Posted by Andrew Shi
Skidmore is a divided college, and this partition is hardly more evident than during election season. Still, SGA presidential candidates have toured the campus, promising to bridge differences and end the gridlock that has crippled SGA in the past year.
Nothing has yet indicated this promised reconciliation. Instead the parties seem as alienated from one another as ever.
"I can't even remember the last time I sat on the blue side," Jacob Stevens '15, a registered hipster, laments. "I barely even go to Global anymore, I just receive too many dirty stares."
Peter Norton '14, the presidential incumbent and nominee for the "I wore your Granddad's clothes before it was cool" party has of recent raised partisan oration. He has accused SGA officials of the Grand Off-Campus party (GOP) of obstructing deals that would allocate funds to the art and music programs.
Aubrey Lopez '14, The GOP presidential candidate and owner of five lacrosse sticks, including two semi-automatics, has responded by charging the Norton administration of earmarking funds to favorite constituents and giving preference to his own party members.
"We don't even have a football field," Lopez reminds. "You have a $44 million music center."
In a recent rally on Wachenheim Field, Lopez promised that, if elected, she will see an increase in spending on sports programs.
"Athletics is an imperative of the Skidmore community, and if we underfund our sports programs we will begin to see our athletic prowess fall in comparison to our rivals. Already the Norton administration is undermining our athletic abilities by diverting funds to purchase markers and glitter. Instead of keeping our athletic forces strong, he is promising free M&Ms with the soft-serve machine which will likely quadruple current tuition rates. Norton is utterly incompetent. What SGA needs is a person who understands how the economy works and how to responsibly manage a budget, someone who understands business, someone who has taken five business classes."
Free M&M coverage has been a pressing issue in this year's debate. After the Integrity Board found the National M&M Care Act constitutional this past June, GOP officials have promised to see the act repealed.
"It's un-Skidmore that I have to see my tuition money go to pay for someone else's M&Ms," Lopez told supporters at the same rally.
A recent Gallup poll showed that Lopez lead Norton by a single point as of March 24. Candidates have now focused attention on the undecided and moderates, heavily campaigning in Dana Center, and the Government and History Departments.
"To be honest, I won't even watch the television anymore, I just can't stand these campaign commercials. If one of these candidates promised that I could just watch the Big Band Theory without a single political ad, they could have my vote," Jennifer Berkovich' 14, a Biology major, said.
"All this polarizing vitriol is truly sickening and I probably won't even vote, I just don't care enough about politics," Jack Griffin' 15, a Government and English double Major, said.
Election boffins expect that as Skidmore approaches the last week before the election, the prevalence of campaigning will only worsen for the undecided as candidates pour money into bombarding them with advertisements.
"I don't even know what SGA does," Griffin admitted.
President Norton will be holding a rally in Zankel on Monday, April 1. Lopez is expected to meet foreign dignitaries at RPI on Wednesday, April 3.