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Run-off process inherently flawed

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, February 16, 2004

While today’s closed Senate meeting chose the winner that coincided most with the wishes of the Student Body in Thursday’s run-off, Adam Istvan, I would like to remark that I have never seen a more unfair, nonsensical and poorly designed process.As the off-campus senator, I represent 1,600 people. Let’s say every member of my constituency voted and they all voted for one candidate. And let’s say every member of Dillon Hall, that has over 300 residents, also all voted for that same candidate. That’s 1,900 votes, which is more than the 50 plus one percent needed to secure the presidency in a run-off, even if every other voter chose the other candidate. Let’s hypothetically say that happened. For fun, if that vote was taken to Senate, the outcome would be grossly different than what students wanted. While that first candidate with over 1,900 votes would have over 50 percent of student’s support, he would only procure a shocking 7 percent in a Senate meeting like today’s. The fact that a process like this could turn someone’s majority into a mere 7 percent is pretty disgusting to me.In Friday’s Observer, Charlie Ebersol said, “I think it’s important that each dorm has equal representation and equal voices.” While the article suggested that Charlie shares my sentiments that the system is inherently flawed, this comment does not. By saying that “it’s necessary that each dorm has an equal voice,” Charlie is advocating that students do not have an equal voice. If every dorm is to have an equal voice, then Carroll’s some 100 members are more than three times important and influential in today’s election than Dillon’s 300 members (and 16 times more important than my off-campus students). The fact that students are made unequal in choosing their own president sickens me. Candidates run on platforms – promises that will benefit and hurt individual students, not dorms. The promises are things that impact the students. And the students, not the dorms, have a right to pick who they want leading them, whose policies they like better and want to go into effect. Today, a president who got fewer votes than his opponent could have been chosen, and while I did not overtly favor the candidate who won, I would have been quite upset if I had, and the Senate could not have chosen him because of our constitution.

Amy Chamberssenior Off-campus senatorFeb. 15