Campaigners create nuisance on campus

By: Alex Sorondo

Staff Writer

alex.sorondo@fiusm.com

Contrary to all sensations, it seems as though time was indeed moving forward during elections week, which – by the grace of voting – has finally ended.

In its wake we have shirts, flyers, posters, a whole lot of promises, and, at long last, a campus-encompassing nuisance to rival the University’s parking situation.

But it wasn’t the campaign itself that made the week so unbearable. Candidates will be pushy, debates will be loaded with more than just politics; these things are to be expected. What made it so horrible were the endorsements of supporters.

It was all bad, all of it, every encounter with a campaigner, every facebook status that prompted a 50-comment fight.

The arguments at social gatherings last weekend, the parasitic vote-pushers tossing flyers and borrowing a minute and asking you to vote, not just for them but oh, hey, their friend is running for At-Large Senator of the Presidential Green-Fee Housing Committee and you should really vote for that person too because YOLO –  You Only Live Once.

And all of this was before last Wednesday, voting day, where the chaos began with a Greek mob rushing Green Library’s check-out desk for the iPads and laptops with which they went on to harass people on campus for the rest of the day.

Groups of campaigners asked repeatedly if you had voted, if you would like to vote, if you could just take a second to vote; inviting you to use their laptops while they watched your selections from above, holding their computer just low enough to sport the candidate name on their shirt, just in case you didn’t know who was running and needed a name.

It seems that this would work to any candidate’s favor, that you should know nothing of them or their platforms and that, in catching you at the right moment and buying your vote for a smile, they might capitalize on the University’s largest import: apathy.

The conviction and relentlessness with which campaigners filled every breeze and walkway on election day, like Greek mosquitoes in a swamp of bad intentions, suggested – and with greater transparency than the Student Government Association is accustomed to – that victory in the elections is more about manpower than politics.

The consequent sense of powerlessness, the poverty of whatever influence we might have in comparison to the Greeks, does little for the average student’s incentive to get involved, to take part in a fight that’s already won.

This is to be expected, of course, but it nonetheless takes me by surprise each year, and bums me out to no end so that, by the end of the day, I wanted to write in a vote for that guy who plays reggae on his Mac outside of the Graham Center atrium.

He’s always so happy and sincere and really, after an onslaught of greedy attention like we get from campaigners,

I see good cause for apathy, for not caring what happens so long as the furor ends, and all I want any more are politicians who will smile, act courteous, do what they’ll do and play by the rules and please, just leave me alone.

Regardless of who won, whether you got the president or senator you wanted, the elections are over, campaigners are all gone; there’s cause enough to be content, if we’re to feel anything at all.

 

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