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Voters acted out of frustration

Jonathan Diffley | Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Was it really the students making a mockery of student government last week during the elections, or was it the student government mocking the student? Two particularly scathing letters were printed in the Viewpoint section of The Observer on Tuesday claiming that the Istvan-Bell ticket won only because the student body was too apathetic and immature to choose the “real” candidates. As a member of this maligned group, I wish to defend our action as that of frustration rather than tomfoolery. For four years I have watched students campaign for president. Some were serious, while others were not. Some were student government insiders, while others were new. None of this has ever mattered. Not a single person has done anything.Kate Distler berates a fellow student who discounts a candidate’s platform and past student government participation as valid issues for choosing a student body president. I, on the other hand, commend that student. He or she is exactly right. If the student government has proven to be completely ineffective over the last four years, why on earth would past participation in that organization be an important attribute?Maybe it’s the bleeding-heart liberal in me, but I vote for the candidate whom I feel is in greater need of a resume boost. As pointed out so many times, poor Adam hasn’t had a chance to participate in student government yet. I think he should get a turn; let him polish up the ol’ resume. It doesn’t really matter who holds the office anyway; same results.I want it to be understood that I do not mean to belittle those of you participating in student government. I would imagine that 99 percent of you joined thinking that you were going to make a difference. However, if you still feel this way as a graduating senior, then you will be leaving Notre Dame just as nave and with less of an excuse. My criticism is for two, more culpable groups: the administration and the whining lackeys who are complaining about this year’s election results. For the administration, I don’t expect you to care or change. Last year the faculty senate dissolved itself out of sheer frustration created by the unresponsiveness from the fourth floor of the Dome. Why should students expect any better treatment?As for the people who want to reprimand the student body for going against the grain and choosing a candidate based on something other than the status quo, I give you a sarcastic thumbs-up! To compare last week’s election to the upcoming presidential election only solidifies my belief that your self-importance has swelled to a debilitating high. The presidential election affects judicial nominations, domestic tax policy and international trade. What is this year’s student body president going to do this year that his predecessors could not?

Jonathan Diffleysenioroff-campusFeb. 17