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The Dartmouth
May 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Peer apathy plagues student campaigns

The upcoming 2003 Student Assembly elections are inspiring a mix of enthusiasm and apathy in the student community. As the May 1 election date approaches, opinion is divided over the importance of student government.

Several College students have expressed absolutely no interest in the elections.

George Gorospe '06 is using his vote to send a message to system.

"I'm voting for the hedgehog," he said, referring to write-in rodent candidate Snead Hearn. Gorospe further commented that the Assembly exists only because "it gives them something to do."

Despite the fact that all students -- including Gorospe -- who spoke to The Dartmouth declared their intention to vote, the general attitude toward the assembly was one of indifference.

"I have no opinion. Who are they?" Adrian Accurso '05 said with regard to the two Assembly presidential candidates, Janos Marton '04 and Brett Theisen '05.

Accurso expressed further doubts about the extent of the Assembly's recent accomplishments under incumbent president Marton. "I can't really remember the most recent thing they've done."

Although the number of presidential candidates on the official ballot has fallen from five in 2002 to two in 2003, some students did not bother to learn the two candidates' names. "I don't really know who they are," Austine Kuder '05 said.

"I don't know whatever his name is -- the challenger -- and I don't particularly care for Janos," James Throckmorton '06 said.

Meanwhile, not one petition has been entered for the position of vice president of the Class of 2004.

Assembly vice presidential candidate Dave Wolkoff '05 said he regrets the lack of interest in the '04 position. "I think that we have brilliant students -- at least 1,000 potential candidates for that office. We have untapped resources."

"I guess for this position there wasn't enough interest from the '04 class," Elections Committee Chairman Patrick Jou '04 said. However, Jou insists that student interest in the Assembly is not in decline.

"Last year, about 2,300 people voted out of 4,000. I believe this was the second highest turnout in 12 years, 2001 being the highest."

Jou further insists that interest in government positions is as high as ever, "This year, there are 16 people running for six COS [Committee on Standards] positions. I think there were seven or eight last year."

Jou also emphasized the increase in Green Key delegation candidates from 27 in 2002 to 38 in 2003. The 20 Green Key delegate positions have drawn interest from a greater number of students than any other offices.

Marton stressed the importance of recent election turnouts. "Last year, I think the turnout was 55 percent," he said, while acknowledging that "it can definitely improve. You can never have 100 percent participation."