Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sage Political Advice

There comes a time in the lives of most people when they must make a choice between what is good, and what is awesome. I don't know how that applies to what I'm about to write, I've just always wanted to say that. I'm going to be writing about BYUSA elections here at BYU, where the choice between good and awesome definitely doesn't exist. In fact, I would say that the choice between candidates boils down to "lame people who won't do anything" and "lame people who won't do anything."

For any reader who isn't going to BYU or who isn't familiar with how things work around here, I'll explain. First of all, BYUSA is not student government. It isn't even close. BYU has no student government. BYUSA is a service organization. They organize service projects and other activities that are related to service somehow (bring a can of food and get into a dance free!). Often the candidates run on platforms that they won't be able to accomplish, because they don't have the power to do it.

For example, one set of candidates is saying that they'll get us more money at textbook buyback. Now, I don't know perfectly, but I would venture to guess that they're about as likely to get us more money at textbook buyback as they are to get us a back entrance to the library. They just don't have that kind of power.

Another point that I'd like to make is that, in the rare case that candidates make platforms that they can actually stand on, they end up being really lame. The people who won last year (I don't even remember their names. That tells you how influential they are to me) said that they would give us free food during finals week for "stress relief." Well, they did that, but I didn't even bother, and I know a lot of people who didn't bother. Why? Because when you say the words "free food," every freshman within five miles comes running and lines up. Even if they have to stand there for hours, they don't mind. Boy oh boy, they're going to get that "free" food. What they don't realize is that with the time that they were standing in line for that "free" food, they could have gone and gotten a job and bought their own lunch, without having to wait in line for an hour. I have no incentive to wait for even 15 minutes for some crappy free food.

In all of this, my point is that the BYUSA elections are a complete joke. I suppose that most people know that. On my way to class today, I looked at a couple more of the platforms. One of them said that they wanted to get class syllabi online. I've been at BYU for elections for three years, now, and they've been going for that every year. I don't think they're going to get that this year.

In conclusion, I find it beneficial to vote in real elections, because those people actually affect our lives. However, the BYUSA president and vice president do not affect my life in any way. Thus, I will be sticking with the 98% of the BYU student body who doesn't vote.