Here we are again… year after year, campaign period comes and goes. Has it ever crossed your mind how many General Elections (GE) have taken place within the University?
It was only last year when I first got a taste of the GE. It was a fresh experience to partake in what seemed to be a good election year. I enjoyed seeing candidates move from person to person, shaking hands, striking conversation, and campaigning as if it was a national election. Representatives from Tapat and Santugon approached me and showed me how to vote, successfully making me feel that I am an integral part that delivers for the students, starting with one vote.
Come the weeks prior to the GE, students donning orange and yellow roam around the campus; outside and inside every room. Every time my class ends, there would be someone there, asking me if I voted already. When I was a frosh student, I felt like my vote was significant.
Now, not so much. This year is different – something is off with the way it feels. It was not an enjoyable, engaging experience anymore. Instead, the campaign period became annoying for me. Seems like the same old campaign routine was not as effective as it was the first time around.
Now, the speeches were oddly familiar; scripted. There was no more personal connection, and the issues that the candidates cited didn’t seem real anymore.
I dare not generalize. Yet most of these candidates would not even bat an eye at you after the election period. Before, I was amazed how candidates remained friendly to the students, but as time passed and after few experiences, my sentiments faded away. The more time passed, the more it seemed that prior candidates acknowledge us only when they need something from us – our vote.
At this rate, this year may not be the exception. Once they get what they want, I bet that they won’t even remember our names. Candidates even easily forget our names during the election period, yet would still pretend they recognize us.
I have observed this behavior during the length of my stay in the University. With actions analogous to traditional politicans (trapo), I am left wondering, how could a student decide whom to vote for if the pamphlets boast names, catchphrases and decoration? Take for example: extensive lists of credentials that do not even relate to the position they are running for. Is this how they expect Lasallians to weigh their vote?
Their intentions simply lie within the goal of making themselves favorable in the eyes of Lasallians. Though some student leaders have executed their jobs without hidden motives, the nature of the campaigns has made it increasingly harder to find out who these candidates are.
Even if new faces, platforms, and campaign spiels are formed every year, these developments keep embodying the same old principles. The only difference lies with the people, the delivery and the speech. It seems that the student government is stuck, riding an ever-spinning wheel of fate, still awaiting the perfect candidates for its Executive Board (EB).
If we think our situations will change when we keep responding positively to these kinds of campaigns, maybe it’s time we to stop dreaming. After all, it will just be another season of campaigns, votes, and fake friendships.
I long for the day that the student government will focus on improvement and not be preoccupied with a seesaw battle between the two political parties. At this rate, this may not be a feasible dream but I believe that in the near future, we – students, will finally be able to see past these formalities and learn how to gauge how the candidates will truly perform.