Elections Opinion Politics

Opinion: Nobody cares or should care about Student Senate elections

File photo by Hayley Harding
Written by Matt Stephens

It’s time again for Student Senate elections at Ohio University. I am here to explain that the election means absolutely nothing.

Student Senate at Ohio University does not do that much. Most of the resolutions passed by Senate are in relation to how the body of students conducts its own business. Of the 108 resolutions heard so far, 87 of them involve Senate formalities. Over 80 percent of action taken by the group is in relation to things OU students could care less about.

Is there anything that matters for Student Senate? Why yes, the fact that the president of the Senate body gets free tuition for his or her time in office. Additionally, a student who puts the organization on his or her resume looks good to employers. Heck, I would not mind it on my curriculum vitae. However, at the end of the day, it is an act. A position in Student Senate is simply one that has no authority whatsoever.  

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of today’s political landscape is just like OU Senate. Both Senate members and your average local or national legislator manage to get nothing done. Both have their shares of scandals.

Who doesn’t remember the Blood Bucket Challenge of Megan Marzec? President Roderick McDavis issued an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to Marzec in August 2014. Marzec decided to use the nomination as a political stage. She asked OU to “divest from Israel” then had fake blood poured on her head.

Of course, this drew national outrage from many in the Israeli community. Four students were even arrested for protesting during an OU Senate meeting in September 2014. Their charges were later dropped. 

Nick Southall, another former senate president, resigned in 2013 following an arrest for disorderly conduct during a trip to the Ohio Bobcats’ Beef O’Brady Bowl appearance in Florida.

So this week as you go to vote, remember you are deciding who gets a scholarship as president. That is the only relevant decision at hand. The authority that makes decisions on this campus is and always will be the administration.

About the author

Matt Stephens

Matt Stephens is the social media director and an opinion columist. Matt also works for WOUB-TV, where he is a reporter for local high school sports as well as Ohio Bobcats Golf and Softball. Matt is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and is a strong advocate for Chipotle burritos.

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