Bias within WSPN Election Results

Posted by Julian Rome

One afternoon, approximately two days before the WSPN executive board elections, one of WSPN's music directors requested that I run for bookkeeper on the executive board. I have treasury experience and agreed to run, thinking I would find it to be a valuable experience. Additionally, I was running unopposed so I thought that it would provide huge relief for the group to have someone willing to take up the responsibility.

While my campaign platform was serious, my speech relied on humor. I made a few jokes about how a friend of mine running for a different, unopposed position was underqualified. It was a moment of comic relief and it ended quickly. However, in addition to the jest, I stated my legitimate qualifications and the reasons I wished to hold the position. To reiterate, the position was unopposed, so why not make the speech a bit more inspired? Especially considering there were absolutely no smiles in the crammed, fluorescent light-saturated WSPN office.

Again, the bookkeeper position was unopposed. So, guess what? Huge news! I received the most votes, by default. However, because of my harmless and humorous actions, the board was unwilling to offer me the position. I only learned this after reviewing a general email that WSPN sent out, announcing the executive board for next semester from which both the bookkeeper position and my name were excluded. I never received anything stating that the board thought I was unqualified or any notification about how they were handling the votes or the delegation of the position. I only heard through the grapevine that they would be holding a reelection for bookkeeper.

The choice to not notify me was both conniving and devoid of professional courtesy. On a more substantial note, however, manipulating the outcome of an election damages WSPN's integrity. It is anti-democratic to hold a fraudulent election and this should not be tolerated. Regardless of any prior action or bias, if a person wins an election justly, the executive board should not be able to intervene on the basis of personal preference. Doing so is an act of political abuse on the part of the executive powers. Not allowing me the position discredits the elections and their democratic orchestration as a whole. After hearing about this, two people who had been denied different positions voiced similar concerns pertaining to the potential rigging of the E-board elections. While the delegation of those respective positions may not have been unjust, the fact that these students felt the need to inquire about the legitimacy of the outcome for their individual positions reflects poorly on WSPN's actions.

I hope that the new members of WSPN's E-board will have the capacity to appreciate some jokes as well as knowing the true value of democracy in the election process. I look forward to running for bookkeeper again next semester.

Information booth for SGA Round II elections available in Case Center on Wednesday, April 9: Students interested in running for remaining SGA positions may ask questions from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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