Just a couple weeks ago, the name of the first Student Senate ticket running for election, , dropped on social media. We didn’t know it then, but it would also end up being the only ticket in this year’s race.
The Post’s executive editors typically endorse a ticket for the executive Student Senate positions. But given that Bridge Ohio is running unopposed, we think it’s important to address why a shortage of tickets can be discouraging to those outside the organization.
In recent years, the number of tickets running for positions during elections has varied, but at least two have run each of the past three years. So when we found out that only one group of people was running to lead the largest student government organization on campus, we were disappointed.
Student Senate aims to represent the entire student body, but that’s hard to do when the elected officials are selected from the same group of students each year. It is vital to the organization that more and more students who have never been a part of senate become active in the organization and seek out those upper-level positions.
Just a three years ago, we saw the ticket — composed partly of members not involved in Student Senate — push for those executive positions. Though that ticket didn’t win, the group did bring fresh ideas to the table.
In addition to the absence of at least two tickets and a scarcity of members from outside senate running this year, only one ticket running at all makes it seem as if there is a dearth of varying ideas within the organization itself.
When too many like minds and too few outside ideas are brought into the equation, an organization can suffer from groupthink. That creates a depletion of innovative ideas, doesn’t address all needs of the student body and makes Student Senate appear to be a more exclusive organization — even though it’s not.
That isn’t to say that Bridge Ohio is short on good ideas. We commend the executives for wanting to improve campus safety, reduce waste on campus and increase collaboration among many student organizations, among other ideas. The group is also comprised of a solid foundation of leaders who have already generated change on campus, including presidential candidate Maddie Sloat, the .
But we are concerned that a lack of tickets reflects a lack of diverse viewpoints.
We strongly suggest students not in Student Senate who want their voices heard reach out to current or future executive members about how to get involved.
We also would push for senate to continue emphasizing recruitment of those not involved in the group and making a continued effort to talk to students outside of regular meetings, as that can also help students get involved.
Finally, we encourage Student Senate to continue to push for those outside voices — or just more voices at all — in future election cycles.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: editor-in-chief Elizabeth Backo, managing editor Kaitlin Coward, digital managing editor Hayley Harding and senior editor Marisa Fernandez. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.