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Op-Ed: Why You Should Vote

Submitted by on April 15 – 2013No Comment

An earlier editorial opined that the candidates should take themselves more seriously and provide more substance. I am writing to the voters, in the hopes that voters will also take the elections more seriously and demand more substance.

This year’s elections have been contentious in terms of marketing (spam) across the hallways. The candidates have plastered walls, lockers, and bulletin boards, whether or not they had permission to. But despite the ads, what do we really know about the candidates? Remember, the candidates can’t just be popular – they have to do a good job.

The SBA is at once both not as powerful and not as powerless as many students imagine. The domain over which the SBA can exercise its jurisdiction is small, but, simultaneously, the SBA can have a wide-reaching impact and potential to achieve great things under the right leadership.

Here’s the rub: It’s not enough to be fun or likeable. The officers, the President in particular, will represent Fordham’s students before the administration, alumni, and employers. Think long, hard, and carefully about whom you want in that position. The officers will have to uphold rules and regulations throughout the school even when those rules are unpopular. The officers have to talk with alumni, deal with problems that are reported to CPC regarding students, balance budgets, and politic with administrators.

What could go wrong if we have a bad SBA? Rising 2Ls might not get the information and training they need to make wise decisions during their first OCI. Clubs might find their budgets increased or slashed based on nepotism rather than objective consideration. We might lose cooperation from potential employers and organizations if the school is presented unprofessionally or can’t be taken seriously. Inappropriate behavior by the elected officers could cause the administration to restrict student activities, especially if the SBA seems to encourage flaunting rules.

This last category is especially important as the school transitions into the new building and begins setting up new infrastructure, including a new intranet. If those who are elected to represent the needs and concerns of the student body don’t have a reputation for seriousness and can’t be relied upon to soberly consider the important decisions facing the school, why should the administration bother meeting with and listening to the SBA?

Don’t be swayed by someone who just agrees with you – vote for someone who will do the right thing at the right time.

3Ls, I urge you to vote! I understand that as 3Ls, there is often a certain tiredness and bitterness towards all things law-school, but you are voting on behalf of the incoming 1Ls. Think about what you’ll be leaving to those who follow us – what will you leave behind?

2Ls and 1Ls, I fervently hope that you will vote not just for your friend but for the person that you think will be best for the job. Vote for the person who has demonstrated that they can work hard and not just talk big. If you don’t know the candidates, ask people who have worked with them.

If anyone has any questions about the SBA or the elections, please feel free to email me at AlbertWSuh@gmail.com.

–Albert Suh, outgoing SBA Vice President

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