THE BODY POLITIC To the ASG: Loosen up regulations and help students get back into the student government

Dear ASG:

You’re doing it wrong.

You’ve told us again and again that you want to engage students. You want your name to mean something on campus. You want to connect with each of the diverse Palomar constituencies and give them what they want.

But bureaucratic nonsense is holding you back.

When three candidates decided to run for election on a campus of 30,000 this semester, we grew concerned. Why weren’t more people interested in representing their peers?

You disqualified one just hours before the election. And last semester, you left student groups fuming and administrators scratching their heads when you rushed to disqualify another (who is now back on the ballot after that election was called off).

We often hear students complain about the college’s direction and quibble over how out-of-touch student senators and executives seem to be. Campus has no shortage of naysayers.

But those students feel the system is too flawed to work within, and they don’t know how to fix it.

(Well, one group has an idea: the ASG should break off from the college administration. ASG board members haven’t seemed too warm on the subject.)

The answer is simple: there are too many campaign rules and too few efforts on your part to engage students.
Yes, rules have a place in an election. Candidates should not be allowed to spend unlimited sums of cash to sway voters, and buildings and walkways should not be littered with campaign fliers.

But the rules you set to keep the candidates in check—which aren’t posted on your website, aren’t available for viewing in your senate or executive offices and aren’t on display in any glass cabinets or posting areas around campus—are unwieldy and unjustified.

From the rules you set forward, it seems you’re afraid that too many people will take their campaigns too far. But you’re jumping to conclusions that have no basis in fact.

The reality is there is just a handful of students who feel up to navigating the mire of regulations that define the ASG presidential election. And all of them are old hats, entrenched members of the ASG who have long haunted the halls of the Student Union.

Get a clue. We don’t need rules, we need engagement.

—Matt & David


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1 Comment

  1. The campus clubs are mired in the same red tape. I looked into starting my own student organization earlier this semester, under the impression that actual students would be responsible for the club. I was disappointed to see that the administration has entrenched itself in Palomar’s student organizations as well. The clubs’ mandatory partnership with the OSA and administration, coupled with their cookie-cutter approach to a club constitution, was enough to deter me from my endeavor.

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