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CSUN race steeped in internal strife, politics
Elections at UNLV are much more cut-throat than any other elections I have seen in the United States. The elections for CSUN Executive Board have not even begun, yet talks about filing complaints may be in the air. Not surprising, these “complaints” have come from possible candidates looking for re-election.
Quite frankly, the pettiness that exists in CSUN, especially during elections, needs to stop. Yes, being on the executive board for CSUN is a great experience, but it is not worth the drama that inevitably comes along with it.
Recently, Sarah Saenz, the former director of elections with whom I worked as a CSUN senator, resigned because of her aspirations to be a candidate for CSUN student body president. I find her candidacy to be a breath of fresh air because even though she is very much familiar with the manner in which CSUN operates, she has also been able to maintain the student perspective that those of us not in CSUN have. Having a great person be a possible candidate for the CSUN Executive Board should be a reason to be excited, and I am hoping that students become inspired and decide to turn in their own applications.
Unfortunately, it is possible that the reactions of current CSUN members will instead push students away. Instead of new faces receiving praise for taking on the challenge of trying to become an executive board member, individuals, such as Saenz, are being ostracized.
Current CSUN President David Rapoport stated that informing CSUN about her decision to resign and run for president this “late” was unfortunate and that her aspiration to run for president has placed CSUN in a difficult position. He stressed that CSUN is trying to ensure that elections are conducted in a free and fair manner.
Interestingly enough, however, the person who is advocating for “fair” elections is also the person who became president only after he, and his ticket, made sure to present information that led to Robert Maxey’s disqualification. Even this has been contested, and the reasons for Maxey’s disqualification are still being debated by many students.
I am very much aware that Rapoport has not stated whether he will or will not run for president, but I am skeptical. I will be more surprised if he decides to not run than if he decides to run for re-election. I am in no way, shape or form trying to taint the reputation of anyone in CSUN. I am simply trying to showcase the unnecessary drama that surrounds student government elections. I know about them because I have taken part in them. I ran on a ticket opposing Rapoport, then-presidential candidate Jon Goldman and now-Senate President LeShelle Perez last spring. What I realized was that change is inevitably not welcome.
So what if more than three students decide to run for a position? What if current CSUN members decide that they might be better able to represent the student body in a more efficient way? We are in desperate need of new faces, new ideas and new perspectives in order to ensure that the student body is being represented adequately.
I hope to see this upcoming election robust with candidates and free of ridiculousness. I hope that I am not disappointed with the petty complaints that typically accessorize the primaries because winning by playing ‘dirty’ is just not acceptable anymore. File, run and win a position on hard work and because the students chose you, not because you were able to disqualify the other candidates over gossip and slander.