I love USUSA elections. Love them.
I have a passion for who will be leading us next year, but I’m also passionate about who I vote for and why. Reading through the platforms of those running for USUSA Executive Council positions next year, there’s some things that I would have changed if I were any of their campaign managers.
This year four of the eight offices are running unopposed. Congratulations to you four, please don’t screw us over just because no one is challenging you. Power, even at this level, can and will try to go to your head. I do have to say, I’m sad to say that your platforms could have been more specific on what you intend to do.
Generally speaking, your qualifications should be applicable and easily understandable. Maybe you have so many qualifications that it was hard to only put down four or five, but think of this as your resume and the entire 17,000 students of this student body are the potential employers — if you don’t stand out to the job you’re applying for, we’ll throw your resume in the trash. Also like on a resume, and especially for a USUSA position, your credentials should have happened during your time at Utah State. No one cares what you did during high school or on your mission. I strongly believe your major should apply to your position and that you should have participated in some way with the organization beforehand. How can you expect to be in charge of something you’ve never seen before? We want to know what you’ve done for us already before we give you our trust to do more. And pay you for it, too.
And by the way, almost everyone running was on A-team. Literally no one cares. What makes you special?
Let’s look at specific offices.
Student Events VP
The general student body probably sees this office as the party office. We are all glad that the name of this position was changed from programming, so now we know what you actually do. For a good candidate, I look for someone who has done event planning, large event planning. I don’t know how you’re going to tailor events to every need and want of the student body, but maybe focus more on developing good committees? Also, guys, please. Are you really humble if you put that down as a qualification? Listing your “virtues” really only impresses your mother.
Organizations & Campus Diversity VP
I want to really emphasize that there are two parts to this position. Diversity AND organizations. An advisor of mine once told me that no white student would ever win this position because the only part we focus on is diversity. With around 100 or more clubs and organizations on campus, I feel like that should be a big part of your job too, a part that’s focused on more. All four of the candidates focused on inclusion, but all left out at least one very large community of both diversity and involvement: Greeks. I do have to say though, you go girls. I’m very impressed by the four candidates for the most part, most did a good job explaining why they would do a good job, not many did a good job at having concrete goals and being detailed on all aspects of the position.
Like all VP positions, we really don’t know what you do, but we do expect some sweet Obama-Biden type memes coming from you and the next president. You have a very, very important job. The Exec. VP can tie students to faculty more than anyone else on EC and must be a large support for the president. However, this office is not a glorified President’s Cabinet. Reading through the qualifications and plans, I can’t help but say that I got a feeling that the candidates plan on hiding behind the president or don’t know what the job exactly is.
Experience, experience, experience. The president will lead the EC and the student body through the next year. And FYI, one year is not a lot of time to get stuff done. Prior experience is so important to take the reins. The president should be able to show they can lead a team, delegate, be a face in crisis (and at all times) and be our voice to the administration. If a candidate is not already connected throughout the student body with established connections with USUSA and campus organizations, the president-elect will start in a hole. Mental health is a big issue in this election — whoever wins must be fully able to carry the banner forward. This campaign cannot stop or become stagnant, plans for the next step must already be conceived. USUSA President is also the only position voted on by all Aggies everywhere. That means people in Blanding and Price too. How will the president represent and connect to them? Think about that.
To the general student body
Election week might be annoying, but it is important. Take some time to read up, ask questions and vote. Vote in the primaries and in final elections. As one candidate is saying, “vote ideas, not looks.” This shouldn’t be a popularity contest, we should be voting for those who have the best ideas and who have proven to us students that they will get the most amount of good done.
To the candidates
The vast majority of you are very impressive in my eyes and I’m sure you have many great people backing you up. You are all wonderful beginning politicians who could do a lot of good, I just wish it were possible for you all to know the job descriptions better. Trust me when I say people are watching you and counting on you. You will not get everything you want to done, but if you don’t have concrete plans now, you may not get anything done.
— Richard is an avid follower of USUSA and can often be found annoying the officers at any time of the day. He believes all new elected officers will have huge shoes to fill.