Council Elections Deserve Student Attention

Even as the primary season inches towards a close, elections remain close to NYU students’ minds — and their Facebook pages. The primary race has transformed the average student’s complaints into a somewhat well-formatted political argument. Yet, amidst all of this hooplah, one rather important election date has come and passed without so much of an impassioned rant on the NYU Class of 20-whatever Facebook page: Student Council elections.

First of all, yes, we have a student council. In fact, there are actually student councils — plural — that act as different organizations to represent the various colleges and schools of NYU. The student councils act as the intermediary between the general student body of the schools and NYU’s administrative and executive branches. Despite the importance of the work that they do, the recently held student council elections may have come as a surprise to the majority of NYU students — they were publicized almost as poorly as our beloved President Hamilton’s affordability parties.

Voting in the CAS Student Council election, held earlier this April, was announced with a singular email — just one — from the same board that has sent five emails regarding the CAS Symposium event within the last month alone. The email in question did not even provide the voting dates, the names of those who were running or a link to a page that would possibly answer these questions. The only other information I could find regarding the voting process — after 30 minutes of searching the depths of the internet — was a smattering of Facebook posts made by the candidates themselves, and the world’s saddest and most barebones webpage that honestly left me more frustrated and confused than I care to admit.

This is obviously an issue. NYU students are incapable of being content with the way our school is run — our self-loathing is a beloved pastime. Yet student-run organizations, one of the few accessible executive bodies with some semblance of power, continue to exist under the radar. This singular example isn’t just a random fluke; the entirety of the NYU political process is riddled with issues like these. Class Activities Boards, Student Associations, General Class Boards all exist under the shadow of a shoddily-made bureaucracy — and this design has ramifications.

An uninformed student body is not fit to foster a culture of activism and enact change. Nor will one meager informational email attract the type of leaders that our school so desperately needs. The school must radically alter its platform for distributing election details. If NYU can put together a professionally-made Snapchat filter for every annoying alumni event, it can at least try to find a way to properly inform its students about those who will be representing them for at least the duration of their time here at NYU.

This article initially appeared online and in the April 25th print edition of Washington Square News.

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