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(July 13) Editorial

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In an introductory meeting July 13, the newly-elected ASSC Student Council met to begin team-building exercises in anticipation of the fast-approaching fall semester. Unfortunately, the team has no captain. This is certainly an undesirable situation for the student body and new student government. Even more regrettable, though, it is the result of an inefficient, inconsistent and unfair election process.

Skyline students new and old are now caught in the middle of this long, drawn-out electoral mess. When the final tally of votes cast in the May 3-4 general election showed that none of the three candidates for student president received a simple majority, the ASSC Election Board announced there would be a runoff between the two with the most votes, Taylor Angel and Melchie Cabrigas. That announcement came on May 5. According to the ASSC Election Code, “the general student body must be notified through publicity channels at least two weeks prior to the [runoff] election.” Two weeks after May 5 was May 19–plenty of time before the end of the semester to hold the special election. Instead, the runoff is currently planned for early September, turning two weeks of hesitation into four months of delays.

The delay casts a long shadow over any team-building efforts the ASSC carries out over the summer. Without a clear leader, the council is bound to suffer from the lack of a student officer who will fill that essential unifying role and keep the governing body focused. On the other hand, the would-be president is crippled in that he or she cannot begin to put their leadership plan into action. Come September, either the ASSC president will be put in the less-than-ideal spot of having to either redirect or play catch-up to a council that has already started in its own direction or student government as a whole will have to wait around while the new president is selected, wasting valuable time that should be used to get things accomplished.

Holding the next round of voting early in the fall semester also deprives the most informed voters of the right to vote. The students who graduated in the spring or who will transfer or otherwise move on next semester are the ones who have been around the longest, have seen the issues being dealt with, and have gone to class with and worked alongside and observed the candidates. These informed students voted in May, but they will be unable to vote in September. If it is important enough to include these outgoing students in the general election, there is no good reason to exclude them from voting in the runoff.

A fiasco of this kind could be avoided in the future if the ASSC Election Code were to require that a runoff election be held before the end of the spring semester in order to include the students who voted in the general election, but that is something for the new president to decide with the new council. That is, if they eventually get around to it.

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The student news site of Skyline College.
(July 13) Editorial