Voter apathy again the focal point of SA election


Last night’s Student Association election results demonstrate a clear change in thinking.

In previous elections, general apathy concerning the SA elections seemed to hang over the NIU campus. Student turnout and campaigning were abysmal.

However, the number of candidates on the ballot rose this year. In all, 48 candidates ran. Voter turnout, again, dropped. Only 841 students out of NIU’s entire student body voted. Still, those students who chose not to vote should be aware of the representation they have earned.

“I will take the ideas and concerns of any student willing to give them and make sure they are brought to attention,” wrote Kevin Smith, elected to the 4th District, on his SA application.

That is a bold promise. Smith will hopefully follow through because when compared to Thomas Conlon, elected to the 5th District, Smith seems like an idealist.

“I was the former president of the Student Film and Video Association here at Northern, and I am now vice president due to the fact of letting my friend (who is a senator) be able to put it on his resume,” Conlon wrote on his SA application.

These two officials do not represent all of the SA or its members, but they show a contrast between the best intentions and the worst qualifications.

Every year it seems students are encouraged to run for office and vote. This year some students listened to half of that advice and ran, unopposed in certain cases.

Those who didn’t run or vote are left with something less than the best of the best. Rather, the new SA senators are best classified as those who took the time to answer three questions on an application form.

As you passed the voting tables during the past two days with a quizzical look, or no look at all, upon your face, you were passing up your chance to make a difference.

The “need” to save those five extra minutes of free time now determines the path of NIU’s student body.