and less in the two other candidates who seemed more than set in their erroneous ways.

Nonetheless, Belton is saddled with the albatross of winning a poorly contested election.

Last year, with an array of compelling candidates, 1726 students cast their votes in the BOG election. This year, with three less than stellar candidates and a mind-numbingly boring campaign, only 1211 students bothered to care.

Of those 1211, Belton received 515 votes – less than half of all ballots cast.

Consider those 515 votes up against the 25,000 students on campus and Belton's victory seems almost meaningless.

But the ultimate meaning of this victory is now in Belton's hands.

Belton must live up to his potential and avoid the pitfalls of youth and arrogance.

He must use his age to his advantage. Belton's third-year status and history of residence involvement afford him the opportunity to connect with younger students better than any of his predecessors.

If he can get through to those younger voters, future BOG elections and the future of decision making at this university will be all the brighter.

In the board room, Belton's experience as USC governmental affairs commissioner should help ease the steep learning curve he is about to endure.

Looking back on it all, maybe the dismal story of this year's BOG election has found a happy ending.

If we're lucky, the poor voter turnout will inspire Belton to use the assets he has been blessed with and overcome his faults to ensure a bright future for BOG elections and student involvement in campus politics.

You have escaped with victory, Mr. Belton, now make sure you fulfill the expectations of both the 515 students who voted for you and the thousands upon thousands who didn't.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001