Please keep your promises

DKS Editors

It’s that time of the year again.

Last week, students interested in Undergraduate Student Government had to turn in their applications, and this week, they’ve begun campaigning for their positions. You might’ve seen signs around campus asking for your vote or Facebook groups asking you to invite all your friends to garner support. And by election day — March 9 — it’s very likely that you might be sick of all the campaigning.

Despite the overload, it’s encouraging to see students enthusiastically thinking of ways to better the campus. However, it’s rather disheartening months later when we don’t see results.

If someone visiting campus during the next few weeks observed all the campaigning that’s going on right now, they would probable presume that USG has a large presence on campus. Yet, at any other time of the year, the organization has a rather small presence.

We’ll give credit where it’s due — USG has made some progress in working with the city of Kent by attending council meetings and going door-to-door during big party weekends, promoting responsible behavior. But there’s still more to be done by people who run such an enthusiastic campaign. It makes us wonder the intentions of many people campaigning: Do you really want to change the campus, or are you trying to win a popularity contest?

Part of the problem comes from being a bit too enthusiastic in campaigning. Instead of promising some earth-shattering results when elected just to get votes, why not do your research and make a few modest promises?

It’s proven to have worked. Last year, USG senators decided they would rather focus on bringing one big musical act to Kent State and forego some of the small-scale acts they’ve brought in the past. This week, Jay Sean, one of the music industry’s bigger artists right now, will be performing in the M.A.C. Center, a result of USG’s work. We haven’t seen the smaller, washed-up acts like OK Go and Third Eye Blind, like we have in the past — acts that used up much of USG’s budget.

Unfortunately, though, this is the exception rather than the norm. In previous years, we’ve heard USG candidates make some outrageous promises. And this may be why so little gets done. Having an impossible goal to work for is frustrating.

Instead, we encourage USG candidates to talk to students to see what they want done, and then talk to administrators and other Kent State officials about what actually can be done. Form a few mid-point goals that add up to the larger one. Don’t lose sight of your goal as time passes by. That’s how things get done in the real world. And maybe at the end of your term as senator, you’ll find that something has changed.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed to the left.