Get out and vote!

Today, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. the elections for the 2006-2007 Undergraduate Student Senate election will be taking place on Web for Students ( It is our belief that it is imperative for every student who feels able to vote in this election does so.

We realize student-run elections often seem to be nothing more than glorified popularity contests that do nothing more than clutter up the hallways of academic buildings with flyers ordering you to vote for the candidate while at best skirting around and at worst flat out ignoring the actual issues that affect students.

We also realize it’s rather tempting to just put one’s head down and ignore the electoral process as around 85 to 90 percent of students do each and every election season, especially since so many positions are usually uncontested. After all, it doesn’t really matter who serves on senate, since USS doesn’t have any real power and even if it did, the senators never actually do anything, right?

Wrong. This year all but one of the races feature at least two candidates, with two three-way races, meaning that one’s vote will serve as more than a simple act of affirmation for some random person who had enough spare time on their hands to get 220 signatures.

Also, there have been numerous issues debated between the candidates this year that affect the student body. From the implementation of the XF system, to the makeup of the Allocations Committee, all the way to how this university should interact with the community on the whole. All of these have been the focal points of contentious discussion between the candidates this semester.

From these 19 candidates running for office, nine will be chosen to be the representatives to the administration and to the city of Kent. Additionally, they will be handsomely rewarded for the privilege of being the spokespersons for the student body by receiving a large stipend, which comes from your tuition dollars, as well as a waiver allowing for them to attend this university free of cost next year. Therefore it’s in your best interest to elect a senate that will actually earn their money while making sure they don’t embarrass the approximately 21,991 undergraduates not on the senate.

While it can often be daunting to determine who to vote for, there are resources available to help. For example, one could always use the handy-dandy endorsement guide printed in the Daily Kent Stater yesterday to aid in their voting decisions (shameless plug). Also, if one wanted to conduct more in-depth research, the platforms of the majority of the candidates are available on the USS Web site(

Finally, some quick words of warning to the candidates who will in the next six weeks become senators. Since it’s the job of a free and fair press to hold their elected representatives accountable, we will be keeping a very close eye on the actions of each and every one of you regarding the business of this university. When things go well, we’ll praise you, but when you screw up, we’re going to make sure that the entire campus finds out. So don’t screw up.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.