Home Politics Opinion: A baseball fan at the Student Senate debates

Opinion: A baseball fan at the Student Senate debates

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April 1st marked the beginning of two great spring traditions. One is a largely unnecessary but exceedingly entertaining exercise, bizarrely mythological, in which money rather than talent often tips the scales. The other is baseball.

Of course, Monday was not the official start of Ohio University’s Student Senate election season, but it was the beginning of the debate season; the previous week of tabling, t-shirts and graffiti wall mischief was just spring training. The first debate between the VOICE and FUSS parties, as represented by presidential candidates Nick Southall and Matt Farmer, respectively, was the real ballgame. One thing became clear very quickly; if VOICE were a baseball team, it would be the New York Yankees.

Like the Yankees, this year’s VOICE lineup is familiar and a little stale. Responding to criticism from Farmer that a “core group” of students seem to be elected every year to Senate, Southall countered that such a group of experienced members is necessary to get things passed.

“One thing we bring to the table is experience … at the same time, one-third of our ticket is fresh faces,” is something Southall could have said, if Kyle Triplett hadn’t already said it two years ago when he was running for Senate president with RSVP.

Southall also criticized Farmer and FUSS for not tabling or visibly campaigning as VOICE has done for the last several days.

“[Farmer] has to show up in order to race. Who’s to say he won’t show up for the next 365 as president?” is something Southall could have said, if Zach George hadn’t already said it of his opposition last year when he ran as REACH’s presidential candidate, according to The Post.

Yes, VOICE’s starting lineup, though experienced, seems about as old and tired as that of the Yankees. But what they lack on the field, they definitely make up for in merchandise and fan support. The debate was heavily attended by VOICE fans, all of them sporting bright orange t-shirts featuring the party’s logo; an odd cross between the Obama “O” logo and the RSS symbol.

VOICE also has Yankee-like financial dominance. According to the Bursar’s website, the party has already spent $2,790 on 800 t-shirts alone. In contrast, FUSS vice presidential candidate Jacob Chaffin estimates his party has only spent $55 on campaigning. If campaigning is as important as Southall seems to think it is, and yet dependent on plentiful finances, it would seem that money is as much a winning factor during Student Senate election season as it is during baseball season.

So if VOICE is the Yankees, what is FUSS? Perhaps one of the myriad of teams with talented players and a strong support base, but which are saddled with financial disadvantages and whose season prospects seem cloudy at best, dim at the worst. The Cleveland Indians come to mind. Maybe this year…

In any case, fans of baseball and Student Senate elections have an interesting season ahead. I wouldn’t be opposed to peanuts and hotdogs at the next debate. After all, the oddities and machinations off the field matter just as much as the talent on the field, for better or worse.





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