Mar 242002

In what has to be the most amusing and yet completely unsurprising development of the semester, ASCSU teeters on the brink of a debacle that threatens to completely erode the flimsy facade that they struggle so valiantly to maintain. As I write this, it’s very likely that only one ticket will be running for the Presidency/Vice-Presidency of our so-called democratic student government.

Of course, this would violate the first rule in the trusty handbook entitled “How To Organize a Pretend Democracy”: “No matter how laughably impotent your ‘government’ really is, it’s important to always have at least two candidates when playing election.”

Tisk, tisk.

While the question asked to students used to be “who are you going to vote for?” (the typical answer, by the way, was “huh?”), the question now is, “who’s to blame for this likely disaster?”

Is it Chris Lewis, the candidate who dropped out because he’d rather produce a music video show on Campus Television? Is it ASCSU, for failing to generate enough enthusiasm among the student body to produce another ticket? Or is this the result of some stupid (and fundamentally un-democratic) election rules that state that, in order to run for executive office, you must have a certain amount of credits and a not-too-embarrassing GPA?

My contention is that the lack of choice isn’t the fault of any one person or policy. It’s simply a reality check.

There is only one practical lesson to be learned from year after year of pitiful voter-turnout: the vast majority of students don’t need or want any more government. Between local, state and national branches, we already suffer an unhealthy amount of idiotic politics. Why the hell would we want more? It’s not that we’re a bunch of apathetic cretins who don’t know about our wonderful student government – we know it’s there and, quite simply, most of us don’t want it.

Furthermore, any student can survive just fine by acting as if ASCSU doesn’t exist. I’ve been here five years, and the only thing our sad little “government” has demonstrated to me is that practically nothing within their means of accomplishment could ever have any significant ramifications on the way I live or go to school.

From everything I’ve observed, ASCSU’s lawmaking might is mostly limited to … well … ASCSU. Take, for example, the recent “Bill #3105” which “prohibits senators from exploiting office supplies and resources for personal use.” And who could forget last semester’s contentious debate over what constitutes “appropriate business attire” for senators.

I’m supposed to care about the activities of a bunch of well-primped wannabe politicians who are obsessed with paper clips and floppy disks? “Apathy” may be an ugly word, but next to “petty,” it sounds quite flattering.

So let’s stop pretending that ASCSU is a real government, and start treating it as what it is: a resume-building club.

ASCSU is not the “voice of the students” (as their mission statement would have us believe). They are the voice of, at best, a meager 15 percent of the student body – basically, those affiliated with ASCSU, those who want money from ASCSU and a few of their gullible friends.

The real voice of the students is shouting something loud and clear without any aid from some bogus government: “pretend democracies are something we outgrew in high school.”

If our so-called student leaders really want high voter turnout, they should place their entire existence at the stake of one campus-wide vote – “Shall ASCSU continue or dissolve?” For a brief split-second, CSU’s pretend democracy would become a real democracy, and then … poof!

Jon Watkins is a senior majoring in English.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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